They Say Pandemics Are Stressful

I intended to sit down and write an eloquent and thoughtful blog post about the anxiety and stress we’re all feeling during this pandemic. I was going to muster up every molecule of empathy and caring I had left. I planned on weaving in a story about my childhood. There was going to be a reference to one of Aesop’s Fables, people. I was not playing around.

Then, while doing research on how anxiety affects us during times of crisis, I ran into this headline, lost my mind, and everything went sideways:

Pandemics can be stressful, you say? Really now, can they? Did you have any other helpful insights? Childbirth can be a little uncomfortable. Water can be damp. Lava can be a smidge warm.

Pandemics CAN be stressful. Motherfucker, they ARE stressful. They are stressful as fuck. Pandemics are the ‘Weather Channel during a category five hurricane’ of stress. It’s just wall to wall 24/7 coverage of Jim Cantore screaming in your face that you’re going to die.

And it would be that way during a pandemic with a competent president at the helm. But here we are trying to dodge a deadly virus while the love child of Ralph Wiggum and Adolf Hitler is in charge. How are we not all committed at this point? Oh yeah, because we also live in a time of ever dwindling access to mental health services. We literally can’t be, even if we should.

Emotional baseline during a pandemic is maybe like having two cups of coffee, but I’m just spitballing here. I don’t know what it’s like for the pandemic to be the only problem because I’m living in Adolf Wiggum pandemic land. That’s like two cups of coffee and a sprinkle of meth on your cornflakes. Again, spitballing. I don’t eat cornflakes, so I can’t be 100% sure that’s what it’s like.

Add on an economic collapse, housing crisis, educational upheaval coupled with a daycare shortage and that’s like… I don’t even know what that’s like. You couldn’t consume enough coffee, drugs, and breakfast cereal to know what that’s like. It’s mayhem! Utter hysterical cataclysmic bedlam!

You can’t think straight. You never know what day of the week it is or what time of the day. You know how many times in the past few months I’ve said, “Is it five o’clock? What the fuck? I thought it was like noon or something.” I don’t even know how many times, so how would you know? But I bet it’s been a lot of times.

All creativity is gone. I’m pretty sure I wrote this exact same blog post last week, only in a different form. I’m not even sure if I will ever be able to write anything other than stream of consciousness pandemic rants. I’m going to have to call my blog I’m Ranting Again and So Are You.

There is nowhere to turn to block it out because in your home right now are the same exact people you’ve been staring at for months. On the television is more news about how awful it is. And, I guarantee you, on at least one of your social media timelines right now two of your friends are still arguing over whether we should be made to wear masks or not. And that argument isn’t ending until one or both of them die from Covid.

Don’t forget to add whatever personal stress layers on that you may have. Health problems? Fear of losing a job? Spouse clearly doesn’t know how to breathe properly? Listening to your kid talk about that YouTube video for the 8,000th time? We all have layers.

Perhaps you turned here looking for me to give you some comedic relief or to bolster your spirits, but you found yet another tirade. I’m sorry. I had the best of intentions when I started this. Remember, I was even going to bring Aesop into this.

I guess all I can say at this point is if you’re feeling anxious, tired, fed up, uninspired, cranky, low, distracted, miserable, hungry, itchy, moody, bloated, angry, frantic, morose, maudlin, unhinged, or neurotic just know you’re not alone. We’re all feeling it. And, more importantly, it’s not your fault. It’s the pandemic. I hear they can be a stressful.