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The Pandemic Blues

If you had told me in January, “Sam, your biggest joy this year is gonna be Animal Crossing”, I would’ve been like, “No way. I’m gonna get my mental shit together, lose weight, and build a cosplay that will nab me my first ever 1st place prize. This is gonna be my year!”

Yet here I am more depressed, more anxious, fatter from stress eating, and waiting for the moment my yearly  convention will be canceled due to Coronavirus (barring some sort of miracle) while I play around on my cluttered virtual island run by a tycoon raccoon and the world’s most adorable puppy secretary.

Since I can’t take trips to the city with my friend like I usually do, I’ve been keeping sane by playing Animal Crossing and building a Horizon Zero Dawn cosplay. My island isn’t that pretty and all my villagers have all become weight lifting enthusiasts thanks to two protein-shake drinking beefcakes named Buck and Tank, who I’m now trying to get to move off my island as they’ve turned it into Planet Fitness. The cosplay was supposed to be for the cosplay contest at Kitsune Kon, which will likely be canceled due to Covid-19 and being in an area that ranks within the top 5 areas in the entire nation with the quickest rate of spread. I’m only working on Aloy now to keep busy and not let it fall to the wayside to eventually be forgotten about. I can always wear it next year—assuming we even have a convention next year and I don’t get fatter.

When I last wrote a month ago, I expressed frustration at people not taking the week old safer-at-home order seriously. Something I did not write about in the post was the hope I had. There was a part of me that thought things were going to turn around. I believe there’s good in humanity and when the cards are down we have the ability to band together and do the right thing. “We’re in this together!” is the phrase I’ve been hearing a lot lately and I would really like to believe that………..if there weren’t a lot of people whose acts of selfish stupidity ruin it for everyone else. I’m not even talking about the people that stormed the capital demanding that businesses be reopened since it’s apparently more important to them that Karen has her frosted highlights so her hair looks good when she demands a manager than keeping the general population as safe as possible. I’m talking the ones who think it’s okay to have large birthday parties despite the order because they refuse to disappoint their five year old, bring the entire nuclear family into the store, come into the store and not buy a damn thing, or not wear their face mask over their entire face like they’re some sort of Pandemic Killroy.  It was certainly no surprise to me that our safer-at-home order was extended until the end of May when I witness people basically acting like the old lady at the beginning of Dead Rising who got nearly everyone killed, including herself, by breaking through the barricade meant to keep people safe just to get her lap dog.

We ended up having a primary election in Wisconsin.  Our governor wanted to postpone it until it was safer and I would have liked to see it delayed instead of having it during an outbreak, but the conservatives on our state Supreme Court decided that Evers did not have the authority to make such a call. Since our Wisconsin Supreme Court is dominated by conservatives, we proceeded with the election. The kicker was that this decision was made over a video call because they weren’t going to get together due to the pandemic. On the bright side, Daniel Kelly—that relic from the Scott Walker era—will be replaced by Jill Karofsky thanks to people risking getting Coronavirus to vote. Voting for someone named Jill during a viral outbreak is the closest I’ll ever get to actually living Resident Evil 3.

I wish I could just remain optimistic and stupidly hopeful and not be so bitter, but it’s hard. I’m having mini or full blown panic attacks at work because of all this. I restarted my meds again to combat this. I initially wasn’t taking them as my refill would have been around the time shit hit the fan and I genuinely was too stressed out by everything to remember. Then work started taking the employee’s temperatures and asking about their symptoms. One symptom we’re asked about is stomach issues, which is also a side effect of my meds when initially starting them. Therefore, I was holding off restarting my medication so I wouldn’t risk having symptoms that would get me sent home for a week. After telling a friend all this, I was told it was valiant of me to risk my mental health for the sake of earning a living and it made me realize there was nothing noble about sacrificing my mental health during a stressful pandemic for my job. Of course, right when I restarted my meds, they changed the questionnaire to ask if these symptoms are unusual for the person being asked. Not that this protocol seems to matter much anyways since I temped 99.7 one day, which should have sent me home, and the person doing temps just temped my wrist instead so I could temp low enough to go to work. What is even the point of taking temperatures for fevers if you’re just going to temp a different body part to get a colder reading? You might as well tell me, “Get your essential ass to work.”

I guess to leave off on a lighter note, I did call out a Facebook friend’s bullshit on her MLM scam during this time. She made this “vague post” on Facebook about how “After watching that video, I’m never using Clorox, Lysol, or even tide in my house again!” and purposely didn’t include the video so that people would inquire with questions. She messaged EVERYONE who replied to that post a link to the video, which was a Melaleuca advertisement disguised as propaganda about toxic cleaning products. She’s been promoting this MLM company for a while in a similar sneaky sort of way without mentioning the name of the brand to get people to ask about it and she’s been kicking it into high gear with the Covid-19 outbreak. A friend commented wondering what the video was about and, having seen the video and researched the company, I told him it was secretly an ad for some wellness company that claims to not use any toxic chemicals in their cleaning products when there’s evidence they do. Our comments got deleted, but it was worth it.

Anyways, I got fruit on Sakura Island to pick. Stay safe, wash your fucking hands, and watch out for Asian giant murder hornets.

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