St. Pete native Nackie Karcher came home when her Brooklyn salon closed to coronavirus

From Sandra Döhnert Bourne’s ‘I Miss Us’ photo essay.

click to enlarge St. Pete native Nackie Karcher came home when her Brooklyn salon closed to coronavirus
Sandra Döhnert Bourne


Nackie Karcher was born and raised in St. Pete, but lived in Brooklyn with her family for the last 17 years. They came home on March 20 to shelter in place when her hair salon, Karcher, was forced to close. Read our Q&A below.

How have the last five or six weeks changed you as a parent?

We have realized how important a community is when raising kids. The saying "It takes a village" really rings true for us. There is no doubt that we as parents are and should be the biggest influence on our children's lives, but their teachers and friends truly create a balance and outlet for their emotions.

Editor’s note: This portrait is part of Sandra Döhnert Bourne’s “I Miss Us, St. Pete: A social distance photo essay from afar.” Get links the the full photo essay and more Q&As here.

If your kids are school-aged and have to e-learn—how’s it going? Any tips or questions about being more effective homeschool parents?

We have close friends that have been very successful homeschooling their two incredible kids. In this process we have gained even more respect for them, but it is not accurate to call what we are doing homeschooling. It's more like we are assisting the public school system in teaching our kids remotely. We got off to a good start with our second grader. I think he enjoyed the independence and additional screen time, but the more well versed he became on the little chromebook he is using, the more likely we are to find him searching YouTube for Minecraft videos and other online distractions. Unfortunately, the NY public schools portal does not function with parental controls on, so we have to stay vigilant. The biggest challenge is of course trying to get any work done while this is happening. And for some reason during this process, both of our children require food every three minutes to survive; it's ridiculous.

How are you talking to your kids about the coronavirus?

Our three-year-old is not too affected. Our seven-year-old is having a hard time through this. He truly understands enough about the dangers to know better, but still doesn't have the ability to regulate his emotions when he can't hang out with other kids.  He is at that age of his life. He’s starting to define who he is and what he will become. It’s upside down. We just keep saying this is hard for ALL of us.

What do you miss the most from the “before” time?

We miss our friends the most. We miss hugging them and socializing with them.

Did you pick up any new good habits or practices that you hope to carry into the post-coronavirus world we’re about to enter?

We have really tried to gain each other's attention by placing a hand on the person we are trying to communicate with instead of saying their name 100 times.

Is there any silver lining to being quarantined?

The silver lining in this is that we are all in this together. Most people have chosen life over financial gain and that gives a little hope for humanity. It appears that the planet is giving us signs that the quarantine is making a difference.

What worries you the most about our lives going forward?

The world is going to be forever changed after this. I think it's still too soon to think about going forward. While we are all in a holding pattern for the future if we can remain in the present it will help us stay grounded and ease into that future with a little grace.

Do you have a message for kids and parents in the greater Tampa Bay area?

Connect. Eye contact. Listen. Be present. We need each other. Watch the plants grow. Plant a garden. Bird watch together. Be kind and grateful.

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About The Authors

Sandra Dohnert

Sandrasonik's Photography and Digital Art Work is driven by outstanding proposals, projects, causes and people.Photographer, Singer, Songwriter, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Documentary Film Maker, product creator designer & manufacturer and a really good cook - Sandra Dohnert - founder of (Sandrasonik Creative)...

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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