This essay was first published in our semi-weekly newsletter, Climate in the Time of Coronavirus, which you can subscribe to here.
I am an introvert. I prefer calm, minimally stimulating environments. I feel drained after interacting with other people. I recharge my energy by spending time alone. At least, this was the case pre-COVID-19.
Now, I not only participate in but find myself sustained by “virtual happy hour” events. One of these, a two-hour gathering that takes place at the same time every Friday evening, is particularly nourishing. It’s a group of African-American women —although we have invited a few men into the space —with a shared passion for environmental issues and environmental justice. We are scientists, lawyers, directors, program officers, vice presidents, deans, urban planners, and more. Our experience ranges from newly starting out to recently retired. When we get together, none of those differences matter. We weren’t all acquainted before the pandemic — but that doesn’t matter, either. We are all in this together.
Most Thursdays, I feel like I am too stressed or disheartened or angry or frustrated or fearful (or any number of negative ... Read more