35 votes

How has the pandemic changed you?

I won't give a preamble for this one like I normally do in my ask topics, as I don't want to prime anyone's responses. Feel free to interpret the question however you like, and answer with whatever you feel is relevant.

56 comments

  1. suspended
    Link
    Around the 22nd of March I made a post that has since been removed by our Tildes overlord. Shortly thereafter I made a hideous comment to another Tildes user. Consequently, I was temporarily...

    Around the 22nd of March I made a post that has since been removed by our Tildes overlord. Shortly thereafter I made a hideous comment to another Tildes user. Consequently, I was temporarily banned from Tildes for one month.

    I still don't, precisely, know why I did this. I was contacted by some of the 'higher ups' here and we began talks. There was a lot of back-and-forth and it was helpful. We concluded, somewhat indecisively, that the combination of a long New England winter coupled with the general stress of the pandemic was to blame.

    I don't remember any situation that I've acted this way either online or IRL for 25 years (Yes. I remember a time where I was a complete asshole then but I'll leave that one for another time).

    An early precaution that I have taken is to try to limit my self from Tildes. Lately, I have examined the 'winter problem' a little more and talked about it with family and friends for several months now. To make a long story short, I decided to rescue a dog that would help me get through months of loneliness as well as bring many other benefits to my wife and two sons.

    His name is Brutus, he's 8 months old, and is a Terrier/American Staffordshire/Border Colley mix. He has a very sweet disposition. I can already notice the 'calm' that he brings to me.

    22 votes
  2. Icarus
    Link
    My opinion of the general public dropped quite a bit. I firmly believe an accelerator of collapse in the US (if it happens) is going to be due in large part from the fast spread of misinformation...

    My opinion of the general public dropped quite a bit. I firmly believe an accelerator of collapse in the US (if it happens) is going to be due in large part from the fast spread of misinformation on social media. If our COVID response is in any way indicative of the response we will have to future disasters/calamities that require us to work together in unity, we are going to be screwed.

    18 votes
  3. Grendel
    Link
    The bad: So I read somewhere that the pandemic was an accelerant. If a particular relationship was going well it tended to bring people closer. If it wasn't going well, or had many issues under...

    The bad:

    So I read somewhere that the pandemic was an accelerant. If a particular relationship was going well it tended to bring people closer. If it wasn't going well, or had many issues under the surface all of that came to the top and made things harder (I've heard about lot's of divorce as a result).

    This describes my experiance pretty well. Our boys (adopted through foster care for context) weren't doing great before the pandemic. Suddenly having them home 24/7 and neither us nor them having any kind of reprieve from each other was not good. It actually pushed things so far as my older son requiring inpatient care at a child psych facility.

    It was also very hard on my marriage. The were underlying issues that had previously been serious but easy to ignore that now showed up as cracks under this additional pressure. Not only were we dealing with the pandemic as a couple, we were also dealing with our special needs kids spiraling out of control. This caused us individualy to spiral out of control, which caused our marriage to spiral out of control like a stack of dominoes.

    The Good:

    All this to say that it forced us to either bail on everything or work to make it better. It hasn't been easy, but we are in a much better place now. Not because of a reduction in stress (hint: I live in a county that's surge has made national news), but because we've actually addressed the real issues successfully.

    The best thing that happened for our marriage was not marriage counseling (tried that before with little success), but rather individual counseling for both of us. I also had a sort of Watershed moment about a month ago. There had been some serious issues in my marriage (issues specifically on my part) that I had been in major denial about. I "saw the light" so to speak and realized I had put up major walls between my wife and I years ago. I had totally lost empathy for her. She could be in tears and I would feel nothing. Realizing this has enabled me to identify the source of these wall and work to resolve them.

    All of this has resulted in my marriage being in a better place than it ever has been before. Our kids are still really struggling, but at least we are doing a better job as parents as a result of our marriage improving and us working better as a team.

    I have great hope for the first time in a long time for my family, and honestly for our family going through the hardship of the pandemic was worth it for the result in the end.

    16 votes
  4. [16]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I've been in lockdown for a cumulative total of 185 days (exactly 6 months!) over the course of the pandemic, including one unbroken stretch of 16 weeks in lockdown. A few years ago, stressful...

    I've been in lockdown for a cumulative total of 185 days (exactly 6 months!) over the course of the pandemic, including one unbroken stretch of 16 weeks in lockdown.

    A few years ago, stressful life events gave me anxiety to the point where I had one panic attack, and quite a few close calls. I got some therapy, and had improved - and then the lockdowns came along and undid all that progress, and even made things worse.

    Six weeks into my first lockdown, I had a panic attack when I read the phrase "skin hunger" in an article. Until that moment, I hadn't realised how much I was being affected by the total lack of human contact I'd been enduring. (I live with one person, who actively dislikes touching or being touched by other people. When I needed a hug to calm me down after that panic attack, I had to teach him how, and it was very awkward - not comforting at all.) During the later 4-month lockdown, I made arrangements with a "lockdown buddy", to get me through.

    Coming out of that long lockdown, I had major anxiety issues about human contact. I found myself counting the number of days since someone had last touched me, and the number of days until I was likely to get touched again. I couldn't last more than about 3 or 4 days without touch: I would start getting edgy and panicky.

    So, back into therapy I went. That's helped.

    Even so, I've noticed that, these days, I'm a bit more desperate to get human contact. I've become a hugger, which I wasn't before. More than that, I've become needy for touch. For example, I went into the office earlier this week, after yet another short lockdown (12 days), and I hugged one co-worker and just couldn't let go. I plan my week around opportunities to get hugs. It's annoying.

    13 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Nice to see you again Algernon! I'm really sorry to hear that you have been having such a rough go if it, and have started having panic attacks as a result of all the isolation. I have suffered...

      Nice to see you again Algernon! I'm really sorry to hear that you have been having such a rough go if it, and have started having panic attacks as a result of all the isolation. I have suffered from panic disorder for most of my life, so if you ever need some advice for coping with attacks, managing the symptoms, or just need someone to vent to, feel free to shoot me a message. ❤️

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        My treatment for panic attacks is to make sure I get enough hugs! :) I've had only the two panic attacks that I mentioned in my comment: the first one, a couple of years ago, brought on by stress;...

        My treatment for panic attacks is to make sure I get enough hugs! :)

        I've had only the two panic attacks that I mentioned in my comment: the first one, a couple of years ago, brought on by stress; and the second one, last year, brought on by lockdown. And I've been seeing my psychologist again for the past few months, and he's been helping me.

        Thanks for the offer, though.

        5 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Hah, hugs tend to do the opposite for me, and often make me feel more anxious. :P But that's good to hear you're already getting the help you need, and that panic attacks are still a rare event...

          Hah, hugs tend to do the opposite for me, and often make me feel more anxious. :P

          But that's good to hear you're already getting the help you need, and that panic attacks are still a rare event for you. I guess I misread "major anxiety issues" as being panic attack related too. I sometimes forget that people can experience anxiety without it ending in panic attacks since, at least for me, it almost always ends in me having a full blown panic attack unless I catch the anxiety build-up early enough, and work to eliminate it through breathing exercises or the like. :/

          5 votes
    2. [6]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I cannot tell you how happy I was to see your name pop up in my responses. Good to see you again, Algernon! Thanks for sharing this, and I hope you're able to get the hugs you need. Consider this...

      I cannot tell you how happy I was to see your name pop up in my responses. Good to see you again, Algernon! Thanks for sharing this, and I hope you're able to get the hugs you need. Consider this comment an internet hug from me. :)

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I am able to get the hugs I need, but it's a continual effort: I need to make sure I've got a hug opportunity this weekend, and then next week, and then the weekend after, and so on. It's a...

        I am able to get the hugs I need, but it's a continual effort: I need to make sure I've got a hug opportunity this weekend, and then next week, and then the weekend after, and so on. It's a never-ending cycle of need which I can't quite break. I hate it. I like the hugs, but I hate needing them so much.

        And I've become hyper-aware that "internet hugs" and video calls don't do anything to assuage my need for actual physical human touch.

        Every couple of months, I get curious and browse Tildes to see what's happening. Normally I spend about 5 minutes looking around, maybe upvote one post, but see that nothing's really changed, so I leave... until curiosity strikes again. During today's 5-minute browse, your title caught my eye, and I felt like sharing this.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          Magical_Stardust
          Link Parent
          I'm someone who needs that physical contact even before the pandemic. We're social creatures and in high anxiety situations it's understandable to have an increased need for hugs and physical...

          I'm someone who needs that physical contact even before the pandemic. We're social creatures and in high anxiety situations it's understandable to have an increased need for hugs and physical touch. My roommate also doesn't like hugging or physical touch. After the pandemic I've also seeked out more people to date and I'm finding a significant driving force for this is my need for affection/physical touch - it's not even sexual.

          Kudos on having a pandemic buddy, that's such a meaningful connection.

          6 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            One thing I learned about myself back in my 30s: part of my sex drive was actually a need for affection. I was using casual sex to get the affection I didn't know I needed. Learning that about...

            After the pandemic I've also seeked out more people to date and I'm finding a significant driving force for this is my need for affection/physical touch - it's not even sexual.

            One thing I learned about myself back in my 30s: part of my sex drive was actually a need for affection. I was using casual sex to get the affection I didn't know I needed. Learning that about myself was a big step forward.

            4 votes
        2. [2]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          Hi Algernon. Likewise I'm very happy to see you are back :) In the wake of this post I'd like to ask what you think about this interaction we had back in April 2020. (I don't mean to bring it up...

          Hi Algernon. Likewise I'm very happy to see you are back :)

          In the wake of this post I'd like to ask what you think about this interaction we had back in April 2020. (I don't mean to bring it up as a gotcha, I'm genuinely interested to hear how your opinion about human contact has changed/grown since then)

          4 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            To me, that discussion you linked wasn't about hugs, even if you thought it was. To me, that discussion was about exposing people to infection by the coronavirus - with hugs merely being the...

            To me, that discussion you linked wasn't about hugs, even if you thought it was. To me, that discussion was about exposing people to infection by the coronavirus - with hugs merely being the mechanism that brought two people close enough for one person to be exposed to the other's possible infection. In that context, my opinion hasn't changed much: one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of infection is to stay the fuck away from other people. Hence social distancing. Hence lockdowns. Hence self-isolation. Hence quarantine.

            That said, I know a bit more now than I did before, and circumstances have changed. I know about masks. I'm a few days away from my second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. I've been through multiple lockdowns, and I know about "doughnut days" as indicators of the level of coronavirus circulating in the community.

            So, if my father came and visited me today, I would hug him. Because I'm vaccinated. Because the recent lockdowns in my state mean there's almost no coronavirus circulating in the community at the moment. Because he's vaccinated. Because I know the risk of infecting him is extremely low, and I know that the risk of him becoming sick from COVID-19 is also extremely low.

            But, take those protections away, and I will still stay the fuck away from my 76-year-old father, because my desire to protect him from a potentially fatal illness is greater than my desire to hug him. In fact, if I thought there was a chance of me being infectious, I'd be more likely to hug a stranger I don't care about than my father who I do care about.

            Edited to add an omitted word.

            6 votes
    3. [2]
      Thales
      Link Parent
      It's great to see your name here again, Algernon_Asimov :) I teared up a bit at this: I've been there before (not being able to let go of a hug). Hope you're on the way up

      It's great to see your name here again, Algernon_Asimov :)

      Even so, I've noticed that, these days, I'm a bit more desperate to get human contact. I've become a hugger, which I wasn't before. More than that, I've become needy for touch. For example, I went into the office earlier this week, after yet another short lockdown (12 days), and I hugged one co-worker and just couldn't let go.

      I teared up a bit at this: I've been there before (not being able to let go of a hug). Hope you're on the way up

      8 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I'm sorry you've had to feel this way, but I'm glad you got a hug!

        I teared up a bit at this: I've been there before (not being able to let go of a hug).

        I'm sorry you've had to feel this way, but I'm glad you got a hug!

        5 votes
    4. [3]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      Pre-pandemic, my kid was a hugger, and irritated all his classmates with the constant unwanted hugs. One of the other Dads volunteered that while his family all liked my child, his kids has...

      Pre-pandemic, my kid was a hugger, and irritated all his classmates with the constant unwanted hugs.

      One of the other Dads volunteered that while his family all liked my child, his kids has complained to him about the unwanted hugging. This Dads approach was that if worst thing about my son was that he gave unwanted hugs, then my kid must be OK.

      Which is an especially nice way of looking at it, as I am someone who abhors unwanted hugs, and considers most huggers unwanted.

      But what was really curious, is when all the kids met up after a year of remote learning, one of them hugged my son. This nine year old kid empathized that he knew how sad my son must have been having to go a year without getting any hugs.

      So, if a nine year old kid can show empathy like that, have you thought about being incredibly brave and opening up to people IRL - beyond your flatmate?

      (Now my son says he no longer likes hugs.
      (But the new family cat would disagree.)
      )

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I'm a couple of steps ahead of you. I've not only opened up to people, I've been actively asking for hugs from people: friends, co-workers, boardgaming buddies, etc. When I came out of the long...

        So, if a nine year old kid can show empathy like that, have you thought about being incredibly brave and opening up to people IRL - beyond your flatmate?

        I'm a couple of steps ahead of you. I've not only opened up to people, I've been actively asking for hugs from people: friends, co-workers, boardgaming buddies, etc.

        When I came out of the long lockdown last year, and was dealing with the anxiety caused by that, I made a conscious decision not to hide my psychological damage. I decided not to suffer in silence. I decided to make mental illness more visible and more acceptable. I told people I was damaged, and that I was in need.

        Nowadays, I get hugs from a couple of female co-workers (including my manager - who was the first person I travelled to see last year, after the long lockdown ended). They say I give good hugs. I get hugs from a couple of acquaintances at boardgames. I'm deliberately not hiding my desire for human contact.

        7 votes
        1. HotPants
          Link Parent
          I'm really glad to hear that. Keep those hugs up, and you will be back to your old loveable, cantankerous self in no time.

          I'm really glad to hear that.

          Keep those hugs up, and you will be back to your old loveable, cantankerous self in no time.

          3 votes
    5. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I'd give you a hug if I could.

      I'd give you a hug if I could.

      4 votes
  5. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      It might be helpful if you just put your gym clothes on. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to the gym, just get ready as though you are.

      It might be helpful if you just put your gym clothes on. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to the gym, just get ready as though you are.

      5 votes
  6. Grzmot
    Link
    I've become more jaded. I've stopped caring about things I used to care about more, like climate change (we can't stop it), or equality between anyone. It's gotten more about making sure that me...

    I've become more jaded.

    I've stopped caring about things I used to care about more, like climate change (we can't stop it), or equality between anyone. It's gotten more about making sure that me and the people I love and like are safe, it's all I care about now.

    I've also kinda stopped caring about covid. I think that as soon as everyone had a chance to vaccinate, we should stop restricting people. It's not going to lead to anything. I want to live my life again. If people don't want to protect themselves with the vaccine, I can't help them anymore.

    10 votes
  7. [3]
    CALICO
    Link
    The Bad: I've lost all hope for Humanity: The Good Ending; I don't believe in the future anymore. This isn't just COVID, it was just the final straw. I think I'm a misanthrope now (by some...

    The Bad:
    I've lost all hope for Humanity: The Good Ending; I don't believe in the future anymore. This isn't just COVID, it was just the final straw.
    I think I'm a misanthrope now (by some definitions), and that's not likely to change in the foreseeable term.

    The Good/Good?:
    In response to the heartfelt belief my life won't end in a natural death, I live much more in the present. Not quite living as if there is no tomorrow, but more along the lines of: tomorrow is gonna suck, make the most of today.

    At the beginning of this year, I resolved to learn to play guitar. As of today, I know my basic chords (though F is a pain in my ass still; fuck barre chords), my scales, a bit of music theory, and I can play most of Dust in the Wind fingerstyle. I own three guitars now: a classical, an acoustic, and a Fender Strat. My unrealistic goal is to cover Tash Sultana's Blackbird, that's the bar I'm setting as "I can play guitar". It'll take me years to get there, but I really enjoy this and it gives me joy to learn.

    I give more attention to the people in my life. I spend time with others, that previously I'd have passed by. I let the little things go. I look for the beauty in a small moment. I gotten back into lifting, running, yoga, and taking better care of my body.
    These times won't last forever, it would be a waste to do any less.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's quite the high bar indeed. Tash is a goddamn guitar genius, IMO. Fender even created a Signature Strat model inspired by Tash, which they have only ever done for 22 other artists over the...

      My unrealistic goal is to cover Tash Sultana's Blackbird, that's the bar I'm setting as "I can play guitar".

      That's quite the high bar indeed. Tash is a goddamn guitar genius, IMO. Fender even created a Signature Strat model inspired by Tash, which they have only ever done for 22 other artists over the years. But good luck in your journey to playing Blackbird, you have your work cut out for you. :)

      4 votes
      1. CALICO
        Link Parent
        I know how my brain works, if I set too attainable of a goal then I'd lose steam after because I got satisfied. But I love Tash, and I'm excited that I found them as early in their career as I...

        I know how my brain works, if I set too attainable of a goal then I'd lose steam after because I got satisfied.
        But I love Tash, and I'm excited that I found them as early in their career as I did. The moment I have a chance to see them live I'm taking it. Their signature strat is gorgeous to my eyes, and I almost bought it. Ended up getting an American Ultra SSS instead, and I just hope their sig series doesn't get too expensive in the secondhand market over the next couple years. I won't go looking for one until I've decided I'm "good enough" to start buying guitars I don't need to play a specific style.

        3 votes
  8. cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    Someone already linked to it, but a few months ago I wrote this post about how I felt like my social skills were suffering after a year inside. Since then, since I'm fully vaccinated, I've been...

    Someone already linked to it, but a few months ago I wrote this post about how I felt like my social skills were suffering after a year inside.

    Since then, since I'm fully vaccinated, I've been out and I've had a few conversations with strangers. It felt a bit odd at first. But, quickly, it felt normal again. It felt like if the pandemic hadn't happened at all.

    I do want to answer the question as well, about how I felt internally throughout the pandemic and how I currently feel.

    Before the pandemic, I was already going through a very stressful time. I was having a fight with my family where, because I didn't want my sister's fiance to live in our house, I was castigated as the villain. And I was being emotionally ignored by my mom, and both my mom and my sister started treating me a certain way and started saying things that were incredibly hurtful to me. I was essentially alone. I couldn't talk to anyone about what was going on because I was always the bad guy. And on top of that, I had to live with a guy I didn't like, and I had very little privacy. My emotions had gone all over the place from the isolation I felt. But, eventually, my sister and her fiance moved out and I felt a lot of relief. To the point where I felt like I was recovering back to normal.

    When the pandemic first hit I got severely depressed. I couldn't do anything, I was in my last semester of college and I couldn't be bothered to do any school work. I rarely felt like getting out of bed, and I was pointlessly scrolling through Twitter. Any progress I had made regressed, my emotions, and my personality, became even more erratic in the months to come.

    I think I entered a manic period in the summer, where I was taking on multiple artistic projects. This was also the period where I was addicted to Twitter the most. And I would spend countless mind-numbing hours scrolling through a bunch of nonsense. And it was all changing the way I thought, and the way I felt. Even physically I felt like something was off. Almost like I was really hot, and my mind couldn't stop jumping all over the place.

    This all led to a moment where I was canceled on my corner of Twitter. And that brought me a lot of stress. That led me to re-evaluate not only my relationship with Twitter but also all of the people and all the topics I had interacted with on Twitter. And so I deleted my account.

    I embarked on a journey to broaden my mind. So I started reading again, I started watching more movies. It took a few months for me to return to a sense of normalcy. Where I wasn't thinking about Twitter drama, and I've come to the point where I've forgotten a lot of the people I had interacted with on there.

    Now, I feel like a person again. Something which I hadn't felt in a while. I feel more like me before all the stress of college and my life had brought me to my knees. In other words, I feel more like myself. This also unlocked a lot of memories I had stored away. And suddenly I started remembering more of my life from before the pandemic.

    So, I guess to summarize. I changed a lot throughout the pandemic and came out remembering who I was.

    9 votes
  9. [4]
    eladnarra
    Link
    My anxiety is worse. I've had health anxiety for a while - being chronically ill with very little explanation as to why can do that. What if [random symptom] is another really bad thing wrong with...

    My anxiety is worse. I've had health anxiety for a while - being chronically ill with very little explanation as to why can do that. What if [random symptom] is another really bad thing wrong with me? Etc.

    But the pandemic heightened it. The very mild contamination anxiety I gained from organic chemistry and microbiology lab classes was... Initially helpful for infection control, but now after a year is less helpful and more of a hindrance. I'm also still anxious about long COVID, because my illness started in my teens after I had a mild cough, and my symptoms match a lot of long COVID symptoms. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume I'm more vulnerable to disabling, long term effects from infections like COVID, even mild ones. So I don't know how helpful my vaccine will be for avoiding increased disability.

    I live in a current major hotspot, so I don't really go out. I've put a pause on the minor outings that I'd started to feel comfortable with, like going to the library and doctor appointments. I was already a hermit before the pandemic because I lacked energy to both go out and go to work, but at this point it is starting to get a bit more wearing.

    Edit: this sounds so gloomy, but some good things have happened in my life the past year, they just weren't related to the pandemic. My partner moved down and we're now living together, which is the best, and I'm slowly working on an online web development certificate that's going well.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      Have you been tested for celiacs? It's a simple blood test.

      I lacked energy to both go out and go to work

      Have you been tested for celiacs? It's a simple blood test.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        eladnarra
        Link Parent
        Yeah~ I do take vitamin D because I'm deficient, but tests for celiac were negative.

        Yeah~ I do take vitamin D because I'm deficient, but tests for celiac were negative.

        3 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Modern medicine is incredible, but sadly there is still so much we clearly don't know. A relative of mine had what the Doctor's wound up just labeling as an undefined "wasting disease" since even...

          Modern medicine is incredible, but sadly there is still so much we clearly don't know. A relative of mine had what the Doctor's wound up just labeling as an undefined "wasting disease" since even though they tested her for everything they could think of, the tests always came back negative, and no matter what treatment they tried she just kept losing weight. As far as they could tell, it wasn't an infection, wasn't organ failure, wasn't an autoimmune disease, wasn't any known genetic disorder, and it wasn't even an eating disorder either (which is what many of them initially suspected), since no matter how many calories they put in her (and made sure she kept down) she wouldn't put on any weight. She just slowly withered away over the course of a few years until she eventually died.

          Sorry to be so depressing... your situation just reminded me of hers and I felt the need to vent a bit. She was a lovely person and I really miss her. :(

          Here's hoping science eventually prevails and the age of unknown illnesses and incurable diseases comes to an end soon so those of us suffering with chronic illnesses (mental or physical) can finally get some clarity and relief.

          5 votes
  10. [2]
    Piusbird
    Link
    Finally got a bipolar diagnosis that changed everything for me

    Finally got a bipolar diagnosis that changed everything for me

    9 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      Just checking in, if you ever wanna talk to another bipolar, give a shout! There are a few others on Tildes as well.

      Just checking in, if you ever wanna talk to another bipolar, give a shout! There are a few others on Tildes as well.

      5 votes
  11. [3]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Generally speaking, I haven't changed a lot simply because ---If I may pretend to sound poetic--- I managed to spend so much of my life in my home with my cellphone that, when the lockdown came, I...

    Generally speaking, I haven't changed a lot simply because ---If I may pretend to sound poetic--- I managed to spend so much of my life in my home with my cellphone that, when the lockdown came, I was already accustomed to it.

    But I feel more serious about socializing than I had before, and I think the pandemic helped push that.

    A month or so into the pandemic, it dawned on me that, since I was in 9th grade and that was the final grade that my school taught, if this pandemic lasted until the end of the year, that day in March was the last day I saw my classmates I had been alongside for the last 9 years, even if I never liked most of them that much. (I didn't bother with Facebook and still mostly don't. I don't bother with any other social media platforms focused on IRL relationships.) Generally speaking, when a month takes a fairly long amount of time to pass, life seems pretty endless. But it isn't and there do come ends where fundamental change to your life occurs (at least as a teenager), and given what I've heard of adult socialization, plus the fact that I now go to the psychologist, where I can actually get advice I can believe in for social situations does give me an actual motivation to try to socialize which I simply didn't have before, and I partly credit the pandemic for this.

    Also, this post about a self-described sociable person saying a year of the pandemic has made them behave in ways I personally find fairly relatable actually, gives me the feeling that, if they can fall (back, apparently) into the hole I reckon I've lived in for as long as I can remember, surely I can get out of this place, which is closer to hope than I can say about the overwhelming majority of things in my life.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I can relate to that! I had a realisation during a 4-month-long lockdown that lockdown life wasn't very different to my normal life before the pandemic. That was a nasty wake-up call!

      If I may pretend to sound poetic--- I managed to spend so much of my life in my home with my cellphone that, when the lockdown came, I was already accustomed to it.

      I can relate to that! I had a realisation during a 4-month-long lockdown that lockdown life wasn't very different to my normal life before the pandemic. That was a nasty wake-up call!

      4 votes
      1. HotPants
        Link Parent
        Introverted misanthropic shut-ins ftw! Oh.

        Introverted misanthropic shut-ins ftw!

        That was a nasty wake-up call!

        Oh.

        5 votes
  12. etiolation
    Link
    I lost 20 lbs. I maybe shouldn't have. When the pandemic seemed like it was about to end then didn't, I lost interest in food, have settled in to constant pain, spend every day waiting on some...

    I lost 20 lbs. I maybe shouldn't have. When the pandemic seemed like it was about to end then didn't, I lost interest in food, have settled in to constant pain, spend every day waiting on some thing that used to materialize with alacrity.

    Soon I will change countries. I have consecrated the rest of my life to art, but lack time and tools in the present transition phase. Moving is a month of Judgment Days. Non-stop, you tell your things, "You never brought me joy as a planter box, be consigned to flames," and meanwhile reckon the weight of your own sin when six highlighter markers surface from a junk drawer still in their packaging. But, here I mock what is actually such a stressful process that I find myself pausing in doorways, supporting my standing frame there while gathering the will to endure more of it.

    I wait for life to begin.

    8 votes
  13. post_below
    Link
    For me the pandemic has been mostly positive. Work, relationship, friends, it's all as good or better than it was in the beforetimes. I'm a little more distant from family members that drank the...

    For me the pandemic has been mostly positive. Work, relationship, friends, it's all as good or better than it was in the beforetimes.

    I'm a little more distant from family members that drank the qanon cool-aid, which is sad, but not a lot sad. The relationships still exist.

    A few people in this thread mentioned that their faith in humanity has suffered. I've heard this a lot irl too. Makes sense, in a world of Trump and Brexit and etc. our faith in humanity was going to take a dive even without the pandemic to highlight the problems.

    My view of where the human race is, in it's collective climb of maslow's pyramid and general social maturity, has definitely changed in the last half decade, with the pandemic as an accelerant.

    I don't see this as a bad thing though. I think it's valuable to accept that humanity isn't, as a whole, as noble or as bright as we've liked to imagine. And that's ok. History shows us that this is nothing new. Looking at things like war, civil rights, poverty, mortality and crime, we're doing better than ever, even if it doesn't feel like it.

    So ok, humanity sucks sometimes. We're an adolescent race (at best). Once you accept that, it's no longer disappointing.

    Like most adolescents our priorities are confused, we're emotionally immature and we have an unrealistic view of the world. But also, we have boundless energy, we're learning and developing at warp speed and, if we don't destroy ourselves along the way, we have nearly unlimited potential.

    I think there's cause for optimism. The negatives that can be found in the overall state of humanity just highlight the positives when we find them. Which is pretty often in our immediate circles. Or that's my experience anyway.

    I do wonder, though, if the pandemic is this hard, how we're going to handle the much bigger global challenges that are almost certainly on the horizon. Maybe we needed a starter crisis. A generation innoculated to radical change.

    7 votes
  14. wervenyt
    Link
    I've always been a long term optimist. Not in any specific sense, but my faith that life, order, awareness, will continue to defy entropy as long as it remains possible, has always been strong....

    I've always been a long term optimist. Not in any specific sense, but my faith that life, order, awareness, will continue to defy entropy as long as it remains possible, has always been strong. This pandemic was only dark enough to make me question it. On the other hand, trust in the future of the human race was never my bag. This certainly hasn't helped things.

    Social trust feels like it's at an all-time low, and it's hard not to interpret that as a harbinger of reckoning. I don't know what that means. It could be global warfare, it could "just" be civil wars across the spectrum of societies, it could be...nothing. That end of the range of potentialities is the most worrying.

    As an individual, I'm physically stronger than I ever have been, and mentally healthier than I had been in years. Maybe over a decade. Despite that, I'm as afraid to go out and meet people as I have always been. Given the circumstances, that still feels like something of a win, to not have regressed. My substance issues remain present, but certainly haven't worsened. The pandemic's been horrible for humanity, but I'm just trucking along. A life built on paranoia and isolation is remarkably resilient to a world full of infinitely dubious voices and bereft of social contact.

    6 votes
  15. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Lost a ton of weight. I was happy with that. Started talking intensely with this Girl on Whatsapp. After a few months, I asked her to be my girlfriend without meeting her in real life. I would...

    Lost a ton of weight. I was happy with that. Started talking intensely with this Girl on Whatsapp. After a few months, I asked her to be my girlfriend without meeting her in real life. I would never do something like that in normal circumstances. She said yes. We met, and it was great. I was hit by a car and now two small parts of my face are forever changed. Still look good though. In the recovery from the accident I gained all the weight back and then some (the doctor told me to eat ice cream, and I took the recommendation very seriously... maybe a bit too much hahaha). I moved in with my girlfriend and asked her to marry me. She said yes. Mental health is pretty much the same, which is generally bad, but I'm used to it. I miss seeing my friends, last time I saw them was 2 years ago? I can't count time anymore. We're all getting the vaccine so it'll happen soon. I became even more addicted to the internet than I already was.

    So, what changed? Well first of all, I'm living with a girl for the first time and it's pretty great. I'm a bit fatter. I'm a little less handsome (which is cool, I was bit too handsome before hahaha). I stopped eating sugar (let's see how long this lasts...). A lot more internet. My moustache is really big and kinda insane. I'm proud of that.

    I did not lose hope in humanity. For every ignorant selfish antimasker there are 20 smart well meaning people doing whatever they can for the collective. We're going to get out of it stronger than ever.

    6 votes
  16. joplin
    Link
    It took me back to my roots in a way. 21 years ago I quit my job and started my own business because I was sick of working for a company where they sold tech but none of the people in charge...

    It took me back to my roots in a way. 21 years ago I quit my job and started my own business because I was sick of working for a company where they sold tech but none of the people in charge understood how to make tech. I worked for myself out of my home for the next 5 years. I loved working from home. After shutting down the business and going back to working for others, I still managed to work from home 1 day a week. It's been great working from home full time, and I don't want it to end. It's made me realize that there are a lot of other people who feel the same way.

    But outside of work, I also got back to making music. I went through my old audio cassettes of stuff I recorded 25 years ago and copied it to the computer so I can keep listening to it. In doing so, I also managed to hear a lot of things I couldn't hear at the time I recorded it. So that was pretty fun. I've been writing some songs since then, and I really want to do it more, but I know I could let it fill up all of my free time, so I'm trying to find a balance between that and, you know, interacting with my family and stuff.

    On the down side, it's made me fairly cynical and cautious of others in my community. Between the overly entitled far-right people living nearby, and the people who (rightfully) don't trust the government because of their past, it's a lot less safe than I would have hoped. It's just sad, really. It doesn't have to be this way.

    5 votes
  17. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I got furloughed, then quit my job when it was almost time to come back because I didn't see a point to going back to my job for a year only to quit after I graduate. I lucked out on an internship...

    I got furloughed, then quit my job when it was almost time to come back because I didn't see a point to going back to my job for a year only to quit after I graduate. I lucked out on an internship at a great company that should turn into a full-time opportunity in a field I want to work in.

    I got even more doughy, gaining 20lbs (peaking at a fully clothed 300lb), and lost the strength and cardio I had from my pre-covid life: cycling to a physical job and school.

    I was forced to confront some issues, mostly alcoholism and immediate family issues. I drank more than is strictly healthy before, but it never really impacted me until I wasn't burning off enough energy to go to sleep at night (and whatever other benefits there are for leading a normal life). I was never a day drinker or anything, but it did impact things like leaving me groggy enough to be late registering for classes one semester (pre-pandemic, but I managed to stay on track), and becoming fairly useless after about 10PM. I learned about the potential biological component to alcoholism, and kept drinking, but paid attention to what I did and why if I found myself spiraling into a heavy night. I decided not to quit drinking, but just not do it at home, as I never overdo it in public where I can't just pour another glass and need to be functional.

    5 votes
  18. [2]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    An annoyingly literal answer but the pandemic didn’t really change me at all. It pointed out a lot of the things I disliked about myself, what I disliked about the way I was living my life, and...

    An annoyingly literal answer but the pandemic didn’t really change me at all. It pointed out a lot of the things I disliked about myself, what I disliked about the way I was living my life, and the things I want to do differently. Once things open back up, that’s when the rubber meets the road. Which unfortunately means all the hard work and change still lays ahead.

    5 votes
    1. Protected
      Link Parent
      I had started this effort on myself on February 2020. Not great timing on my part. Feels like the oportunity has passed now.

      I had started this effort on myself on February 2020. Not great timing on my part. Feels like the oportunity has passed now.

      4 votes
  19. Bullmaestro
    Link
    For the worse. I've become more cynical, less energetic and less happy overall. I constantly get this impression that people don't actually like me and merely tolerate my presence, or just...

    For the worse.

    I've become more cynical, less energetic and less happy overall. I constantly get this impression that people don't actually like me and merely tolerate my presence, or just interact when they want something from me. Very hard to explain without going into a whole thesis of people who I once thought were friends.

    Doesn't help that I was recently laid off from a job where I saw the coworkers as a second family, yet seldom interact with many of them.

    During the pandemic I think I've come closer to realising why I'm timid and awkward around women and maybe give the impression of disinterest. Somewhat recent events reminded me of bullying and harassment I received from girls back in high school.

    Relationships have been a major thorn in my side, and I still feel resentment towards exes who have just blatantly used me with no intent of actually being with me. I'm 29, still a virgin and feel like nobody finds me attractive.

    I have been trying to do something about it. Hitting the gym, doing 2 to 3 sets to failure of as many weight exercises as I can. Drinking tonnes of protein shakes. But progress has been slow.

    5 votes
  20. [2]
    meatrocket
    Link
    Spending a lot of time with myself forced me to 1. realize that I'm more extroverted than I thought, and 2. really come to terms with my mental issues and where they come from. I finally have an...

    Spending a lot of time with myself forced me to 1. realize that I'm more extroverted than I thought, and 2. really come to terms with my mental issues and where they come from. I finally have an initial appointment with a psychiatrist for medication; it's two days after I plan to drive >700 miles back to campus before the semester starts. Hopefully they can do it remotely? Point is, my changes have mostly been good progress, but there's still a lot of kinks to figure out.

    4 votes
    1. suspended
      Link Parent
      I wish you well on your travels.

      I wish you well on your travels.

      4 votes
  21. Chrozera
    Link
    Unsure about the mental effects, but the combination of staying in all the time and moving out for the first time led to me finally losing a bunch of weight.

    Unsure about the mental effects, but the combination of staying in all the time and moving out for the first time led to me finally losing a bunch of weight.

    4 votes
  22. moocow1452
    Link
    The big one is my health anxiety went all over the map for a bit. I think I have it mostly under control now, sorted out what's a digestive issue, what's a muscle issue, sorted the UTI for now and...

    The big one is my health anxiety went all over the map for a bit. I think I have it mostly under control now, sorted out what's a digestive issue, what's a muscle issue, sorted the UTI for now and that ache in my foot is most likely an ingrown toenail and not me having broken my foot without my knowledge. Little stuff like that.

    4 votes
  23. [3]
    Pistos
    Link
    I used to be on the fence or unsure about vaccines, but the COVID vaccines have shown me that, at least in some cases, they are legit.

    I used to be on the fence or unsure about vaccines, but the COVID vaccines have shown me that, at least in some cases, they are legit.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Strange to hear that, especially since a lot of the talk about their security was from their seemingly rushed release. Most people I know trust established vaccines against the likes of measles...

      Strange to hear that, especially since a lot of the talk about their security was from their seemingly rushed release. Most people I know trust established vaccines against the likes of measles etc. But were unsure about the ones against covid.

      3 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I took the vaccine and never even considered not doing so. That said, covid vaccines were developed and approved much faster than "regular" vaccines, so I can see why some people might treat them...

        I took the vaccine and never even considered not doing so. That said, covid vaccines were developed and approved much faster than "regular" vaccines, so I can see why some people might treat them differently (even though I 100% disagree with them).

        3 votes
  24. Magical_Stardust
    Link
    I ended a relationship, moved across the state (US), dates and broke up with someone else (we constantly checked in on our social distance measures) and went back to school during the pandemic. My...

    I ended a relationship, moved across the state (US), dates and broke up with someone else (we constantly checked in on our social distance measures) and went back to school during the pandemic. My mental health has fluctuated; I go from feeling great to terrible with no trigger or precipitating event. Now that I'm vaccinated I've started going out in socaly settings and dating. But now with rises in variants I'm starting to feel the constant anxiety again from being around people. I understand I probably won't get hospitalized but the idea of getting long covid scares me. Like Algernon said above, I may seek out a pandemic buddy to help with physical touch. I wish I could relax for longer than a couple months but until we all follow proper procedures this will keep happening.

    4 votes
  25. [4]
    HotPants
    Link
    @kfwyre, are you not going to answer your own question? It's an interesting question to think about. Apparently I am not the only one who has become a lazy home body and feels pessimistic for...

    @kfwyre, are you not going to answer your own question?

    It's an interesting question to think about.

    Apparently I am not the only one who has become a lazy home body and feels pessimistic for humanities future.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Anyone who has read my posts here for a while knows that I've been going through a long-term reckoning about my career choice as a teacher. There was a period of time, well before COVID, where I...

      Anyone who has read my posts here for a while knows that I've been going through a long-term reckoning about my career choice as a teacher. There was a period of time, well before COVID, where I actively made the decision to leave it and was looking for alternatives.

      Doing that helped me to understand that much of what I dislike about education isn't specifically linked to education but is more a product of modern employment. COVID also, interestingly enough, brought focus to some of the positives of my job: it's recession-proof, it's certainly never boring, and I'm doing something that I consider meaningful and good on a daily basis. My husband and I were able to be comfortable financially throughout the pandemic (actually, better than normal on account of what we saved from not eating out or getting gas), but I watched him undergo a paycut and consequent inflation of responsibilities as he took on extra work from people who had been let go or furloughed. His job got harder and he made less money, simultaneously. My year of teaching was not easy, but then again, most people's years weren't easy, so I can't hold that against teaching. I'll remain in this career, in part because I see its upsides, and also in part because I'm so far bought in that changing now means abandoning the years of effort to get to where I'm at, which is finally, comfortably, "head above water".

      That said, despite this affirmation of my career, this year also fully broke my faith that education will do right by me. We are constantly called, as teachers, to go "above and beyond" for the sake of students, and we do because we care. However, when it comes time for leadership to support us, it's clear that the "above and beyond" imposition only goes one way. What I'm about to say will sound contradictory, but it is the absolute truth and really highlights just how bad things are systemically: I simultaneously feel lucky that I work in the school in which I work at because our leadership did most things "right" but also my leadership did not even meet minimum standards.

      There's a lot I would like to share about that, but I don't because it's potentially identifying for me, my area, and my district, but the main lesson I learned this last year is that, when the chips are down, I can't rely on the people above me to do what's right. Their view of us and our role is rooted in hostility and a lack of trust, and it's clear that even at our most outstanding that will never change. I've shared here that even for periods where I was remotely teaching and all students were at home logging in to Zoom, we still had to drive to the school building and teach from our empty classrooms, because they didn't trust us to be home. They also were very concerned about COVID leave being abused, but our school board asked our superintendent about it halfway through the school year, and he admitted that not only were teachers not abusing leave by faking exposures or quarantines, but that most teachers were taking on extra duties daily in covering for others who had to quarantine!

      My superintendent likes the image this public support of teachers gives him, and it should be proof that, even when teachers can take advantage of the situation to our benefit, we're still choosing, en masse, to do what's right. However, the public support is simply posturing, as this is also the superintendent that regularly fights our union on even providing cost-of-living raises and draws out contract negotiations by stonewalling for literal years. We never actually successfully negotiated a temporary contract regarding COVID protocols because the district dragged out the negotiations, knowing that we would show up and do our jobs anyway. Of course we will. Not just because we care, but because we're also under duress -- no teacher is going to forefeit their entire pension by not. The only things we were asking for in the contract were assurances for recommended safety protocols, and they wouldn't even agree to that. It should have been a slam dunk for them: "we're protecting the health and safety of our community -- of YOUR kids!" Instead, the message they want to go for is, consistently, "we're fighting those greedy do-nothing teachers taking up YOUR tax dollars!" It sucks when the relationship between teachers and the community is oppositional, but it really sucks when that relationship is actively encouraged by leadership because it benefits them.

      So, the outcome of this is, while I will continue in this career and will be appreciative of its benefits (like its absolutely incredible, unparalleled time off -- I'm writing this from the middle of my summer vacation), I will absolutely not go "above and beyond" on behalf of a system that will not even repay me partially for that. It really sucks when something meaningful like teaching gets treated as so heartlessly transactional, but for well over a decade at this point I've been asked to and expected to sacrifice for a system that refuses to sacrifice anything for me in return.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        HotPants
        Link Parent
        I presume you are American. The way teachers are treated in America is heart breaking. There are some amazing teachers who deserve far better support.

        I presume you are American. The way teachers are treated in America is heart breaking. There are some amazing teachers who deserve far better support.

        2 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          I am, sorry I forgot to mention it in my post (some good ol’ American arrogance I showed there, assuming everyone should automatically know!). Thanks for your empathy and support.

          I am, sorry I forgot to mention it in my post (some good ol’ American arrogance I showed there, assuming everyone should automatically know!). Thanks for your empathy and support.

          1 vote
  26. DougM
    Link
    Honestly, I lost all motivation to maintain myself. I stopped going to the gym, ate like crap, and spend more time sitting than I have in my life. I'm attempting to get back into it but it's been...

    Honestly, I lost all motivation to maintain myself. I stopped going to the gym, ate like crap, and spend more time sitting than I have in my life.

    I'm attempting to get back into it but it's been a rough road.

    2 votes