"As an industry, there’s a lot of talk about inclusivity. But we figured we can do better when it comes to putting our money where our hearts are."

El mensaje que sigue es en español

Dear TRENDS diary,

My name is Jose Garcia Madrid and I am the LGBTQ Program Coordinator for OUT Boulder County. When the pandemic started, some of the groups inside the LGBTQ community, which is very diverse, were more affected than others. For example, before COVID, the transgender community was already struggling to find and keep a job, mainly because of discrimination. The pandemic only made the problem worse.

During the crisis, we noticed that many people of color from the LGBTQ community could not access the stimulus checks from the government, for various reasons such as immigration status or being undocumented.

We also found out through a survey that the participants' mental health had been negatively affected by the pandemic and even more so with the elections.


Dear TRENDS Diary,

As a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Colorado-Boulder, and a member of the CU employee union, it’s difficult trying to figure out how to help people in the most effective way possible.

The Union right now is mostly graduate workers, because it started as the graduate student union, but we’ve been branching out and now have teaching faculty and members of staff.

We have several working groups: the COVID working group, the antiracism working group, and an international working goup. When the university shut down in March, we began trying to craft a response to various university policies and trying to figure out a strategy for how to best use our membership and our power to respond.

We have a list of demands, which involve things like hazard pay for any worker who is required to be on campus. We said that anyone who was able to do their job off campus was to be allowed to do so, without any reduction in compensation. We demanded an increase in on-campus testing for faculty and staff. We got that, which is good.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

I’m a 45-year-old, married father of two. I go on long bike rides almost every day from our Boulder home. Lots of my friends are curious how someone as healthy as me got COVID, and why it lasted so long. My wife and I and our kids were careful. Yet, I’m the one who got sick.

Truth is, I have no idea how I got it. But I got it all right.

It started with a 103-degree fever that wouldn’t break. Then it turned into a shortness of breath. In all, I had a pretty severe case for almost two months.

I realized at some point that I wasn’t going to get better anytime soon. Now, more than 200 days later, I’m 98% back to normal, but I still experience tightness in my chest, which is disconcerting. I’ve realized I need to treat this like I’m in physical therapy.

If it weren’t for my incredible wife who was able to take over, care for our kids, and bring me food as I convalesced upstairs, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. I really think about people going through this who don’t have such support. That would be really, really hard.