Jump to content

How’s late pandemic life treating you?


Recommended Posts

I have been having these crazy vivid dreams lately. All of them involve getting away somehow - running away from someone, or traveling. So, definitely stress dreams and definitely about feeling cooped up, so I was wondering if we’re all having weird dreams at this point?

 Or what else have you noticed that you think might be a universal at this point?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than increased anxiety, dwindling respect for a growing number of people, and disillusionment with all aspects of "productive" life?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cerina said:

Other than increased anxiety, dwindling respect for a growing number of people, and disillusionment with all aspects of "productive" life?

This x 1000

Link to post
Share on other sites

I kinda hate to be the guy, but lately, things have been good. There's still the ever present existential dread and depression that comes and goes intermittently, the frustration of home schooling, and as Reese said the dwindling respect for humanity in general. Those things are still there and probably won't go away even if things magically went back to normal tomorrow.

But I mean. We've paid off the majority of our debt and the rest will be gone once we get the next stimulus payment. We've taken care of a lot of other big purchases we've been needing, AND we now have a savings, which we kinda haven't had, ever. The kids are growing and while there are a lot of growing pains there (when isn't there, though), they're smart and learning a lot and really good kids. We're talking about a trip this summer, to somewhere different, f the pandemic will allow it. My health has been improving, slower than I'd like but I'm putting in a lot of work toward it and it feels good (usually--working out isn't ever actually fun). I'm 99% done with my book, just need to finish the final read through, which will be done in another week or two. I've picked up a lot of difficult to find pieces for my GI Joe collection, which is getting fairly sizable. My cat is finally starting to tolerate my existence and is letting me pet her sometimes.

I dunno. The whole world definitely sucks. I could find a lot to complain about in my personal life if I wanted to. But I DON'T want to, which is a little unusual for me. It's pretty amazing how much just lifting the debt off our shoulders has really really changed things.

Feel free to flame me to death for being optimistic. Believe me I know how fucking annoying it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dammit, Jacob!  I was going to be that guy, but you just had to beat me to it.

In all seriousness, though, a lot of the work we have been doing is finally paying off, both with our jobs and in some aspects of our personal lives.  I still need to get in much better shape, but I feel like I will be ale to actually really focus on doing that better with research and teaching going better and immigration issues being hopefully done with for a few years, at least.  Since my parents and I are fully vaccinated and my wife being just over a month from being so, too, we are hoping to be able to travel to meet up with my parents this summer.  I'm sure that will do a lot of good for all of us.

I agree completely with Jacob and Reese having less confidence in and/or respect for how so many other people out there treat others and really hope that stuff starts improving for everyone soon.  We are just trying to do the best we can with ourselves and our friends and loved ones.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cerina said:

dwindling respect for a growing number of people

I feel this deep in my soul.

3 hours ago, Darth Krawlie said:

It's pretty amazing how much just lifting the debt off our shoulders has really really changed things.

I am actually super happy for you on this. Enjoy your newfound emotional bandwidth! 

Things are getting a little better but I'm also getting impatient for things to open up. I totally get that its going to take vaccines to make that happen so can we please get some shots in arms?

I really want to travel because I need to get out of this house. I want to see my dad. I want to go on adventures with my kids. (Taking off work for spring break so we can at least do that locally. Pray for good weather.) That's the sort of normalcy I'm looking for. It would be nice to get coffee or go out to dinner or breakfast. Go for a run with my running friends. I am really looking forward to meeting outdoors with my Girl Scout troop starting in April. And please God can my son be in school 5 days a week? This is such a lost year for social skills for him. And I really want to put him in a soccer program but since its at an indoor facility, I need people vaccinated to feel comfortable with that. I wish there was a well-run outdoor program for beginners but there isn't. We tried to put him in taekwondo but he refused.

Speaking of losing faith in humanity, I am so glad our soccer club told the state soccer association to go pound sand when they tried to milk us for an end of year tournament that was a blatant money grab. I have never been so disappointed in youth sports as this year. It is clear that pay-to-play is about lining pockets, not about development. Part of me wants to opt-out but I'm also going to lose my shit with the badly-run volunteer model. So I'm basically paying for convenience and the significantly higher level of play. You win, stupid pay-to-play.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not struggling to breathe and forced to use my nebulizer 4 times a day anymore. I got a new job where I feel good. I’m getting the first vaccine shot on Saturday, so we’re getting closer to being able to relax a little bit more. It’ll still be a long time before I’m going to be in enclosed spaces with people, or be unmasked around people, but it’s closer. 
 

Early pandemic was exciting until it reached April and we were still in bad shape and then I feel like time had no meaning for a long time. It was hard to see how depressed I was, even tracking my mood. But a lot of that was work. My previous employer did everything wrong, and my boss was a nightmare. I was actually starting to have suicidal thoughts when I finally got out. I really don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t gotten this job.

But the job situation changed, the weather is nicer, and in general life is a lot better.

I’ve been dieting and that’s helped, but its also making me more irritable. I wish I could exercise more, but my lungs aren’t cooperating.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well. Now I feel crappier knowing there's nothing universal about my pandemic experience. 

But I really am glad life is turning around for you all.

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Iceheart said:

Well. Now I feel crappier knowing there's nothing universal about my pandemic experience

I've been having stress dreams nearly every night too. The last one I had felt so real I actually said "thank fuck that was just a dream" when I woke up.

I think it's because my situation before this wasn't great and the pandemic started just as I was recovering from winter and getting ready to try and get things going in the spring.

Now spring is here again and the prospect of trying to reengage with the world that most healthy people inhabit again is always daunting.

Things are almost back to normal here as far as lockdowns are concerned, but the pandemic has altered my outlook on a lot of things and I'm not sure it will be reversed.

My ability to tolerate idiots has all but disappeared and I'm finding idiocy much more stressful and can't see how that will get better. I've missed sea kayaking, but I haven't missed lots of people in my canoe club and getting used to that sort of pettiness again is going to take a long time.

An example: amongst other things, the news is in the UK at the moment is mostly about the disappearance and all-but-confirmed murder of a young woman (and the main suspect being a police officer) and I've been spending a lot of time listening to women I know, and many that I don't know, tell me about all of the precautions etc. they take day and accounts of harassment.

But they and I have also had to deal with a lot of #notallmen again and we are all just sick. of. it.

(I've had existential dread / death anxiety long before this and will continue to have it afterwards, but the pandemic has made finding distractions from it / the only thing I can do about it harder. Comparing notes with anyone else who has it wouldn't do either of us any good.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, captainbleh said:

I've been having stress dreams nearly every night too. The last one I had felt so real I actually said "thank fuck that was just a dream" when I woke up.

I think it's because my situation before this wasn't great and the pandemic started just as I was recovering from winter and getting ready to try and get things going in the spring.

Yeah, honestly, it was kind of dumb for me to ask, because I lost my job the day before lockdown started last year, but that was actually the good part because the job was so toxic I still have PTSD-like symptoms from it. And then I nosedove right into a 10 month battle with unemployment, which was resolved two months into a health crisis that's still ongoing. The actual pandemic has just been background noise for me, beyond being terrified of bringing it home to my grandma (which I did not).

I see the view towards women in the UK is much the same as it is in the US. Whoooo.

Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Iceheart said:

Well. Now I feel crappier knowing there's nothing universal about my pandemic experience. 

But I really am glad life is turning around for you all.

I feel like mine is a lot of “things are great!” and “everything sucks!”

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Iceheart said:

The actual pandemic has just been background noise for me

It has for me to some extent. My lockdown life wasn't much different from my pre-lockdown life (same for a close friend whose health anxiety means that she rarely goes out), but spending less time with offline acquaintances and more time with online friends has really hardened my attitude towards the former.

Not the only relationships that have been tested to destruction or near-destruction by the pandemic making people reassess their views of what's important and what they really want.

(not kind of dumb at all)

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Iceheart said:

Well. Now I feel crappier knowing there's nothing universal about my pandemic experience. 

But I really am glad life is turning around for you all.

Oh no.  Now, I feel bad.  I mean, there's various good things that have been happening for us, but the pandemic (along with the unfortunate politics that ended up surrounding it) has left me feeling anxious and/or depressed for so much of the time.  It's only been recently that I have begun to have a glimmer of hope about it.  Even with that glimmer, Texas keeps going and fucking shit up because it's Texas and I have to fight back to feeling good.

Ugh.  Now I just feel like a dick.  I never wanted to feel like Jacob.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

I am actually super happy for you on this. Enjoy your newfound emotional bandwidth! 

It's only been like a week but I keep logging into my student loan account just to see the $0 balance.

And yeah. I'm the worst. Sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at mine again, I have really low expectations. I’m celebrating that I can sort of breathe okay and that my current job doesn’t make me want to jump off a building.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can echo a lot of what has been said here, and this past year, after the year before, has almost broken me.  Most of this I have discussed in previous threads in the past (EG my Dad almost dying 2 years ago, financial and job issues, my subsequent diagnosis of MDD and dealing with the pain of gout and migraines).

One thing I will say is this, though:  I feel hope coming back.  Just the fact we have a new president focused on making things better, rather than exploiting crisis to further divide the world is HUGE.  The vaccine roll outs could have been done more efficiently, but they are now hitting their groove.  My employer is set to return to normal by summer, and there is a TON of work to do.  I actually look forward to that work, because sitting at home for 4 out of 6 weeks, doing minimal work and feeling useless and worthless has taken its toll.  I am eager to get out of the house and back to the hands on work I am used to doing.  

Also, there is something to be said for my Dad doing better.  Almost 2 years ago, after a long hospital stay and my Dad almost passing away, he had a new pacemaker installed.  Since then, he has been so much better, and in retrospect, it seems much of what made him sick in the first place was his old pacemaker failing on him.  I am so grateful he is doing so much better, and it is a minor miracle he has not relapsed, or worse, contracted COVID. 

With my new meds working, I feel a lot of the crushing weight of melancholy has lifted as well. I only wish I sought out help sooner, because living with depression and anxiety is something no one deserves or should have to deal with.  I have ups and downs, but no where near the extreme highs and lows I have dealt with for what seems to be an eternity.  I suppose the best advice I could give someone who is depressed is to NOT wait and get help ASAP. 

One last positive is that just before COVID hit, I decided to go back to university and pursue a masters in applied leadership and management.  I have taken advantage of the lower work load, and this December I will be graduating.  This will go a long way to change my career path, as I am within 5 years of retirement from my employer, now, and I can look forward to a career change.  My plan is to shift from IT support to a management position that is NOT related to IT at all.  A lot of people tell me how "IT has job security," or "You must make a lot of money," (yeah, not so much! I work in education), or "you must be smart to do IT,"  (I am no smarter than the next guy, BTW, just a perception some people have about IT in general), or they just want to hit me up for some free tech support. 

But what people don't realize is how thankless and stressful the IT profession is or how much emotional or verbal abuse we take every single day from both customers and management, and I think that has also played a big part in my depression, aside from just having 3 consecutive shitty years in a row.  So, I am eager to get to the point where I can change careers and get into something that will be something that I can still apply my skills I have learned, as well as have new challenges that I can tackle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a pretty shitty year, but none of it was necessarily COVID related.

First, getting a micromanaging, bipolar boss was tough...but I could handle that.  I struggled to handle the bootlicking sycophants she brought in that can't move fast enough to throw people under the bus to make themselves look good whether there is truth to it or not and then be passive aggressive and diminish any praise my boss may give me.  What I cannot handle are their hypocrisy and disingenuous behavior all of them engage in with the staff. 

Second, was having to put our dog, Murphy down.  

Third, is finding our my 4, then 3, year old son was molested by my mom's husband.  Thanks to your input, I went to the police and they did a few forensic interviews and concluded it did happen, but unless there was some form of physical evidence or others would be willing to come further, it is all but impossible to get a conviction.  They even said they might be able to get enough if they kept interviewing my son, but this could result in further trauma.  We chose to stop the interviews.  This led to two outcomes.  First, I learned that my wife has been sexually harrassed by him as well but didn't say anything because she didn't want to hurt the relationship between our sons and my mom.  And second, when I provided the evidence to my mom, she believed it but said she couldn't leave her husband.  I then cut my mom permanently out of my life.  The other day I broke down because my three-year-old was crying for his grandma and I heard my four-year-old explain to him we can't see them anymore because "grandpo (what they called him) hurt his penis".  

With that said...things are looking up.  New job (and I put in my notice so I won't finish the year)...new house in a mountain ski town...

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm having dreams, weird or otherwise, I'm not remembering them upon waking. I have no idea if any of the following is universal (and getting v. particular with what's up w/me, what my situation is, how things are, well, that's the sort of intimate details that I'll maybe feel comfortable sharing w/all of you in ANOTHER twenty years but for the moment I'm going to keep that locked up tight, practice good op-sec, it's cool that you're all doing good or doing bad but things are getting better or what have you) but it's what rattles around my skull nowadays.

 

 

1) I remain genuinely shocked (note - shocked. not surprised. shocked!) at the cavalier attitude much of the world displays towards the very real risks of the plague. I don't understand how the Insane Clown Posse can understand that "the bottom line is simply that we REFUSE to risk even ONE juggalo life" yet the world entire can't come to a similar conclusion. Are any of these people afraid of death? Are any of these people afraid of murder? <JerrySeinfeldVoice> Who are these people? </JerrySeinfeldVoice>

 

 

 

 

 

2) In April of last year Wajahat Ali and Dave Eggers asked a whole bunch of their pals to have themselves a little think and write up for themselves (and us!) a LiveJournal entry on the subject of 'What Will Emerge' or 'We Will Emerge' or whatever. We-ever. So, if you like, you can go to the PEN America website and have a looksee at where they think America should go from here.

You can read what Ayad Akhtar thinks will emerge. You can read what Wajahat Ali (I don't understand why he and Dave decided that they really needed to include themselves on the list seeing as they were already taking an organizational role in assembling everyone, but, well, it's up to them, I guess) thinks will emerge. You can read what Kurt Andersen thinks will emerge. You can read what Imam Abdullah Antepli thinks will emerge. You can read what Reza Aslan thinks will emerge. You can read what Karen Attiah thinks will emerge. You can read what Max Brooks thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabbi Sharon Brous thinks will emerge. You can read what Senator Sherrod Brown thinks will emerge. You can read what Thi Bui thinks will emerge. You can read what Chelsea Clinton thinks will emerge. You can read what Jelani Cobb thinks will emerge. You can read what Molly Crabapple thinks will emerge. You can read what Mara Gay thinks will emerge. You can read what Roxane Gay thinks will emerge. You can read what Gershom Gorenberg thinks will emerge. You can read what Errin Haines thinks will emerge. You can read what Leta Hong Fincher thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Kendzior thinks will emerge. You can read what Hari Kondabolu thinks will emerge. You can read what Erika Lee thinks will emerge. You can read what Chris Lu thinks will emerge. You can read what Karan Mahajan thinks will emerge. You can read what Alyssa Milano thinks will emerge. You can read what Tim O’Brien thinks will emerge. You can read what Ben Okri thinks will emerge. You can read what Andy Richter thinks will emerge. You can read what Mayor Michael Tubbs thinks will emerge. You can read what Bina Venkataraman thinks will emerge. You can read what Maya Wiley thinks will emerge. You can read what Andrew Zimmern thinks will emerge. You can read what Julia Alvarez thinks will emerge. You can read what Rana Ayyub thinks will emerge. You can read what Kate Bowler thinks will emerge. You can read what Larry Charles thinks will emerge. You can read what Charlotte Clymer thinks will emerge. You can read what John Donvan thinks will emerge. You can read what Julia Ioffe thinks will emerge. You can read what Randa Jarrar thinks will emerge. You can read what Neal Katyal thinks will emerge. You can read what Mara Keisling thinks will emerge. You can read what Maaza Mengiste thinks will emerge. You can read what Rev. Otis Moss thinks will emerge. You can read what Suzanne Nossel thinks will emerge. You can read what Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy thinks will emerge. You can read what Connie Schultz thinks will emerge. You can read what Simran Jeet Singh thinks will emerge. You can read what Brad Stone thinks will emerge. You can read what Kara Swisher thinks will emerge. You can read what Rebecca Traister thinks will emerge. You can read what Judd Apatow thinks will emerge. You can read what David Axelrod thinks will emerge. You can read what Heather Berlin thinks will emerge. You can read what Carla Blank thinks will emerge. You can read what Jaswinder Bolina thinks will emerge. You can read what Simone Campbell thinks will emerge. You can read what Susan Carland thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabia Chaudry thinks will emerge. You can read what Val Demings thinks will emerge. You can read what Negin Farsad thinks will emerge. You can read what Kim Ghattas thinks will emerge. You can read what Virginia Heffernan thinks will emerge. You can read what Ishmael Hope thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabbi Jill Jacobs thinks will emerge. You can read what Min Jin Lee thinks will emerge. You can read what Rev. Jacqui Lewis thinks will emerge. You can read what David Lindsay-Abaire thinks will emerge. You can read what Lynn Nottage thinks will emerge. You can read what Naomi Shihab Nye thinks will emerge. You can read what Edna O’Brien thinks will emerge. You can read what April Reign thinks will emerge. You can read what Zainab Salbi thinks will emerge. You can read what Brandon Stosuy thinks will emerge. You can read what Jake Tapper thinks will emerge. You can read what Baratunde Thurston thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Wildman thinks will emerge. You can read what Rafia Zakaria thinks will emerge. You can read what Elizabeth Bruenig thinks will emerge. You can read what Sophia Bush thinks will emerge. You can read what Brian Castleberry thinks will emerge. You can read what Zinzi Clemmons thinks will emerge. You can read what Ann Curry thinks will emerge. You can read what Kelly Sue DeConnick thinks will emerge. You can read what Meena Harris and Mónica Ramírez thinks will emerge. You can read what Molly Jong-Fast thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Lewis thinks will emerge. You can read what Hasan Minhaj thinks will emerge. You can read what Elie Mystal thinks will emerge. You can read what Peter Sagal thinks will emerge. You can read what Walter Shaub thinks will emerge. You can read what Gary Shteyngart thinks will emerge. You can read what Scott Simon thinks will emerge. You can read what Connie Sun thinks will emerge. You can read what Sabaa Tahir thinks will emerge. You can read what Colm Tóibín thinks will emerge. You can read what Carol Anderson thinks will emerge. You can read what Dave Eggers (again, weird to include oneself if one is already taking an organizational/editorial role but whatever) thinks will emerge. You can read what Kristen Green thinks will emerge. You can read what Myriam Gurba thinks will emerge. You can read what Mehdi Hasan thinks will emerge. You can read what Valarie Kaur thinks will emerge. You can read what Kim Kelly thinks will emerge. You can read what Sally Kohn thinks will emerge. You can read what Mayor Mitch Landrieu thinks will emerge. You can read what Franklin Leonard thinks will emerge. You can read what Sally Wen Mao thinks will emerge. You can read what Brittany Packnett Cunningham thinks will emerge. You can read what Ishmael Reed thinks will emerge. You can read what Jason Stanley thinks will emerge. You can read what Julio Ricardo Varela thinks will emerge. You can read what Ayelet Waldman thinks will emerge. You can read what Gene Luen Yang thinks will emerge.

 

I did! I read what they all thought would emerge! It mostly made me want to take my own head off my shoulders and punt kick it over the horizon. The gap between the Pollyanna-ish sentiments they espoused and the cruel reality of our world seemed vast and wide and deep. Maybe it's my fault for judging what they had to say so harshly or for seeing the world as worse than it really is, I don't know. I can't say for certain. I'm sure many of them (all?) were being sincere enough, in their way. I just felt like I was hearing an endless litany of four words, repeated over and over, by all of them. "Somebody should do something!" Well, who's somebody? Aren't all of them somebody? Who did they think they're talking to? Who did they think was going to listen? I don't mean any offence to them. Lots of them have written stuff I've liked in the past. Although, some of them, especially the public servants, ought to be forced at gunpoint to punt kick their OWN heads over the horizon, though. I shouldn't have to do it alone. I don't want my head to be lonely out there all by itself in the dark, beyond the sunset.

 

 

 

3) The best case scenario for our future doesn't really thrill me all that much. The idea of accepting that from now on we all just live in a world where if you're old you gotta get your covid shot every year the same way you gotta get your flu shot, the idea of accepting that from now on we live in a world where an additional ~10,000 - ~50,000 people die every year in your western educated industrialized rich democratic society; well, these ideas don't make me feel good. They make me feel the opposite of good. They make me feel bad.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Hobbes said:

 Second, was having to put our dog, Murphy down. 

Hey I know there's a whole lot of other shitty stuff on here, but I hadn't realized you guys had to put Murphy down. Just wanted to say I'm truly sorry to hear.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, still at home, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. Our company is being sold, then they're looking to divest the business I'm in to someone else, and there isn't enough space in the office to bring everyone back as it is, so why bring back the people in the lines they're looking to jettison. I'm totally okay with it. I hope we get bought by someone that wants to make work from home permanent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mostly still working at home.  I have to teach in-person twice a week, but I pretty much go into campus right before class and then come home right after.  All of my meetings, seminars, etc. are online still.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Things are mostly good for me. I got my first shot two weeks ago so that's nice. We're hoping that by the end of summer Covid will be in control enough that we can put my kid into preschool. My husband has been a stay at home dad for most of the last year now, and that's been a hard transition for him but he's actually really enjoying it now. 

I did have a total covid anxiety dream the other night where I went over to a friends house and she had like 100 people over with no masks on, so yay anxiety! 

I'm looking foward to seeing my family without a mask on. I'm hopeful that we'll get the pandemic under control. I have an amazing kid.

 

(Also, uh, hi guys. I was inspired to come back and say hi because of a Twitter thread!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...