Many of us have been in one spot for the last several weeks. But that hasn’t stopped me from feeling utterly and completely lost. Those dark feelings I am so used to feeling have lingered longer and heavier with each day that passes.
The logic that resides so deeply within wants me to believe that movement and fresh air will help things drift along with more pleasant ease. But that hasn’t been enough encouragement for me to actually do much about it.
Old habits, bad habits, have crept back in my routine. New habits, good habits, have lost their appeal. And in all of it I have neglected so many things.
Three times, over the last several weeks, I have sat down to collect my thoughts in some organized enough fashion to post. Three times I have disallowed myself to express my thoughts in an unholy mess. Three times I have let my draft sit so long without saving that it simply disappears into the ether, unable to be retrieved tangibly or mentally.
It has been so very hard for me to hold my tongue. I have been so put off by society’s reaction to the current state of the world. So disappointed. And if you know me or have paused here for a moment, you will already know that I do not have a hard on for humanity. In fact, to say it makes me flaccid is being overly generous.
The point here isn’t to poke fun.
While there have been some moments of genuine niceness in the world, the truth is there have been some pretty horrid displays of what we humans are capable of and just how entitled we feel.
Which says to me, the real pandemic is stupidity, a virus born out of the sheer and utter ignorance that is the human condition.
What we do now will be our history, our legacy will be what we leave behind, and I find that quite troubling.
Panic! At the Costco
When all of the pandemic news first landed in North America, people went bonkers for shit tickets. It befuddled me. And I could not understand the position of their priorities.
They all ran to the stores and bought toilet paper. They all lined up en masse to buy toilet paper. They pushed, shoved and injured each other for toilet paper.
In fact, the last time I stepped in to a grocery store I witnessed a woman rip a box from a store clerk’s hand and proceed to empty it’s entire contents – 6 packages of TOILET PAPER – into her shopping cart. I was too far to step in and say something. Those closer to the situation simply stood there as the clerk retrieved the empty box from the ground, visibly shaken.
And that particular obsession has held for weeks. Those shelves remain bare on most grocery stores and that precious TP is often handed out by store clerks and limited to one package per family.
From the beginning I have been unable to process the fear based, unnecessary hoarding. It created (and continues to create) more problems than it has solved.
Like everyone who ran out and bought all the alcohol wipes. Why? Do you know how many T1Ds (and others dependent on them) that I know who were unable to find alcohol wipes for weeks? Your irrational purchasing means we cannot prep and clean our sites properly! So in addition to Covid-19 we can also now fear sepsis. Thanks!
And it is a shining example of human greed. And entitlement.
That, and the fuckers selling stuff in parking lots.
We are all facing uncertainty. And instead of banding together people have carved deep lines in the sand. People have put themselves so far ahead of others that they are endangering the population.
The Hard Right Decisions
Just before the suggestions to self isolate became widespread, I made my last trip out to the grocery store and cancelled a visit from my niece. We had not seen her since the winter holidays and she was supposed to stay with us for a few days.
But instead of picking her up, I had to explain to her in a video chat why it wasn’t safe.
And it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. She cried. A lot. And it broke my fucking heart.
It was the right decision and I stand by it.
Since then it has been suggested only one member of each household leave to run essential errands. Once a week. My husband’s employer is considered essential. So he continues to go to work. And given my immunocompromised state, he argued that he also be the errand runner.
It has been incredibly stressful. And I feel horrible for him. He severely dislikes being referred to as an essential worker and is plagued with anxiety. Not only does he risk his safety each day he goes to work, where he serves an outrageously abusive public and attempts to comfort terrified employees, but he carries the stress of bringing sickness home. To me. To our young son. To his elderly mother.
I do not envy him. I am grateful and proud every day that he walks out the door, then horrified every day when he comes home. Broken and beaten. Telling tales of disgusting displays of rapacity and idiocy.
And the litter! HO-LY FUCK! If wearing a mask and gloves makes you feel more comfortable, you do you buddy. But don’t fucking ditch that shit in the parking lot beside your car before you get in and drive away – honestly, what the fuck is wrong with people?
Nothing I have heard or seen of humanity has surprised me. But not much as impressed me much. Nor has it done anything positive for my mental health.
New World Normal
The current state of things has meant a lot of changes for a lot of people. And has resulted in a lot of complaining. Some of which has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And found me having to put some social media distance between myself and others.
It really bothered me how upset folks were to have their children home with them. I do realize that it likely means they are also not working or now working from home, and with that comes additional stress, but the amount of disgruntled posts and memes about being home with kids really got to me.
For starters, I have worked from home and homeschooled for quite some time. So this is my normal. My own anxiety makes being at home a better option for me but it also meant a significant decrease in our family income. It also offered the chance to give our son a healthier environment in which to learn.
It also made me think of all the folks I know who are desperate to be parents and those in the middle of IVF cycles. I don’t think any of them would complain about the opportunity to spend time with their child.
And why the fuck did you have kids? How would they feel if they could read your posts and jokes about how you think it fucking sucks to have them there with you?
Those little humans are scared, even if you think they have no clue what’s going on, and their world is suddenly much different. They didn’t ask to be here…
It also bothered me how many people felt it an affront to be asked to be safe at home. How blessed to be given the opportunity to stay safe, to keep your family safe. There are so many folks out there putting themselves in harm’s way so you can do that.
And all that complaining shows a complete disregard for those who struggle to leave the house on a good day. Before all of this I was encumbered by mental and physical difficulties that makes outings hugely hard.
Even visiting friends gives me tremendous anxiety. And an unexpected errand is often times crippling. Phone calls and video chats overwhelm me and leave me physically spent upon completion.
Our differences are not lost on me. And I understand everyone deals with things in their own way, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of others. Continue to post jokes. Gripe and complain if you need to. But be thoughtful before you do so.
Physical distancing is taking its toll on millions of people. It is going to affect the mental health of everyone, especially those working the frontlines and those already struggling.
Even though I wasn’t an eager going-out-er, I do miss the anonymity of a wander through an antique market or a quiet coffee in the park. My health concerns are also heightened. Numerous chronic illnesses have me severely immunocompromised and that has left me absolutely petrified of out there…
And, if you are on social media at all you will see that a lot of people have a lot more free time. And if you are like me, that can create a huge hazard. It isn’t that it distracts me but it detracts my confidence. Setting off all my triggers.
Seriously, I don’t want to join your fucking weight loss program! I’m not looking to change my lifestyle by exercising more now that I have all this extra time. And I don’t need coupons and sales, I don’t want to buy anything…fuck off!
I felt forced to create some massive distance on Twitter and deleted my account. Apparently opinions are disallowed if they are not inline with the masses. And while my comment received more activity than anything I had EVER posted, the influx of nasty comments and messages was beyond overwhelming. So I flew the coop.
If you find yourself comparing your current actions to others STOP! To those of you already struggling (like me), you are not a failure if you haven’t joined a virtual gym, learned a new language, built something or cleaned everything in your house. It’s okay.
And fuck, if you’re like me and your greatest accomplishment ends up being a rally that gets you into the shower after three days, BRAV-FUCKING-O. Cheers to you!
The truth is, I have found it incredibly difficult to hold a consistent opinion or thought recently. My entire thought process seems to be ever-changing. Like the virus itself, this situation is evolving at a rapid pace. I want to say it was/is writer’s block but I honestly think my mental health wasn’t in the right place to put forth anything.
And just because you’re having a hard time being positive or finding optimism doesn’t mean you are a bad person. And it doesn’t mean that living in to your fear and anxiety makes you a patron of negativity.
It means you’re fucking human.
We are all in the same boat, but we are not weathering the same storm. To some this is an inconvenient sprinkle. For others it’s a hurricane. Understand the difference.