Opinion

Quarantine wasn’t a blessing for everyone

One of the most irritating, condescending and insensitive sentiments I keep seeing people repeatedly voice and share online is that this whole pandemic is a blessing in disguise for them to stay at home and spend time with family and work on various projects they have.

Most of us have been affected negatively by this, and it hasn’t just been months on end of fun family bonding time and arts and crafts nights, like some people would have you think.

In March, when this seemed like it would be a few weird weeks we could laugh off, I had a little hope and tried to make the best of it.

As things got worse, I lost my on-campus job and had to work on moving into an apartment and finding a new job.

Since I worked part time on-campus, I didn’t think I qualified for unemployment, and so I had to find a full-time job, which was stressful and challenging. I also didn’t qualify for most other aid like the stimulus check, so the financial uncertainty has been incredibly stressful for me.

One of the worst things for me, personally, is that I am at higher risk of death or serious complications from the virus since I am type one diabetic, which is an autoimmune disorder.

If I were to catch COVID-19, I could also develop other autoimmune disorders because viruses can cause autoimmune attacks.

Every day at work, I see smug customers come in without masks or wearing them improperly, and I have to worry. I have anxiety attacks and crying spells when I think about how little people care about the well-being of others.

Prior to the pandemic, I already had mental health struggles, but they have
gotten worse and worse the longer this goes on, to the point where I feel hopeless almost always, that life has no meaning or purpose anymore and I fear for my future.

I graduate in December, and I’m certain the job market will be much tighter than it has been in a long time.

When I come home from work (and I’m sure when I come home from my classes
once they start), I barely have the energy to do basic survival tasks like cook, clean and take care of myself.

I can’t be bothered to care about things that once brought me happiness and hope
when I was in a dark place. Forget my art projects and writing, I can barely even be bothered to watch reruns of an old favorite like “Parks and Recreation.”

When I see everyone saying the pandemic is a good thing, it makes me angry. It’s done nothing but cause me suffering, and for so many others, it’s been even worse.

There are people who died or developed complications from the virus. There are people who can’t afford to pay for food or rent right now.

There are people who have been evicted. There are people confined in
living situations with abusive families or partners. So many people have lost everything they have.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t try to find good things in all of this, but I do
think everyone needs to remember that we’re not all in the same position right now, and much of the U.S. population isn’t doing well.

I’m glad that some people have been able to bake bread and do home improvement and all that, but also, it’s okay if you didn’t or couldn’t do that.

Most days now, I try to meet the goals of taking a shower, sleeping at least six hours, eating at least twice and making it to my job or other obligations in a timely manner. I’m in survival mode.

Everything right now is awful, and I think we need to accept that not feeling happy and not being productive is normal.

We’re experiencing a global pandemic that’s caused a massive recession, as well as lots of other tragedies. If you aren’t feeling your best, that’s normal. Most of us aren’t feeling our best.

While it’s nice to look on the bright side, there is no bright side for many of
us right now. Comparing what you’re experiencing to what others are seemingly
experiencing on social media is never great for your mental well-being, and that’s doubly true now.

You are not a bad person for not being happy or creative right now.

We are all struggling right now, and it’s okay if all you did during the pandemic was survive.

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