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Two stories about coronavirus and incarceration.
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Host Anna Sale and the logos for Death, Sex & Money and WNYC Studios, all on a beige background.
With the summer solstice behind us, we're now moving into the back half of 2020. Let's take a moment and appreciate that at least for the next six months, nature is encouraging us to rest a little more each night than we did the night before. 

That doesn't mean our bodies will go along with it, of course. I've been having a resurgence of late-night brain spiraling, despite melatonin and an effort at more regular exercise. The other night, friends, I was so desperate to ease my racing mind before bed that I fired up old episodes of The Great British Baking Show—ones I'd already watched, mind you, and knew exactly what would happen—and let the flour and butter and pun-y banter wash over me like a salve. And it worked! I passed out so hard at just after 8 o'clock, on top of sheets, in my daytime clothes, that my husband had to gingerly help me transition into bed, as if I were a toddler who conked out in her carseat. 

In other words, it was marvelous. And if that sounds good to you, by all means, try it! 

—Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money

As much of the country starts to reopen and people weigh the risks of resuming old activities in their communities, there are millions of people who haven't been able to socially distance throughout the coronavirus pandemic—specifically, the 2.3 million people who are currently incarcerated in the United States. Over 45,000 people who are currently incarcerated have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 500 inmates have died.

One of the many people who's sharing stories from people inside was once incarcerated himself: Lawrence Bartley, who was first on the show back in 2014, when he was still incarcerated at Sing Sing. Now he works at The Marshall Project, and gets letters from incarcerated people and their loved ones as part of his work. "The letters are desperate," he tells me in today's new episode. One person who reached to him was a woman we're calling Dana. Her husband, "John," is currently at Sing Sing, and while they talk almost every day, not being able to see him has taken a toll on her. "The anxiety level that I've reached has me physically ill," she told me, "because I don't know if he's really okay."

Your Stories: How Do You Donate?
We hear about money a lot in our inbox—and often, your questions and reflections are about how to make decisions about giving it away. That's something that's top of mind for many of us right now, including a listener named Rachel who wrote us last week:
"Today, I was thinking about how people are making choices about giving money to charity in these obviously very complicated times. I'm 34, a millennial, which means that for a couple weeks now my social media is (happily) inundated with posts about which Black Lives Matter/bail funds/similar charities my peers have been donating to, or which ones they think their viewers should donate to. Between those very serious needs, and the infinite charitable causes related to the pandemic, the LGBTQIA+ services that are extra relevant now because it's Pride and because the Trump administration just rolled back protections [for transgender people]....it's always a challenge to decide how much and where best to apply money, but this is next level. Not to mention how many of us (me included!) are on unemployment at the moment.
 
I'll admit that one extra reason I am curious about how people are making those financial choices is that for years, I have done research, chosen charities I care about, and made annual donations. There are maybe around 20 or so, and I inevitably add one or two a year. I don't make tons of money, about $65 or $70k in Los Angeles, but I do well enough to live comfortably and contributing to those causes are a priority. I don't talk about it, but I also don't hear my peers ever talk about those kinds of choices outside flash-point moments like this (or maybe a Planned Parenthood t-shirt).
 
I want to know! How are people thinking about this right now? And how is that different from The Before Times?"
 
—Rachel, 34, CA
We're curious too! Tell us how you're thinking about giving money away, and if that's changed in the past six months: deathsexmoney@wnyc.org

Listen to This: Audio We Love

If you missed it when it came out on Father's Day, definitely listen to writer Carvell Wallace read his recent New York Times Magazine essay about parenting on The Daily's Sunday Read. It's both intricately specific about his family and sweeping about the built-in tensions of caring for and being honest with your kids. 

And if you want to listen to something completely delightful that has nothing to do with the news, Thirst Aid Kit is back with a new season—and their first episode is a lusty (socially-distanced) romp with actor Jason Mantzoukas! Tune in to hear about the imaginary rom com Jason wants to star in (a cross between Must Love Dogs and Sleepless In Seattle), his crush on Emma Thompson, and how he only learned the definition of "thirst trap" last year. 

"I have listened to DSM since the very first episode so it's about damn time I become a monthly supporter! Thank you all very much for curating stories and conversations that matter."
—Jessica, Utah

Join Jessica in supporting our work at Death, Sex & Money!
Donate now at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
Coming next week: your stories about missing contact during the pandemic.
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