Are We There Yet?
An Illustrated Journey
of Coping & Creativity During COVID-19
The Inspiration, the Story, and the Thank You
In May of 2021, a year+ into the pandemic, I posed a question to my friends and family:
What have you accomplished over the past year? What are you proud of?
I understood that everyone was overwhelmed and scared, sad and confused. I had friends who had weathered the COVID storm while teaching children at home or with elderly parents in their care, friends who felt isolated and alone, or who had a house full of family driving them up the wall, friends who lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost hope.
I also knew that every single one of them had persevered, and I wanted to know how. More importantly, I wanted them to see it and feel it. To hear the words coming out of their own mouths: “I am proud of what I’ve done and what I’ve been through.”
The response I received was incredible – 54 people shared almost 300 individual accomplishments. Some sent one or two, others sent lists of 10 or more. From huge life changes to the day-to-day tasks of simple survival, we did not just get by. In finding creative ways to cope, we made deeper connections to others, learned new skills, created art, supported causes, cared for each other, got outside, practiced self-care, and so much more.
Taken all together, the similarities were striking, the resiliency remarkable. The book is a collection of just some of these accomplishments (at least one for every contributor), paired with illustrations done by 20 artistic friends. Here on the website, you can find even more info - a full list of all the accomplishments shared, an expanded pandemic timeline, and bios for each of the illustrators below.
Thank you for reading, for sharing, for surviving the past two+ years, and for continuing on – in whatever ways you know how.
Your accomplishments, however small, are valid and impressive.
Meet the Illustrators & Designer
Contributing from: California, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, & Utah
Dorothy writes, sews, and dances in Kingston, NY. She is a dean and teaches writing at Bard College. You can read some of her writing at DorothyAlbertini.com.
Kathi is the author of multiple poetry collections and a novel. She writes about relationships as people experience challenges in their families and communities.
Elsa is a painter, educator, and owner of Studio 1898 in Lafayette, KY. She is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University.
Erica is the associate director for writing for the Vera Institute of Justice, and a dream artist. She was born in Rochester, NY during a mid-April snowstorm.
Harmony is a poet and educator in Salt Lake City, UT. She is mother to a three year old, the remarkable Rowan Rogers, who is also a poet and an artist.
Elizabeth is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, dancer and choreographer, and visual artist with several fancy degrees; she doesn't make much money but her life is very rich. Learn more about all the things she makes at
Carla is an art teacher who enjoys participating in community projects just like this one! She loves animals, exploring, and origami. You can find her YouTube teaching channel at Mrs. Halstead.
Melanie lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she teaches community college English, makes things, and writes.
Lisa lives in Maine and is a physical therapist working in pediatrics.
Family, friends, arts, and being outside are the wind in her sails.
Daria & Taylor
Mother/daughter duo Daria & Taylor live in Rochester, NY. Taylor attends School of the Arts, and enjoys all forms of artistic expression. Daria loves yoga, and all things connected to the practice.
Claire lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two weird cats. She loves knitting, biking, and foraging for mushrooms.
Amertah lives in San Diego, CA where she works in post-secondary education. In her spare time, she likes to make things and draw things.
Kim is inspired by the power of connection and community. During the pandemic, she reignited her love of crafting and art, dabbling in drawing, watercolors, embroidery, cross-stitch, and sewing, and is proud to present some of that work here.
Glenn likes to make art. Sometimes it comes out ok. Sometimes he makes art for books, sometimes for movies. Mostly he likes walking in the woods, being with his family, and not worrying about being creative. And naps.
Megan is a multi-disciplinary designer and artist. She loves to spend time outdoors, and has an endless list of hobbies.
Check out all the things she's up to at
These 54 contributors sent in almost
300 individual accomplishments.