Week 63


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Big Dances in our heads and visible smiles on our faces!

#JusticeinPimaCounty: Week 63

Breaking Bread

Unlike many kinds of County agencies, most workers here at PCAO never went home to telecommute when the world shut down exactly two years ago.

It wasn’t possible.

In a paper-driven office, and with the pace of the criminal justice system, PCAO employees stayed right where they were, in a 20-floor, ancient, crumbling tower, and hoped for the best.

They masked up for hours and hours at a time, and, they ate their lunches alone behind closed doors. 

It was a long, long two years.

The powers-that-be in Pima County lifted the two-year-old mask mandate on Friday, March 11 and when word went out by email at 8:17 a.m., my Comms Director C.T. Revere said he felt like the most popular person in the building.

Within minutes, his inbox was flooded with celebration messages – “SWWEEEETTT!!!” and “Wonderful news CT!” – for this moment that was so longed for.

These are dedicated public servants; by the time I arrived in 2021, they were accustomed to putting health first for everyone, and I heard nary a complaint about the masking.

But this spring, workers began to ask for a simple, beautiful, timeless gift: the chance to break bread together. They just wanted to start having lunch again. 

New PCAO employee Mary Jacobs flashes a Friday smile at lunchtime.

This has been our best week yet.  There are some who are still masking, and they are respected and honored for the choice they make, but most are unmasked and glowing in the ability to smile at each other again.

Alex – a Superior Court courier – enjoys sharing an elevator with not one, but two PCAO staffers – Joseph Rick and Thomas New
Anali Pelayo enjoys a mask-free Friday at her desk

We cannot know how long the moment will last.  We cannot know if the next viral ingenuity will send us back behind masks.

But for now, there was a magic that swept through this mid-century gem of a building this week.  Like finding a pot of gold under a rainbow.

To be continued…


Laura Conover

Laura Conover

Pima County Attorney