This is a journal of my thoughts and feelings during the pandemic of COVID-19. Written in the first two weeks of March 2021.
I thought it would be fitting to write another Covid Chronicle as we hit the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For where I live, we began our lockdown on March 15th, 2020. It is really strange to be marking one year of this pandemic. In some ways it feels like it has been much longer, more akin to 2 years, and in another way it feels like this past year never happened and we are just right back at the beginning having dreamt the last year in one long night.
Of course time has passed, things have changed, one huge difference is that we now have vaccines and vaccination rates are increasing every day. Thank goodness for that!
How I’ve Been – The Not So Good
I never want to sugarcoat things here. I always want to create a space where it is okay to express all of our feelings – negative or positive (Why Negative Emotions are Important for Wellness). So I’ll be blunt, I’ve had a hard time with my mental health lately.
I’ve been feeling depressed and very anxious. The longer this pandemic goes on, the more I think it impacts my mental health. My body has become too used to being indoors 99% of the time and for the first time in my life I am experiencing social anxiety.
I’ve lived with anxiety my whole life and so honestly most things make me anxious, but socializing wasn’t really one of them. I think it is a combination of the lack of social interaction we are having and the fear associated with Covid (people not following the rules, being angry, or people being sick etc.). My heart races, I stumbled over my words, and my hands shake.
And yet, even though I am anxious to be out in the world, I feel more isolated than ever. I am an extrovert and I am finding the lack of social interaction difficult. I feel like up until recently I have coped very well with this, getting as much as I can out of online interaction, but it is starting to take its toll.
Another big struggle has just been boredom. One of the reasons why I haven’t been writing Covid Chronicles is that I feel like I have run out of new things to say about the pandemic. My days mostly look the same and it is frankly pretty boring.
There has also been a noticeable shift, and in some ways this is good, away from talking about the pandemic. While it’s good to not only dwell on it, sometimes it feels like the world is moving on and that still feeling upset about what we are going through is less and less socially acceptable. If you feel this way, or just in general frustrated with the state of the world, you are not alone.
When I am feeling particularly down, I do find it helpful to remind myself that we have managed to get through so much already. And if we got through it then, we can do it again if we need to.
How I’ve Been – The Good
This past week I celebrated my second Covid birthday! My birthday fell right before lockdown last year, however we had a big party planned for just a few days after my birthday but had to cancel because everything was shutting down. We thought we would be able to have it a couple weeks later, and now of course it has been a whole year.
This year we celebrated as much as we could. I took the day off work, I requested a Dairy Queen ice-cream cake (which we ate for the entire week after), we ordered take-out, and I got to pick the Netflix movie. We also got to Zoom with family, overall not too bad for a Covid-style celebration.
It is weird coming full circle and marking my 26th, two birthdays absorbed into this international crisis. It’s strange, it almost feels like I never really was 25.
I am also so excited to have launched my poetry blog! This is something I have been dreaming about for almost this entire last year, but wanted to wait to feel ready to begin publishing my work. I am truly looking forward to hearing what other’s think of my writing and to continue to improve in this art form. Am I allowed to call myself a poet yet?
I have worries for the future, for what life will look like after the pandemic and if I am ready for it. Truth be told I’m actually scared to go back to “normal”. I have grown comfortable with staying in and staying home, where everything is mostly predictable and safe. Going back out into the world makes me a little frightened.
But no need to get too worried, we have a while yet to go. For now, I am diving into my projects and work while watching the world go by my window.
Spring is coming and I am so excited for the sunshine, warmth, green leaves, and to open my balcony again and sit out there and write. Hopefully if cases numbers are lower, and if the new variants don’t throw a wrench in things we will also get to do more outside visits again with the weather warming up. We can gather in small groups outdoors again (spread out of course and with masks) and get to have a little bit more social. We have a camping trip planned in June, and another in August, and I am really hoping that numbers are low enough that we actually get to go. I could use a few days in the woods and dirt to disconnect and breath a little deeper.
How are you feeling as we mark 1-year of pandemic life?
P.S. Isn’t it a funny coincidence how the post marking 1-year in pandemic is number 12? An unplanned happy accident!