The Pandemic is Exhausting
Seven months. That’s how long it has been since the pandemic was declared, and I felt every minute of it.
Seven months of social distancing, mask-wearing, and Google Duo chats instead of visits to family. I was telling someone today, “I just want to eat in a restaurant — indoors — and then go see a new movie in a theater.” It doesn’t sound like a big ask, but I can’t. I’m stuck in my home.
I feel like a kid in the backseat, yelling, “Are we there yet?”
We are not there yet.
In the U.S., we are still in a holding pattern. In March, when I had to pack up to work from home for the first time, I thought that we’d be back in two weeks. Three or four, max. I couldn’t have predicted that I still work some days at home in October. Or that Halloween would be canceled: trick-or-treating is banned in a lot of areas, over concerns about spreading the virus.
I’m now looking at holiday plans, and most of the family agreed that we should not meet to have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together.
I’m also getting a little sick of masks. I understand the need for masks, and I always wear mine out in public. I haven’t had a cold in 10 months, which I think is a lifetime record, so that’s a benefit. But it can be exhausting to worry about washing my masks, and having them slide off my face. My acne is out of control, and I have a prescription cream for it, but I keep forgetting to use it.
My cat also drives me crazy when I’m trying to type or study. He runs around going, “Meow, meow, MEOW! MEOW!” and it’s like trying to soothe a baby. “Do you need food? No, your dish is full. Attention? Hm, I am playing with you at this moment but you are not interested. Do you need pats? Ah, yes that is it.” I used to be able to type in libraries. Remember those days?
When the pandemic first started, my biggest worry was running out of food. I never bought into the toilet paper scare, but my supermarket had some seriously empty shelves. There were times when I couldn’t find flour or carrots. But I got through. Now, like I said, I’m just craving a restaurant meal (inside, where bees don’t try to drink my beverage) where someone cleans up the dishes after me. That sounds like heaven.
It’s also zero fun to have to stop and get my temperature checked when I have to go into work, and not really have a lunch break, because the break room is closed. Having 30 minutes of peace makes a big difference in my levels of sanity.
I know I could have much, much more to complain about. Many people lost their lives! I know over a dozen people who died of Covid-19, and many others who got sick.
Many people lost their jobs. Companies went bankrupt. I know some people who had to quit their jobs because daycare was closed. There are economic problems that are going to haunt people for years.
There’s also the massive issue of racism and police brutality. It seems insane to me that in 2020, people are still in danger based on the color of their skin. Yet, that’s the sad reality we live in, and we need to continue fighting for change.
It makes me furious when people support this presidential administration, which refuses to listen to science, allow another stimulus, or do basically anything at all to help people. Which reminds me: I need to go fill in my mail-in ballot.
I know that if my biggest problems are having to cook at home, wash a mask, and deal with a manic cat, I’m insanely privileged. Still, I’m longing for some normalcy, like being able to watch the new James Bond movie and hide in library stacks for a few hours. Is that too much to ask for? Yes, apparently so.
I’d type more about this, but I just saw my cat wander in, and he needs some pats. At least someone’s benefiting from the pandemic.