Category Archives: Depression

Pandemic Diary: 10 May 2021

I’ve been languishing since January and find it hard to motivate myself to talk about the pandemic anymore. I’m so tired of it. And there’s no clear end in sight.

I have written a couple of times in the Pandemic Journaling Project, so I’m going to copy and paste those entries here.

_____________

12 April 2021

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I haven’t had any motivation to write about the pandemic for the past two weeks. It’s like I’ve run out of caring about it. My husband and I are both fully vaccinated now, so we were able to spend Easter with our kids and grandkids, which was fantastic. My grandson greeted me with a huge hug and kiss, and I said, “I can eat your face again!” So we both kissed each other all over our faces. Our granddaughter was also super excited to see us. She’s less kissy than her brother, but she gives great hugs.

I’ve thought, “I need to write this in my blog—it’s a huge part of the pandemic experience.” But I haven’t done it, for some reason. It’s not like I feel that the pandemic is over—that’s far from true. Even if the variants don’t take over and make the vaccine worthless, we’re still going to have a long time before enough people are immune to get back to a life of easy socializing. And a huge surge is happening right now in Michigan, with the infection rate going from 45,000+ two weeks ago to 51,500+ this past week. Only 35% of Americans are vaccinated so far, so it’s going to be a while before we can call it a day on this. So maybe it’s just pandemic fatigue that’s kept me from writing here or on my personal blog.

I felt really angry after we came back from Brooklyn. I just want to be able to feel relaxed about spending time with people, and to wander around Central Park without feeling unsafe and afraid every time I pass by someone with less than 6ft between us. Or even just having to have 6ft between me and the rest of the world. I’ll keep doing it until it’s safe not to, but I’m getting super sick of it.

Talk about your current living situation. Has anything changed during the pandemic (for example, where you’re living, who you’re living with, etc.).

The major thing that’s changed for us is recently we refinanced our house to take advantage of the current low interest rates, and we took a cash-out for $8,000. Then the stimulus checks came, so we added another $2,800 to that. And we finally got our refund from an error in my tax filing for 2020, which was way more than I expected—$2,700! When I file this year’s taxes, I can fill out the rebate form for not getting my 2nd stimulus check for $600, so we might actually get a refund for that, too. Being in the money has allowed us to upgrade and beautify our home and gardens in ways that we’ve wanted to do for a long time but couldn’t afford to. There were so many people at Target yesterday that the checkout line went down the aisle and around the corner. You can see the stimulus checks in action! Anyone who says that personal checks don’t help the economy wasn’t at Target yesterday.

_____________

26 April 2021

“How has the pandemic affected your life in the past week?”

In the past week? Great, in maybe a weird way. We got our relief checks, so that’s another $2800 in the bank account. We spent a lot of it on garden stuff so we can make our front yard look as good as we’ve wanted it to for 12 years. And we’re also getting things for the vegetable gardens and Louie’s Milkweed Butterfly garden. It’s wonderful to be able to afford better quality items than we usually can.

That seems like a very materialistic view of life in the pandemic. But it’s real, and a blessing for us.

Has the pandemic disrupted your plans for the future in any major way? If so, talk about the most significant disruption(s).

The border with Canada is still closed, so we can’t travel to Montreal and Ottawa. We spend a lot of time in both places when we’re allowed to. We had also planned a 25th anniversary trip to Nova Scotia last year. That’s not going to happen again this year either.

Travel in general has been halted—after more than a year, it’s getting sad and a bit suffocating not to be able to go anywhere. First World Problems.

Additional material

With everyone vaccinated, we were able to spend Easter weekend with our kids and grandkids. It was soul-filling. We went to Central Park (NYC) on Saturday to have a chilly picnic. In this picture, Anna is playing with her dad, and Louie is scoping out his next activity. So much fun!

Pandemic Diary: 16 Dec 2020

I haven’t been able to write here for a little while because the tragedy of COVID-19 cases and deaths has just been too overwhelming to talk about. Almost 210,000 cases per day in the U.S., and over 2,500 deaths yesterday alone. The daily death numbers have gone over 3,000 recently. I can’t even get my head around numbers like that. Like I said, too overwhelming.

To stay sane and not horribly depressed and anxious, I focus on the fact that no one in our immediate family has gotten it, and in our extended families there have only been a few cases and none life-threatening.

I found this video today on Facebook. It comes from a family of white privilege, but so do I, so it really speaks to me. I love these guys—they say true things in fun and creative ways. Some of their parodies are priceless! The Holderness family. I recommend them.

Pandemic Diary: 1 October 2020

Holy cow, October already. And still sheltering in place. The infection rate is currently very low here, but it’s starting to go up again in other places—like Brooklyn, sadly—so we continue to be careful.

The first presidential election debate was Tuesday. It was a total shit-show, with Trump shouting over both Biden and the moderator for the entire hour and a half. And he said some super disturbing things. He refused to commit to telling White supremacists to stop the violence, and he reiterated his threats about not respecting the election process.

I haven’t been able to sleep since then. I still believe that the majority of Americans don’t support him, but there’s definitely a powerful minority who do, and they’re scary people. Given the last election where we went to bed thinking Clinton had won, only to wake up the next morning to President Trump, I’m not counting on anything this time around. And Trump has pulled so many unbelievable stunts since then that there’s no room for certainty about the future.

Whether he wins or not, I’m really afraid of that violent minority and what they’ll do. With the pandemic still raging, too, we’re in for a serious rough patch in America.

Pandemic Diary: 25 July 2020

We were talking about our increasing desire to Get Out of Dodge for a couple of weeks. I realized the other day that I haven’t had time off since January, except when sick, which doesn’t count. I love the view from our deck, but even that after 5 months starts to look like Sameness.

My phobia of being trapped has started to insinuate itself again. I’ve been good at not feeling it until about last week. Thank God I’m on anti-depressant/anxiety meds! I’d literally be suicidal by now without them. That steady drip drip drip of isolation stress is building up and would have flooded me if it weren’t for the miracles of science.

Anyone on meds for anything should never disbelieve in science. I hope all the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, etc., have never taken meds for a chronic illness, or know anyone who has. That includes blood pressure meds, insulin, asthma inhalers, allergy medicine, pain relievers, dry eye drops, hell—even bandaids. Do they still put moss and honey on cuts?

They’re either total hypocrites or in a state of complete cognitive dissonance.

Rant for the day.

Owl’s Head Escape cottage, Mansonville-Potton, QC, August 2015

Shelter from the storm

I woke up with this song in my head. Music often tells me what I’m feeling, and offers me hope and comfort in disquieting times.

In my head I hear Bob Dylan, but Claire Anne Taylor expresses my feelings better in her interpretation. Thank you, Bob and Claire, for giving me light in the darkness.