Fear and Loathing

In usual “look at me, look at me” form I recorded a video to post to Twitter, discussing the “realization” I had had over the people who are reluctantant or refuse to follow any of the COVID-19 rules and restrictions. However, the lighting was bad and I ended up sounding like a loon, so instead I thought I would return to good-ol’ long form. (Plus I need the practice if I intend to use this ample amount of free time to polish up that manuscript.)

Much like everyone in the fucking world, I am grappling with accepting the new reality in which we reside. Coming to terms with this new existence is hard and it’s stressful, but it is necessary. Embracing the present is the only way we can successfully move forward. And regardless of where we are emotionally, life will continue to keep going.

One of the steps I had to take for myself was to try and understand why some people REFUSE to do anything that is required of them. Why these “inconveniences” are seen as taking away their “freedom.”

Setting aside the PLETHORA of misinformation that is infecting websites across the internet, I wanted to know what other factor could be at play. It couldn’t be JUST misinformation. Because for them to seek out these “answers” there had to be some sort of catalyst.

When I examined my own behavior of discomfort and random outbursts of rage the answer came to me. The common factor fueling every one right now is fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the virus, the fear of watching your entire reality turn on a dime. It is truly terrifying. Human nature wants stability, but external factors refuse that need. That’s why people keep looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel” or this “return to the old way.” But all of that is bullshit. When we go through a journey we are never the same people at the end. It’s true with every step we take. Even if we just walk down a hallway, our heart-rate rises, body temperature changes, we experience new scenery from where we once were. All of these compound in our minds to form a new existence, because at the end of the hallway we have gained even more than what we had at the beginning.

But, walking down the hall isn’t scary for most (taking into consideration fears and life experiences). This is more like we’ve been placed into an unfamiliar hallway, blindfolded, and we’re told that there may be obstacles, but we don’t know what kind or how many.

So, as I begin to seethe with rage at these people breaking stay at home orders, or protesting local governments about restrictions, I have to remind myself that these people are reacting from fear. And that gives me SOME relief. It doesn’t change anything outwardly, but at least it helps minimize the terror I feel in myself.

Misery Loves Company

It occurred to me the other day that I have missed an opportunity with my blog to chronicle the entire expanse of my “Covid-19 Journey.” I could have begun with a post about how I was impressed/astounded/terrified of how quickly we went into lock-down, followed up by my hatred for working from home (and my subsequent desire to murder my spouse.) But in reality, what could I have added to the dialogue that wasn’t already being said by every mouth across the globe? There isn’t. We were all thinking and feeling the same thing, some more extreme than others (it would appear.)

I would like to say that I used this time to work on my novel, to finally get a polished draft to submit to agents, however in true “josh fashion” I became inexplicably obsessed with a video game that consumed all of my free time. To which I added two additional versions of said game (aka Animal Crossing) to my rotation. When I ran out of things to do in one variation I would jump to the other and so on. It’s been quite interesting. I can say with certainty that the original does still hold up, even though it lacks so many of the features that the most recent iteration possesses.

Even that aspect of the lock-down, was shared by so many of the gays on twitter. There was nothing exceptional or standout I experienced that warranted any sort of sharing on my part. And while I find that upsetting (my voice pitched at the level of everyone else) it also brought me some sort of joy.

Up until I wrote this post it didn’t even occur to me that for once in a great long while, all of us shared identical experiences. Well, identical might be a tad overstated, we did however have similar ones, and in that is a certain kind of magic. I think we get so caught up in this idea of the “self” that we can’t possibly imagine that we are never alone in our experiences. Yet, that isn’t true. It is why blog posts, articles, human interest pieces of people struggling with something do well, because it shows the world that we are connected somehow. Despite the fact that we are also so unique.

Just like everyone else, I ended up spending most of my time angry at the state of leadership; how it turned into a full on adventure just to go to the store for something as trivial as TOILET PAPER; being consumed with rage at having to work from home and the ever looming failure of technology to a remote computer; gaining a million pounds because working from home also allows for easy access to snacks; being obsessed over a televisions show or video game to take my mind off of the reality I am currently submerged; terrified I’m not going to be able to have enough funds to weather a lengthening of the shelter-in-place; and missing my usual haunts because they’re closed due to the possibility of contracting a very deadly disease.

Without a doubt in my heart, every person in this world shared, at least, one of those events.

This post was entirely too optimistic in the wake of the reality that so many people have died, and will continue to die, all because some fucked up politicians wanted to make a virus a partisan issue. It is humbling that I was one of the lucky who haven’t had any sort of agony accompanying my mild inconveniences. And the thing I find so frustrating is people protesting against wearing a mask or keeping themselves safe. Yet… even that is a shared experience. It’s just their “response” to these drastic/abrupt changes in normal life were VERY different than mine. (I comprehend the reality that my actions have consequences to people other than myself.)

Anyway… Stay safe, dear reader. Remember that you are not alone in the world. Someone is going through the same thing you are.