I thought we all needed a break from everything coronavirus-related. I envisioned a post titled “A post that is utterly not about COVID-19” and sat down to brainstorm.
I came up with literally nothing.
Every single thing in my and pretty much everyone’s life right now has somehow been tinged with the effects of the coronavirus on this society.
I donated to Planned Parenthood. But it was in reaction to an email about how states are using stay-at-home orders to block access to abortions.
I can’t talk about donating to charity in general without referencing the heightened need due to many Americans’ financial crises, which are due in large part to COVID-19 concerns.
I can’t talk about spending time with my mom without mentioning that she’s here because I was starting to lose it due to isolation from social distancing.
I can’t mention that I’m saving money on going out. Because it’s caused solely by social distancing.
I can’t provide more humorous modern dating stories because I’m off the apps for now. Because what’s the point?
I can’t mention that I’m well-stocked on food. Because it’s due to my becoming a half-assed prepper (and stocking up further when Mom got here) in preparation for coronavirus-related panic-buying.
I can’t talk about saving money without touching on the fact that many people are without income or are on unemployment. All because so many businesses are shutting down to avoid coronavirus spreading. (Or because customers are avoiding unnecessary trips to mitigate exposure, thereby lowering profits to the point that stores can’t afford to stay open.)
I can’t talk about a budget without saying that Americans need it now more than ever — because so many of them aren’t working. Because of the pandemic.
I can’t talk about an emergency fund without again touching on the fact that many Americans are facing a very dire situation now that coronavirus concerns have shut down so many businesses (hopefully temporarily).
I can’t talk about the importance of retirement savings without alluding to the recent stock market dips — and how more are almost certainly coming — brought about by the uncertainty of a pandemic.
I can’t talk about how to avoid spending money without mentioning that most people aren’t doing it anyway. Because they’re at home and can’t go to stores and/or don’t have the money to spend.
I can’t talk about frugal activities without mentioning that it’s necessary to create a comprehensive list so you and the family you’re isolated with (because of the spread of coronavirus) can avoid killing one another.
I can’t talk about my renter or investing in rental properties without acknowledging that a lot of people may default on their rent.
I can’t talk about my trivia team or hanging out with friends because we’re not doing that. (And if we do it’ll be virtual hangouts.) Because we can’t get together. Because social distancing. Because coronavirus.
I can’t even talk about the rise in streaming services without saying that Americans are relying on them now more than ever, as they’re isolated in their homes. And they’re isolated because they’re trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.
I can’t talk about smartphones without probably referencing FaceTime calls, which are apparently vital to simulate in-person interaction for people isolating all alone. Because social distancing is required to flatten the curve.
Nor can I talk about social media without saying that far more people are on it now or people who previously lurked on Facebook (myself included) are now posting on their timelines about the difficulties/adjustments that coronavirus-caused isolation requires. And the platforms are seeing a huge outpouring of love and support for medical professionals on the front lines, risking their lives without proper equipment.
I can’t talk about anxiety or depression without referencing isolation and/or just general fears about getting sick.
And I sure as hell can’t talk about travel.
Literally, the only non-COVID related posts I can do right now would be about how much I’m able to bank this month. Because I still have my job. But my financial month isn’t done yet. So that isn’t an option right now.
So what’s the lesson here, kids?
The effects of this pandemic cannot and should not be minimized. Our whole lives have been affected by them. For most of us, they’ve been more or less consumed by them.
It sucks. A lot.
It sucks even more as people run around ignoring the guidelines for social distancing. (Yes, I realize there is some irony/hypocrisy in that statement given my initial plan for the pandemic. But even then I was social distancing more than a lot of people. And I have changed my plan.)
It’s terrifying as there are shortages of medical and cleaning supplies for households — and even shortages of food staples (or the money to pay for the food needed).
Also, most of us fear for the life of at least one person we know. And are freaked out that, if they do have to go into the hospital, we can’t visit them for support — and may not get a chance to say goodbye if it worse comes to worst.
Plus if you’re anything like me, you hate and are stressed out that medical professionals aren’t getting the equipment they need to save lives and protective equipment to safeguard themselves.
So yeah, this is a anxiety-filled, depressing time. Normally I’d urge you to seek out mental health professionals, but I’m not sure it’s even possible to find a one accepting new clients at this time.
I guess what I’m saying is this: Things are awful.
Yes, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. This will end at some point, as people keep telling us (with the idea that this is somehow helpful rather than annoying).
But we don’t know when that will be, and it’s extended further and further as the people ignore basic precautions. Which is stressful, frustrating and anxiety-generating.
Honestly, I have no real advice for you. Except to vent as needed in the comments below.
Tell me how you’re holding up. Tell how you’re not holding up. Tell me your fears, that you want to kill loved ones even as you need to hold them closer than ever, and/or that you miss the people you can’t visit and are most afraid for.
Tell me whatever you need to get off your chest.
Because I think too many of us are holding it in or making jokes to mask real fear and pain. Too many of us are obsessing about other things — I’ve done deep dives into two interpersonal relationships’ issues that merited some, but not that much scrutiny — to avoid thinking too hard about how scary and awful the threat of coronavirus has become.
So yeah, people, let it out. Because our lives are riddled with the effects of the pandemic. And trying to focus on the fact that eventually everything will be okay… It’s not good for most people. Not if they’re bottling up/ compartmentalizing all of their fear and anxiety and stress.
It’s gotta go somewhere, folks. It may as well be in the comments below.