This might just be it. I am pretty sure it is. I have some fairly hard evidence to back up my claim, too.
Yes, the more I contemplate, the surer I am.
This was the week that broke us all.
I thought perhaps it was only me. My legions of Facebook and Instagram cohorts, however, have proven me wrong. This week nearly everyone I know, to varying degrees, lost their shit. Some rather epically.
A friend who is a teacher is killing herself teaching and supporting and loving and understanding and adapting and morphing and creating and connecting with her students (6th graders…so, um, yuk) and had a total meltdown…during a Zoom faculty meeting.
Another lost it whilst sitting in the parking lot of her supermarket, having been traumatized by the disregard of social distancing of fellow shoppers. And the fact that they had no name brand toilet paper. Truth be told, it might have been the toilet paper that truly set her off, but let’s give her the social distancing.
Yet another became apoplectic because her incredibly sweet, adorable, and highly cooperative three year old has become Satan -I think only at bedtime, but does it matter…Satan is Satan – which, I could make a case for, is definitely related to this fucking pandemic.
Another pal, one who works (well worked is more accurate, more on that in a second) in a hospital where, one could argue, stress levels are even higher than stratospheric, had the audacity to use her kick-ass sense of humor – and perhaps a smidge of sarcasm – in an attempt to lighten the burden of the insanity of working in a hospital during a fucking pandemic only to find herself on the wrong end of a boss who, also buckling under the pressure, couldn’t take it and, um, fired her.
And my sweet friend, the one who is kind, patient, understanding, calm, and gentle, reported to me that, upon spying some schmucks enjoying 18 holes on the closed golf course not only called out to them that the course was closed, but called them assholes. Okay, she yelled at them that they were assholes. And then burst into tears.
Then there are the kids, especially the teenagers who, nearly to a person, have had more than enough family time, are desperately missing their peers, are bemused and perplexed by the new way in which they are expected to learn, and actually need contact with people who do not share their last name. Same for the parents, actually. I’d give my left arm to hang with someone who didn’t share my, my husband’s or my ex-husband’s name. Truth.
For my part, I spent the better part of the past three days crying. No, not crying. Sobbing. Convulsing. Choking on spit. Dry heaving. #goodtimes.
Since I do not watch or listen to the news anymore, or, for that matter, read anything other than Buzzfeed, Daily Mail and light fiction (okay, and death notices), I am not sure how long this fucking pandemic has been going on. I might have accidentally heard or read that it has been about six weeks. Based on that assumption, I am going to assert that six weeks is how long it takes to set someone completely off their axis. Amiright?
Yes, I have every single thing I need. I have (an abundance) of food, (an ample) supply of wine, (generally) agreeable roommates (when they aren’t being assholes), work to do, puzzles to solve, books to read, recipes to try (currently baking my second challah…hoping this one isn’t quite as brick-like as the last one), shows to binge (hello, “Big Little Lies”), movies to watch, walks to take (averaging 5-10 miles a day), and jeans that still fit. I have nothing to complain about. But I will.
This fucking pandemic is getting to me. I miss people. I miss eating out. I miss going to the movies by myself in the middle of the day. I miss spending $2.86 on a hit or miss cup of hot coffee. I miss my boxing class and the people I punch with. I miss asking the guy at the deli counter to slice it somewhere between thin and not too thin. I miss having my nails done by someone other than me. I miss seeing the kids and my colleagues at the school I work at. I miss wasting an entire afternoon at Barnes & Noble. I miss being able to go to the market for two things (which winds up being more than two things) without having to HazMat up. I miss not having to wash my groceries before they come in the house. I miss seeing my son and brother who are so close yet so far away. I miss feeling any need to swipe on mascara. And lipstick? Who needs lipstick under those godforsaken masks. (Aside: am I the only one who often forgets to breathe while wearing said mask? I seriously do that. Wha??)
I haven’t cried yet today. I might. In fact, there is an excellent chance I will. It might be warranted, it might not. It doesn’t really matter, though…it’s not like anyone is going to see me.
Fucking pandemics are lonely, even if you are among people you (mostly) love.
Fucking pandemics are isolating, even if you are FaceTiming, Zooming and old school Skyping.
Fucking pandemics are in no way normal. There is nothing normal about either a virus floating around looking for victims or the behaviors they demand of us. Not. One. Thing.
Fucking pandemics are scary. Seriously – going to the market or CVS makes my heart race. In fact, it wasn’t until this week that I was brave enough to do either. Hmmm, perhaps there is a correlation between being a consumer in the age of Covid and simultaneously losing it. Coincidence? Methinks not.
Fucking pandemics prove one thing and one thing only: no one has any control over anything ever. Despite what one of my children might say, I am actually not (normally) a control freak. These times, however, I am grasping at any kind of (totally perceived and ultimately false) control I can muster. It’s not working.
Everyone is caving under the pressure. Okay, maybe not everyone, but I certainly am.
Stay strong, brothers and sisters.
Stay healthy, y’all.
Stay as connected as humanly possible, people.
This is going to end. And then we will all have to adjust, yet again, to a life that bears little resemblance to the one we’ve known. Should be fun…