What am I supposed to do, other than clean the apartment, cook lunch and watch the whole Netflix, every day?
Those were my thoughts during the first weeks of quarantine.
I remember waking up in the morning, staring into the wall, being like ” “am I going to be fancy today and finally switch from pajamas into sweatpants?” or “I have not washed my hair in like a week…to wash or not to wash?” or even “am I going to watch 2 or 3 whole series today?” and so on.
I am 100% sure that I am not the only one. The safe haven of bed or couch was something that we all welcomed with opened arms at the very beginning of the pandemic (some of us still do that even today), because our tired bodies and minds craved it. After some time the feeling of being tired got switched to being bored because you finished Netflix and other similar platforms.
There were some rare days when I grabbed the car keys, went to the nearest town (where I worked), bought myself a gas station coffee/ smokes and sat in front of the building where I worked at that time (a small caffe) in a locked car, I drank my coffee in silence, smoked a few cigarettes and went home.
There was nothing to do.
Nowhere to go from there.
…for the better days to come.
I remember going to buy groceries for the first time in weeks wearing protective mask, over that protective mask I wore a scarf. I also wore glasses ( prescription ones, that I am supposed to wear everyday because I am legally blind *haha*, but since I was a rebel at that time, I used to leave them at home, walking the earth half blind), a beanie (because I have not washed my hair in forever) and a hoodie over my head. I was also wearing gloves and no jewelery, scared to even look at people who were touching baked goods with their “naked” hands. That was the initial feeling of going out to public after some time being hidden behind the walls of our home- being scared to even touch a grocery cart because of germs.
In the store there was literally one empty shelve after another- people started to bake like crazy, there was no flour, no yeast because some morons decided to buy 40-50 pieces and did not care that other people might be interested as well- and that, my friends, lasted for like first 3-4 months.
We lacked disinfection products because of hoarders as well, everything was sold out and nobody knew when the shops, groceries, pharmacies or even e-shops would restock. I remember seeing a video, from groceries where some lady screamed at a grocery employee (fifty shades of disgusting swear words) because she was “sure” that the employee hid some disinfecting products in the back for herself. It was disgusting to watch the poor employee trying to explain that the prodducts were sold out, but the angry lady would not stop yelling. It was horrible to watch. And do not let me start on the disinfection soap- ladies and gentlemen, people started to wash their hands in 2020- wow!!
The only thing that was easy to get were protective masks- people were really nice about it at first, for example villages sewed masks for all the people who needed it (for example where I live, every house got one or two per person according to the number of people living in one house). There were also a lot of tutorials trending over the whole Internet, how to make your own mask at home, using only a sock or whatever, that was also nice and innovative. People tried their best…and I think some of them are still trying.
It was kind of spooky to look around- we have never had any kind of pandemic of this level here, so seeing people with masks, applying hand sanitizer every few minutes, not laughing together, not sitting at caffes, enjoying a hot beverage or meal together…was kind of overwhelming. We all had to adapt to this new world, whether we liked it or not.
It was like the sun was suddenly covered by a heavy grey cloud and the sun have not come out since. Do not take me in a wrong way- there were some good days, I am not saying there were not, but the pressure of the situation was still with us, with a never ending question overstaying its welcome in our minds, rotating day and night- “What is going to happen tomorrow?”
I have never been scared for my own health, since I am still young and if anything happened to me, I would be able to overcome it, but I am living with other much older people and I was scared for them, their health, their life- never mine. I would never forgive myself if something happened to them because of me. I am still till this day trying to protect myself the best I can because the worries never left my body.
At the beginning there was an irrational fear, then there was not and then it was here in a new form again.
Stick around if you want to find out why.