Is everyone okay?
Actually, is anyone okay?
Living during this pandemic sucks. It’s so freaking hard. I’m not even grieving anyone’s death or struggling for money. I’m a newlywed with a big apartment and a cute dog, and my husband is incredibly supportive. But I feel so down.
so is everyone else also having a specifically bad time right now or
— rishi 😀 (@rishipuff) December 14, 2020
I won’t be going home for the holidays. I miss my mom’s house and the Christmas decorations she’s had since my childhood, the presents stacked high under the tree. I miss seeing my Madison roommates every day. I miss my home church, my siblings and nieces and nephews and parents. Just like everyone else, I miss silly things like shopping and coffee shops and sit-down restaurants. I miss walking past someone on the sidewalk without stepping into the road to give them more space.
We are all going through similar struggles, many people’s far worse than mine. But nine months in, I’m no longer warmed by “we’re all in this together” sentiments. I’m just lonely and sad. Toronto is overwhelmingly big and unknowable during this time. Even my name is unfamiliar.
quarantine’s going good! going good. just got a pair of boots I’ve been waiting on for 2 weeks and they don’t fit so I started crying, like a person who is doing good would do. so, good!
— katie (indoors) (@katefeetie) December 14, 2020
I’ve been unemployed since the beginning of November. After six weeks of unstructured days and minimal obligations, I no longer harbor illusions about what I might someday accomplish if I “just had more time.” How many of those open-ended days did I read the Bible? Watch Korean language tutorials? Pursue my so-called passion of painting? How long did I abide by that checklist I made myself? How’s that budgeting initiative going? Did I quit coffee like I’ve always said I would?
brain: did we get anything done this weekend?
brain: ok then at least we relaxed
me: somehow also no
— slate (@PleaseBeGneiss) December 14, 2020
I’ve passed a lot of time on Twitter lately, a site with which I have a complicated relationship. Often I catch myself using Twitter as an escape or numbing agent. The political rage, absurd cultural takes, and vicious arguments lead even the most committed Twitter users to refer to it as “this hellsite.” But the jokes, prompts, and funny stories make it worth visiting. And I’ve been grateful for the site as a forum to talk honestly, and even humorously, about how difficult life is right now.
I haven’t put away my laundry in 2 months. I just have a basket for clean clothes and a basket for dirty clothes
— Jared Kelly ⛄ (@jared_kelly742) December 15, 2020
Most days I can manage some productivity—run a few errands, send out a couple resumes, take the dog to the park. Other days I don’t venture much past my phone screen. I’ll overhear my therapist husband talking to a remote client about healthy coping mechanisms while I eat raw cookie dough and scroll on Twitter to ward off dark, intrusive thoughts.
— dinosaur (@dinoman_j) November 29, 2020
Last month I took a break from social media for eight days. I felt a little better extricating myself from the virtual world, and I practiced some of those coping mechanisms so Josh wouldn’t worry about me. But I missed Twitter. I’m still trying to figure out what a healthy balance looks like with a site that both soothes and increases my anxiety. And you catch heartwarming moments when you read Tweets, like the hunter-fisherman—not your typical Twitter user—who sent out what he thought might be a goodbye message and received overwhelming support.
Hey not many friends on here , but wanted to say bye , I can’t beat this Covid,
— michael j (@sarge4kentucky) December 15, 2020
Although Michael is battling the virus itself, how many of us have wondered if we can beat this time of COVID? He posted a follow-up today. It sounds like he’s doing all right.
I know the pandemic situation will get better, but God, it’s terrible right now.
I’m tempted to end on a note of positivity, list a few small joys that I find in the midst of difficulty. Usually I can be Psalm 13 sad, following my “How long, Lord”s with “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” But that would be insincere now. I’ve been feeling more like the author of Psalm 88, who doesn’t bother to sound the least bit cheery but instead closes with the bleak-as-hell “Darkness is my closest friend.”
This is a time of despair and lament, and I’m letting myself feel it openly. Today I will try not to drown it out. I am naming the losses, and I am letting the grief wash over me.
Laura graduated from Calvin in 2015 with a degree in art and writing. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband Josh and dog Rainy. She works as an IT support analyst and enjoys painting, rock climbing, and exploring the city.