Everyone has a different Day 1 of all this, mine is March 13th. I’d been quite aware of what was happening – stocked up on paper products, going to the market in off hours when it wasn’t crowded, and very pissed off at the complete lack of response from the government.
And since then, over a half million people have died – and I will never forget or forgive those that made it that way, because it never, ever had to be like this. May 45 and every last one of his enablers never know a moment of peace or joy for the rest of their lives.
At that point, we had 8 cases in the county, and 25 statewide. The state closed schools for a month, and my community responded by BUYING EVERY LAST DAMN THING IN THE GROCERY STORE.
Not like blizzard prep shopping, like absolute blind panic shopping. Produce section utterly wiped out (except grapefruit – which I like, so at least I had that) – which just killed me, cause we all know damn well at least 2/3 of what was bought was binned by the end of the week. Meat case, empty, frozen shelves, empty. Everything just gone in the space of a single day.
I think that evening shook me worse than anything all this past year. We’d seen some of the lockdowns in Europe – markets and pharmacies stayed open in every case – but everyone seemed to just forget that and think we wouldn’t be able to get food. And then it became a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the panic shopping. I was so angry at people basically going feral.
March 13th was also the last day I hugged another human being. Kinda miss that.
I remember the kick in the teeth of “we’re staying in Phase 1 until June 10th”… HAHAHAHAHAHA. Then being pissed that we lifted restrictions, and then pissed again when they took way too long to re-implement when things went to shit again in the fall.
In October, when they were saying the path to full vaccination would take another year and thinking, “Fuck, how am I gonna deal with that?” – now, I could do it on my head.
The things I hoped we could get out of this? UBI, Medicare for All, a new administration, and a 4 day work week? Well, 1 out of 4 is…better than zero. Even with this latest rescue package, it’s not enough, far too late, and we’re still dealing with “oohhh noooo, people may get help they don’t need” and fuck me, let’s not. (I’m not saying the package is *bad*, I’m saying we could do better, and we should keep trying.)
I’m still jealous of the folks who managed to learn a new skill this past year or really threw themselves into their hobbies. I’ve baked one loaf of bread, gotten through 1/3 of a cross-stitch project, and forgotten how to read. I don’t even have kids, and the exhaustion and lack of focus is REAL.
Work…well, I’ve managed to keep my job, and my company has tried to be conscious about what’s going on and well meaning, but it has highlighted that c-suiters live in a totally different reality.
I’ve been ridiculously lucky through all this. I already worked remotely, so no adjustment there. No kids to try and keep alive and educated and entertained. My big changes have been just…not eating out and wearing a mask. Not really difficult. And yet, I’m still so very ready for this to be done.
What a shitty year it’s been. But, hopefully this time next year, I’ll just be hungover and eating a great breakfast at my diner.