Roy Gilbert

A Pandemic Friendship Emerges Into the Sun

www.theatlantic.com

“It was very scary last summer … So I’m going to make the most of every relationship.” Wenjia Tang Each installment of “ The Friendship Files ” features a conversation between The Atlantic ’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.

This week she talks to two women who struck up a friendship in summer 2020 and started walking miles together every day. They discuss the difficulty they had making friends after moving to their town, how meeting during the pandemic led them to get close quickly, and what it’s like when a friendship born in quarantine starts to emerge into “normal” life. The Friends:

Cathy Kendall, 63, a retired writer who lives in Longview, Washington
Yeni Woodall, 48, a school counselor who lives in Longview, Washington This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Julie Beck: How did you meet?

Cathy Kendall: I had all these irises that I had brought with me here from California. But they weren’t doing well, because it was too shaded. So I decided to put them up on Nextdoor and just give them away. She answered my ad. She was actually the only person who showed up on time. I think we talked for almost an hour that first day. What we first connected on was the fact that it’s hard to make friends here. The Northwest chill is a real thing. People tend to be reserved and insular, especially in Washington. […]

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