When Covid Ruined Climate Week

Covid-19 is in New York during Climate Week. Anyone else worried?

When Covid Ruined Climate Week
Tens of thousands took to the streets Sunday for the Climate March. Photograph by Pamela Elizarraras Acitores / Instagram

LISTENING: to my cat's little collar bell ring
FEELING: the covid blues
SEEING: my tissues pile up before me

Guess what? Covid-19 finally got me. After three years of terrorizing New York City, the coronavirus hit home. Up until now, I had never tested positive for the virus.

The timing really blows. It's Climate Week in New York City. I'm sitting here thinking about all that would have been possible if our government would've adequately addressed Covid-19 from the jump. Would it still be creeping into our lives, forcing us into isolation? Would it still be killing hundreds a week?

Welcome to Possibilities, a creative climate newsletter on the possibilities that lie where crisis meets community. Iā€™m Yessenia Funes, only the latest person you know to come down with the virus.

This week, I had two speaking engagements I had to cancel and one story that had to be killed. I had more reporting scheduled, as well as plans with friends and prospective editors. I'll have to miss teaching this week and providing my class with feedback on assignments.

I've missed out on thousands of dollars worth of work, but there's no paid sick leave for freelancers like me. Just our own grind and determination.

I'm grateful that Covid-19 hasn't taken more than work away from me. On Sept. 9, some 500 people died that week due to the virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All I've lost are gigs. I wonder how the virus will continue to spread globally after Climate Week where thousands have come from different countries and regions.

These moments and events are important because they bring us together to talk about climate policy and our planet's future. They recharge us with joy. In the age of Covid-19, however, gatherings like these can also be dangerous and deadly for our immune-compromised or elderly. In 2021, I wrote about fears that COP26 would become a superspreader event. It seems many of us have abandoned those fears.

In the photos of the Climate March Sunday, I saw few people wearing masks. The same goes for other events that have been happening all week. And I don't blame anyone ā€” I wasn't wearing my mask before I got sick, either. I'm no one to judge. After getting hit, though, I know I've got to buy more masks so I'm protected while I'm out on the subway or on campus. It's also time for me to get my booster.

Anyway, this is a good time to upgrade your free membership. In times like these, the earnings from Possibilities can go a long way for me. I'd love to keep the newsletter going long-term, but I need my readers' support.

Will you consider upgrading your membership today? šŸŒ€

Rest in Power

I'm unfortunately too sick to gather these horrific numbers this week. Next week's will be thorough.

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