Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: How Are You?

I keep writing and re-writing this Topic of the Day post, unable to settle on a specific topic because my brain keeps coming back to the main theme of the past 17 months, which is: this shit is really fucking hard! I feel burned out and drained. Not just in keeping up this site, but in everything. Maybe you feel this way, too? I’m not depressed. It’s not even malaise that I feel. I guess it’s exhaustion? Or, more accurately, it’s feeling that raising my kids and keeping my house clean and getting food on the table and maintaining my physical and mental health is… enough. And it’s kind of all I can really handle lately. I saw this meme the other day that kind of summed things up, but something feels just a little off about it at the same time…

What feels a little off is the way the pandemic is framed in the past tense (“You just went through…” as opposed to “You are going through…”). I’ve been seeing this a lot, like this one: During the Pandemic, Did You Want to Make Any Life Changes? We’re still in a pandemic! Maybe for people who are fully vaccinated (which I hope is every last one of you who is eligible to be vaccinated!!) and don’t have young kids and live in an area where there’s either really low transmission or people just act like there’s no pandemic, it feels like it’s all over, but for me, it’s still on my mind a whole lot. My kids won’t be eligible for a vaccine for months it sounds like. They haven’t been inside a school since last March. I am increasingly worried about their risk when they do go back in six weeks. I am worried about the threat of new variants emerging that our current vaccines will be less effective against. I’m concerned about the already waning vaccine efficacy in our older population who were vaccinated first. Sometimes I feel really alone in these concerns. Sometimes, when I see headlines that frame the pandemic in the past tense, I want to scream: Am I living in an alternate reality?!

The other day I ran into a neighborhood acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a couple years. She told me I looked really happy and had “great energy.” It sounded so funny to me that I almost laughed. Whatever it was that she saw is genuine; I actually am happy and I do feel good, but it’s taking all my strength to get there. I don’t have much left for anything that isn’t directly related to keeping my family and myself sane, happy, and healthy. But… it felt good to be recognized, I think.

I’m sorry that I am not posting as often here as I once did. There’s a lot I’m not doing as much or as regularly or as enthusiastically as I did pre-pandemic. I don’t know when or how much things will revert back to normal. But what I am doing, I think I’m doing pretty well. I am keeping my family and myself sane, happy, and healthy. For now, that’s enough. It has to be. I’ve got nothing in the tank for more.

How about you? How are you feeling these days? Are you having a hot vax summer? Are you traveling and catching up with loved ones? Are you feeling like the pandemic is done and over and in the past, or are you, like I am, still grappling with it in your daily life?

69 comments… add one
  • ktfran July 28, 2021, 9:37 am

    I once enjoyed cooking. It brought me joy. Even for the first year of the pandemic, I enjoyed cooking, despite being home all the time and adding breakfast and lunch for both me and the husband (pre-pandemic, the husband did his own thing for breakfast and lunch during the work week) I joined a CSA, experimenting with new vegetables. I baked bread, and I’m not a baker. I made soups and sauces and spreads.

    I’ve lost it. I now dread meal planning. I dread cooking. I dread all of it. It no longer makes me happy. AND I LOVE FOOD. I’m one of those people who think about the next meal before then finish their first.

    Anyway, I’m vaccinated. The husband and I still wear our masks when we go to the grocery store or CVS. We still wear them in the common spaces on the rare occasions we go to the office. We still wear them to and from our seats at a restaurant. I was annoyed when the mask mandate lifted, despite vaccinations, and I’m annoyed once more now that the CDC is backtracking. It’s not hard to wear a mask. I don’t understand it. Their even relaxing the rules on planes. Acquaintances have flown in the last few weeks and people take them off to eat or drink and don’t put them back on. Even steward people have them hanging below their nose.

    Oh, I’m also pissed because I finally scheduled some time off this month and next and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to enjoy it. Rumor has it that an RFP for a project we’ve been tracking for months is about to be released and as soon as it does, it’s 60+ hour work weeks for me. I’m about 4 paychecks away from maxing out my PTO. I’m over it.

    That was a mess. But my brain kind of feels messy.

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    • ktfran July 28, 2021, 9:54 am

      * Obviously, vaccination, not masks, is key. But until a majority of people get vaccinated, I truly don’t think the mask mandate should have been lifted.

      We went to an island off of Belize in May, 4 weeks after being fully vaccinated. The only way to get around was by golf cart. The people who lived there all wore masks, even riding around on their golf carts, OUTSIDE! Some restaurants even set up hand washing stations that you had to use before entering. Belize has a low infection rate, which is one of the reasons we chose to visit there over say, Florida or South Carolina or even California. Why do Americans make it so difficult?

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    • Dear Wendy July 28, 2021, 10:26 am

      Really feeling you on the meal planning and prepping front! It’s been a while since I felt joy in it. Now, it’s just a damn slogggg. I still enjoy/live food; I’m just not finding joy in preparing it at the moment.

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    • bondgirl July 28, 2021, 1:38 pm

      I also love cooking. But haven’t felt much inspiration to cook lately either. And realized I’m definitely exhibiting major depression symptoms. Feeling EXHAUSTED whether I get a good or bad night of sleep, assuming I can actually fall asleep; feels more like an olympic sport lately b/c just trying to get to sleep takes hours (no pun intended) in spite of many sleep remedies. And given my lack of cooking inspiration, I’m not making the best food choices, putting on unwanted weight as a result. I also find myself lashing out more, feeling more angry. But on the bright side, almost everyone in my family is fully vaccinated so I don’t have to worry about them getting sick or hospitalized.
      I am infuriated though by all the people who still refuse vaccination despite the overwhelming evidence that that is our ticket out of this pandemic and they have several resources available to them. I have a very bad feeling that pandemic world is still the status quo until at least 2023. Sincerely hope I’m wrong.

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      • Kate July 28, 2021, 1:45 pm

        It seems like all the exhaustion is a natural result of prolonged trauma, that a lot of people are experiencing.

        And yeah, bad sleep makes you irritable and also prone to weight gain because you can’t resist carbs and sugar.

        I’ve had trouble with sleep all my life but currently doing okay. Are you going to bed at the same time every night, winding down for a while without any screens, not working in your bedroom, and all that? Reading a book? Tea? Bedtime routine?

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      • Anonymous July 28, 2021, 2:17 pm

        I’ve had insomnia problems all my adult life and I’ve tried everything; natural and prescription sleep remedies, meditations, sleepy tea (it just made me pee a lot), white noise machines, routines, reading very boring things, getting up and doing something else, etc. Beginning of the pandemic I was sleeping well but the last few months that’s not the case anymore. I’ve discussed this with my therapist but as much of an amazing rock she is for all her patients, she’s also struggling. Apparently this is the case for a lot of therapists…

        my apologies if this didn’t appear properly under Kate’s comment. While seeing the other comments on here doesn’t make me feel better, it’s assuring to know I’m not alone.

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      • bondgirl July 28, 2021, 2:38 pm

        I’ve dealt with insomnia all my adult life so I’ve tried pretty much everything under the sun — natural and prescription sleep aids, white noise machines, reading something boring, meditations, muscle relaxation techniques, sleepy tea, etc. Beginning of the pandemic I had zero sleep issues but now the pendulum is swinging the other way… Been trying to lean more heavily into the things that give me the most joy but it’s hard to get the energy for it.
        To be honest, seeing the other comments on here at least gives me assurance that I’m not alone, so there’s that.

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  • Bittergaymark July 28, 2021, 10:10 am

    What has got me down lately is… here in California… and many states elsewhere… it’s all happening… AGAIN.

    Needlessly so.

    🤦🏼‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

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    • Bittergaymark July 28, 2021, 6:26 pm

      Clarification: by happening again I mean soaring case numbers. NOT the mask mandates, etc. Sadly, the latter have to happen due to the former.

      Get fucking vaccinated, people!!

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  • Vathena July 28, 2021, 10:11 am

    I’m right there with you guys. I have an 8-year-old, and hearing now that it might be December or later before she’s vaccinated is just sending me around the bend. If they do expand Moderna/Pfizer trials for kids 5-11 (and I can find a dosage study and not a placebo-controlled study) then I’m for sure going to try and get her into one. Our area was doing really well in June, and I was feeling so much less anxious, but now it’s “substantial spread” and I’m a mess. I won’t get on a plane with an unvaxxed kid, so next week we are leaving on a 2.5 week road trip, but I’m not sure that’s any safer. We’re driving from Virginia to New Mexico, then up to Colorado, then Indiana, then back home. We can’t avoid driving through anti-vax country. The family members we’ll be visiting are all vaccinated, but we’re supposed to attend a family wedding in Colorado, and the reception is indoors. I already told my husband that I will probably take kiddo back to the hotel after the ceremony. At first he was pushing back on that, but now with delta he seems more on board. He’s also thinking about, like, what are we going to wear to the wedding? and I’m like, what difference does it make?! I’m just trying not to have our kid die, who cares what she’s wearing?! Looking for cute children’s dresses online feels like the meme of the dog sitting in the room on fire. (Ditto all of the other preparation for this trip.) I’m also worried about breakthrough cases and back to double masking whenever I have to be indoors in public – I never stopped wearing a mask. It’s not a big wedding, and I’m guessing almost all of the adults guests will be vaccinated, but I don’t KNOW, and it all feels so risky. But we haven’t seen most of our family members in 18 months, and I haven’t seen my brother or nephews since May of 2019, when my daughter was 5 and my nephews were 5 and 3. Now they are 8, 7, and 5. We have missed so much time already.

    Ktfran, I so feel you on food/meal planning. I practically have a mental block against it now. Paralysis in the face of all planning and prep. I think I need some Xanax or something.

    I’m SO glad that our school system hasn’t made any moves away from mask requirements. I’m worried about school as it is, but I absolutely couldn’t send my kid if they weren’t requiring masks for all.

    Meanwhile, our capacity limits at work remain, but I can’t do most of my job from home. So in the 1.5 days I’m allowed on site, I have to work frantically and still end up leaving tasks for others to do, and/or cutting corners on paperwork. Sigh.

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  • Dear Wendy July 28, 2021, 10:30 am

    So feeling all of this! And really don’t know how people with real jobs (as opposed to what I do) manage when they’re balancing worry and childcare for young kids right now. The constant risk assessment and risk/ benefit calculation takes sooo much energy, it’s just so very exhausting!

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    • Vathena July 28, 2021, 10:51 am

      I’ve been so exhausted lately that I was concerned it was actually covid! Just totally hitting a wall, and angry at all the people who put my child in danger because they won’t get vaccinated. Contemplating feeling this way for 5-6-7 more months, until she’s vaccinated, is too much. I’m so tired of feeling scared all the time. Especially because for a month or so, I got a taste of NOT feeling scared and it was so great!! And now it’s back to VIRUS! UGH!!!

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      • Dear Wendy July 28, 2021, 10:55 am

        Yep! Those six weeks of feeling a little more normal we’re so nice!!! The thought of not returning to that for six more months is unbearable. In desperation, I asked our pediatrician yesterday what if she’d advise us lying about Jackson’s age (he’ll be 10 in October but is the size of a big 12-year-old/ avg 13-year-old) and she looked at me like I had two heads and sternly said “absolutely not. He’ll be able to get a vaccine in the winter.” As if that was supposed to make me feel better!!!

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    • Kate July 28, 2021, 12:03 pm

      They handle it by having help, setting boundaries, and (as of yet) not having to be in the office. At least the people I work with who have elementary age and younger kids. One person I know is completely and utterly fucked because his kid has developed a horrific mental illness that went off like a bomb during the pandemic. This guy can really no longer work. His full attention has to be on his kid.

      Also, the people I work with in MA have had their kids in school and camp, with masks, these past few months, which gives them some relief. Prior to that, with the kids at home, they were managing, but it looked like a struggle.

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      • Dear Wendy July 28, 2021, 1:06 pm

        Good points. My kids were both in camp last week – the first time I didn’t have a kid at home with my since March of last year – and, WOW, what a difference. I took the week as a personal week to do whatever I wanted, but it made me very excited about the idea of that being normal life again (soon, hopefully) and what I might be able to accomplish with that new time and energy.

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  • Ele4phant July 28, 2021, 11:00 am

    So to be honest – I feel great.

    The few years leading up to the pandemic were really rough (MIL diagnosed with dementia, my own mother had cancer, we had this weird crime situation happening right next door). I went into 2020 feeling like we’d squared those things away and *finally* my husband and I could enjoy life for a change…then pandemic.

    Right in those first few months I was like I cannot go through more hardship. I don’t know if I can. The fact that early in the pandemic there was a focus on people in nursing homes – i had a lot of resentment that I’d given up a lot of my life the last few years for *one* person (my MIL) in that situation, now I was being asked to sacrifice even more for *everyone* in that situation, and I just did not want to. It felt like too much to ask.

    I was in a really dark place, and while I wouldn’t say I was suicidal, I definitely did not know if I had it in me to see this pandemic thru to it’s end. My husband loving but firmly told me you have got to do something about this I’m worried.

    So I got into virtual therapy (a six month CBT program), started taking meds, and worked through a lot of the mental burden I’d be carrying from the last several years.

    Obviously the last year and a half have been, and continue to be, really shitty, but I feel like I’ve built better coping mechanisms and am just more resilient.

    I mentally feel in a much better place now than I was just before the pandemic started.

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    • Dear Wendy July 28, 2021, 11:11 am

      That’s great news!!
      In my family, we are also greatly benefitting from regular virtual therapy and some medication. It’s been pretty life-changing.

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      • Ele4phant July 28, 2021, 11:16 am

        Yes! I recommend therapy to everyone.

        I’m not saying the pandemic was a good thing by any stretch, but it did push me to work on things I otherwise kept trying to ignore and stuff it down and pretend like I was fine.

        It would’ve all caught up with me eventually – at least this way it happened at a time when there was all time awareness about mental health and compassion for me needing to take breaks and do what I had to do.

        I do acknowledge, everyone’s mileage will vary. But it greatly helped me.

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    • Ele4phant July 28, 2021, 11:13 am

      I guess what I’m saying – the exhaustion and fatigue and sense of hopelessness many people are feeling at this point in the pandemic – I hit that wall much earlier because I came into the pandemic already way depleted.

      But, it was possible for me at least, so work thru that and figure out how to replenish myself, even as external events continued to devolve.

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  • Moneypenny July 28, 2021, 12:06 pm

    I’ve realized that I feel guilty for feeling tired and burned out, because I don’t feel like my life is really that bad! (I know it’s not a competition for who has it worse, but the thought still creeps into my head!) I’m still working (from home), my workload isn’t crazy. I live in an area that has a high vax rate. I’ve gotten to see friends recently which has been so nice! I even got a mani/pedi. I still haven’t eaten indoors yet though. When mask rules were lifted in June it just felt so *normal* again- just to go inside a store without a mask on. Wow. But still, I feel so tired. I’m so unmotivated to do my work (so here I am…), I’m exercising and doing little projects and stuff around the house but it’s so… I dunno. It’s still exhausting. And seeing how the variant is causing rates to go up again… I am just so tired of it all.

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  • Lauren July 28, 2021, 12:38 pm

    I admit, ever since I got vaccinated I’ve been more relaxed about precautions. I go out to open bars and restaurants and socialize without a mask indoors. I live alone far away from family and in order to start socializing again I had to let things slide. But it’s been hard because some friendships I thought were strong pre-pandemic have been feeling really disconnected even though we can hang out in-person now. It sometimes feels like I was the only person who actually followed restrictions during the height of everything and everyone else just….moved on from being my friend. I know this group kept going out during the pandemic and became closer with others that kept going out during the pandemic. Some of it is a lot of them are either service workers or otherwise weren’t really able to follow restrictions, but mostly I think they just weren’t worried about catching it. On the other hand I was high risk and if I got sick I would have ended up in the hospital. I feel like they just forgot about me during the pandemic and even though I’m around now my ‘friends’ still don’t remember to include me in things. And it really really really hurts to feel like your presence doesn’t matter to people you thought cared about you. I have anxiety and it just feels like all my worst thoughts and feelings are being proved right, that I *don’t* actually matter and I *should* just stop trying.

    And now another wave of restrictions is looming even though I did the right thing and got vaccinated, and I worry that what fractional amount of progress I’ve made in rebuilding these relationships is going to be lost when I follow the rules again and they don’t.

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  • MaterialsGirl July 28, 2021, 1:47 pm

    Resiliency has a limit.. i think most of us have found the depths of ours

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  • Rangerchic July 28, 2021, 4:04 pm

    Emotionally I’m feeling better (since about May). But I’ve been mostly avoiding the news for a while now because I don’t want to fall down that black hole again. I know cases are rising, I feel like I can see that the country is about to fall down the rabbit hole again but not bring back any (or few) restrictions…so I’m trying to enjoy the time right now before…..before it all explodes again? IDK.

    I am worried about returning to work. The college I work for is returning all staff, students, faculty to campus next month (vaccinations are required). But still, I work with a bunch of teenagers and young adults that (though vaccinated) don’t always make the best choices. And even though vaccinated doesn’t mean zero spread or zero chance of getting it either.

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  • Miss MJ July 28, 2021, 8:25 pm

    I’m at my limit. Completely tapped out and have no idea how I’m supposed to get through this again.

    I took on a new project while my work load was light and now my work and travel schedule is all heating up at once and side project needs attention. Add to that that both of my parents have had significant health issues in the last few months that require my assistance from several states away. All of which means that since April, I’ve not spent more than a week in any one place. Constant travel is not conducive to staying on top of anything.

    My husband has had to take a back seat, which isn’t great. My dogs need training, which I haven’t gotten around to arranging. My condo has needed to be repainted since last March and is in a state of semi-disarray, where it will remain until at least November at this rate. I can’t seem to stick to an exercise regimen due to the aforementioned travel. I am unhappy with my current weight gain and it stresses me out to the point that even when I have a minute to enjoy the pool or beach, I’m too self-conscious to do it.

    I did try therapy, but virtual just didn’t work for me and the only non-religious affiliated one I could get into with an in-person appointment before the fall spent the entire first session asking me for legal advice about her personal problems. No joke. First time I’ve ever paid someone for the privilege of providing my services free of charge.

    Something has got to give, but I don’t know what. In normal times, I’d start outsourcing the hell out of this. But having to once again factor in the complications, considerations, restrictions and all the other COVID crap because a bunch of assholes won’t get a vaccine is going to be the proverbial straw.

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  • Part-time Lurker July 29, 2021, 8:53 am

    I simply have nothing left. No empathy, no sympathy, no compassion, Nothing. In some ways, I was/am lucky. I’m naturally a homebody and my family lives out of state so the pandemic didn’t really affect my social life, but my job ……my job probably quintupled in difficulty and I’ve reached a point where “meh is just my response to everything. Instead of striving to do everything to the best of my ability, I’m just robotically going through the motions and deeming every half-ass attempt as “good enough”. Students return in 2 weeks and………..I have no fucks to give and just ………..I can’t nurse sick people again all year. I just can’t. The constant quarantines and the attendant arguments , bitching, and refusal to follow the health department’s rules when they are the ones who created the problem in the first place will kill me; add that to the health department’s insistence that I somehow enforce their rules for them when they refuse to use the legal means of enforcement at their disposal or address violations in any way………I just want to curl up in a little ball and cry.

    Rereading my little rant, I guess I’m a little more angry and scared than I thought. -\(:)/-

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  • Fyodor July 29, 2021, 9:34 am

    Not great. There is something particularly heartbreaking about having the promise of a return to normal life dangled in front of us and then having it snatched away.

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  • Copa July 29, 2021, 10:09 am

    Well I was looking forward to returning to the office part-time, but my company punted on making that decision until at least September with everything going on right now. So now I’m finally looking into getting a real WFH set-up, which unfortunately would go in our bedroom because that’s the only space we have. But I’m over working from the dining room table and my back hurting all the time. I’d have pulled the trigger earlier but my company hasn’t really made any announcements about what return to work will look like until recently, but since it’ll be a hybrid situation, it seems like it’s time to get situated here and make it work for us.

    I also went from feeling hopeful at the prospects of normalcy being within reaching to feeling disheartened by rising cases. We’ve been less cautious this summer since our friends and family are vaccinated, but we still mostly socialize outdoors. We have a trip coming up in September that we’d maybe be reconsidering, but it’s for my grandma’s funeral and I’m just feeling like… fuck, it’s been over THREE years since I’ve seen a lot of my family.

    Zero sympathy over here for anyone who can get vaccinated but has chosen not to. Suddenly all these GOP leaders are telling everyone to get vaccinated and some even claiming they’ve been saying this all along. Uh, no, but maybe if you had we wouldn’t be where we are now. Too little, too late.

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  • Hazel July 29, 2021, 6:53 pm

    A bit despondent that our government (UK ) has chosen to open nightclubs a month before all the people going to them will have got their vaccines, I’m sorry for the workers there who are now at risk; and utterly gutted that some have so gleefully thrown off their masks in supermarkets, terrifying some of the younger shop workers who haven’t had both vaccines yet either. It’s only a bit of cloth, and it’s only for a short time, just why? Our local supermarket and several fast food places had to shut down for a while recently as so many of their staff had been infected. I find it really depressing at how many people seem just not to care about low-paid workers. My own life is going okays considering but insomnia is being a right sod right now and I lie awake worrying about some really stupid things. An anti-vcxx relation of partner’s are popping past for a visit and I currently feel like a right bitch for being unwilling to let them sleep overnight in our tiny tiny house.

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    • Kate July 29, 2021, 7:40 pm

      You shouldn’t feel bad. These people are lying sacks of shit who will put your life in danger. My friend was just telling me about a friend of hers who met a mom and kids from her kid’s new school, outside at a park. The other mom persuaded them to remove their masks, by asking a seemingly considerate question about their comfort level. Then when it started raining, they went back to my friend’s friend’s house. On their way out, the little girl asked my friend’s friend if she’s fully vaccinated and added, “my mom isn’t.”

      Seriously, they do not give a shit about anyone but themselves. My former friend who went anti-vaxx told me she thought she was better than everyone else. She definitely thought she was smarter, though she got completely duped by misinformation online. I’m serious, they are awful people. I’m not talking about the hesitant, I’m talking about the anti-vaxx, before someone tries to explain to me again that there’s a difference. Thank you, I know.

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  • Hazel July 30, 2021, 3:41 am

    Thankyou Kate I feel a bit better hearing that.

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    • Kate July 30, 2021, 5:50 am

      Their deviousness and arrogance is unbelievable. My former friend got a fake religious exemption. She never went to church and might have even been agnostic. She and her husband were lying and saying they had disabilities that precluded then from wearing masks at the beginning of the pandemic. Anti-vaxxers will get fake vaccine cards. Will lie and say they’re vaccinated. They believe they are superior to everyone else because they eat organic, limit their sugar, and get out in the sunshine. Their health is superior to yours, you overweight unhealthy fuck shoving McDonald’s and snickers in your face. They won’t get sick because they’re healthy. If you get sick it’s because you’re unhealthy and gross and you were gonna die anyway. And obviously you’re not dying of Covid, you’re dying of whatever disease you got by eating McDonald’s. For real, this is the narrative on these Instagram accounts.

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      • Lucidity July 31, 2021, 6:16 am

        We’re having a backyard birthday party for my toddler today and I just got a message from a relative asking me the date of my last vaccine because they have decided, for their family’s safety, not to be around anyone who was vaxxed in the past 30 days. She couldn’t even write covid shot, had to spell it with special character (so the government doesn’t know she’s talking about it?). She’s been doing her own research for years, avoiding GMOs, leaving the room if someone turns on a microwave, bringing her own food to events. She’s exactly a person who thinks she’s smarter and healthier than everyone else.

        She said she didn’t mean any offence, and it took every fibre of my being not to tell her she’s bonkers. I just gave her the date I was vaxxed and told her what MY family needs to feel safe is for her to wear a mask if she needs to go inside my house and not to get within 6 feet of my toddler.

        I wanted to say don’t come, because this is someone who thinks chicken pox parties are a good idea so who knows what precautions, if any, she’s talking to avoid covid. Sorry, c0¥id

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      • Kate July 31, 2021, 6:51 am

        Yup, they think they are free thinkers, and researchers (which makes me lmao), and smarter and healthier than you, who’s just blindly following what “mainstream media” says, but you can’t trust anything you see on “mainstream media,” whereas absolute shyster hacks on FB with a fucking liberal arts bachelors degree are “smart, well-researched, and well-spoken.” Facepalm. You can’t fix stupid.

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      • Kate July 31, 2021, 6:58 am

        Oh and they also know more than their pediatrician, because they do their research on the Internet. And they bring their pediatrician information that they never knew about, and that really makes their pediatrician think! It’s definitely not that their pediatrician is humoring their stupid ass in order to retain some small kind of influence on the kids’ health.

        This drives me bonkers because of my personal background which I don’t want to get into, but I will just say that you need to have a responsible plan for taking care of your kids, whether that’s relying on medicine, or relying on prayer *while following public health guidelines, and knowing when to turn to medicine*. Relying on staying healthy with organic food and sunshine and internet memes is NOT a responsible way to raise children.

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      • Dear Wendy August 1, 2021, 12:45 pm

        Oh, dear God. The poor kids…

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  • Hazel July 30, 2021, 3:47 pm

    still waiting to hear what this (much loved ) relation’s actual views are, tbf if it was anyone but her she’d be beaten off the doorstep with shitty sticks by both of us but she’s my partner’s dearest nearest so we are trying to be sanguine, she and I have had a hint of tiny troubles before and I really really do not want to be the bad guy here. Hopefully I will get full backup. Hey ho will see how it goes.

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  • Hazel July 30, 2021, 3:49 pm

    I know she is anti-vcxx, but do not know if she has gone full tin-foil hat`; `i really hope not.

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    • Hazel July 30, 2021, 4:04 pm

      Also Kate, I know what you mean, had to ghost two friends who just were turned into awful, gloating, Trump admiring bigots, (living in the Uk, like WTF?? -believing all the Q stuff, the Queen’s a lizard, Meghan Markle is a “deviant”man,Bill Gates is implanting is all, 5G, the works,) and it gave me such a fright, I had thought they were kind and reasonably intelligent people, I did what I could but there was utterly no helping them whatsoever, one of them ended up sectioned (involuntary detention in a medical psychiatric hospital) and I now have no idea how either of them are. So hoping to nip whatever nonsense is going on here in the bud.

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  • Hazel July 30, 2021, 4:12 pm

    Not ghosted as such, they know where i am, but my input was doing nothing to help so now it is in the hands of the experts and their immediate family. I hope it is going well but I loathe and despise those who have cynically exploited people’s feelings of being outside of society to indoctrinate them into such pointless and hateful anti- society nonsense.

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  • Peggy July 31, 2021, 11:00 am

    The anti-vax/ anti common sense people drive me crazy. They ARE jerks in everyway. A good friend of mine and her husband were shocked to find out people they thought they knew/were good friends, starting to spout the no mask, no vaccine mantra. Nevertheless they decided to agree to disagree. Except the now former friends were so rude and nasty to them because they follow science that they stopped all contact with them. And my friend is a nurse!

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    • Kate July 31, 2021, 6:03 pm

      I’ll tell you what, sometimes I check this one insta account to see what they’re saying. Sometimes I try to give them some facts and I’m not even a bitch about it at all, and they immediately start calling me names and cursing at me.

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      • Kate August 1, 2021, 10:13 am

        Literally they are calling me fat (I have no pic), ignorant, a creep, a Russian bot, “blind as a bat,” an idiot, etc. just for linking to real information. 😂😂😂. They get incredibly fired up just by facts delivered in a completely neutral tone. Btw, I go by a man’s name and don’t sound anything like I do on here.

        Their latest on the vaccine is it contains a poison called Graphene something. They state this as absolute fact, though it is based on a debunked report by ONE guy who says he tested ONE vial of what he claims is the Pfizer vaccine, delivered to him “by messenger,” and even he states that the results are inconclusive. Btw, this substance is BLACK in color, and the vaccines are completely transparent.

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  • Peggy August 1, 2021, 2:31 pm

    Sad and dangerous that so many have jumped on the Crazy Train! Does not look like the train is stopping anytime soon….

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  • Kate August 1, 2021, 2:56 pm

    My neighbor died in the night 🙁 Not of Covid, but I assume Alzheimer’s. When we moved in 3 years ago, he would always ask us what breed our dog was, and his name. As time went on, he would walk with a caregiver, then using a walker, and then he didn’t go out anymore. He had round the clock nurses – we would see the shift change at 7am. Today my husband saw a funeral-director or coroner come with a stretcher and took the elevator to 5, so it must be him. I’m glad he got to be at home with his wife and dog. And a few weeks ago he was outside in a wheelchair as some friends or family visited. Alzheimer’s is such a bitch.

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    • Dear Wendy August 2, 2021, 5:45 am

      Oh, no! Is this the neighbor who lives upstairs that you were bringing groceries to over quarantine? (I think that gentleman lives alone though so probably different neighbor?).

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      • Kate August 2, 2021, 7:26 am

        Yeah, different neighbor. This one is married. The one we help out is 86 and single since his partner died, also of Alzheimer’s. The man who just passed was more like my parents’ age, 70s.

        Most of the owners of these units, like my parents, bought in 1996 when the building went co-op, so they’re all the same era, and in the past couple of years they’ve started passing on.

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  • anonymousse August 2, 2021, 8:06 am

    I had a breakdown at the start of June. I’m not sure how I made it that long, honestly. Just so much stuff. My young (50) neighbor died from Covid last year in the fall. I was the last person to talk to her. I have had shingles AND somehow mono this year and Covid last year. Family shit. The state of the world. This fucking virus. Years of trauma and assaults in my past. Now I’m seeing a great therapist and feeling better but I now have intense anxiety. I have dropped thirty pounds since February. It’s like my body is suddenly not mine and I don’t control how it reacts to stress.

    All that aside, I know I am doing the right thing to get over my past to be the best mom I can be. I had a chaotic childhood and was abused. Having a young daughter who looks just like me is a huge trigger for me and how helpless I felt as a child. My therapist has really helped me know deep in my heart that the things that happened to me aren’t going to happen to her because my daughter has two great parents watching out for her.

    She starts kindergarten this year, so I am looking forward to some time alone to hopefully really focus on myself and keep getting better. I’m not a spiritual person but I am praying school opens and my kids can go. They are luckily the first kids in a brand new school in our district with great ventilation, so here’s hoping.

    I just can’t believe how idiotic people are. Have you guys seen the pictures of lollapalooza? I went grocery shopping once or twice without a mask, but I felt like such an asshole that I now mask up inside, required or not. Not that I’m going out much at all.

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    • Dear Wendy August 3, 2021, 6:20 am

      I’m so sorry to hear this! I’ve had both shingles and a really bad case of mono as a teen and they are in the top three worst ailments I’ve experienced (kidney infections were the worst). Couldn’t imagine having them back to back, along with covid. To say nothing of all the other stuff you’re going through. I hope you’re on the other side of it now. 🤞🤞

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    • anonymousse August 3, 2021, 7:21 am

      Thanks, Wendy. It’s been a tough year for so many. It hurts my heart the mass pain, grief and trauma were all going through.

      I should actually thank you and the commentariat for helping me realize how bad the men I dated were and later helped me recognize how amazing my husband was when we were starting up.

      He is so supportive and compassionate and has not once complained after basically caring for all of us for months, working, etc. I’m so grateful for him, and I honestly do think your site and advice (many, many years and email addresses ago) for helping me date better men. Thank you.

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      • Dear Wendy August 3, 2021, 8:19 am

        That means a lot – thank you.

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  • ktfran August 2, 2021, 8:34 am

    OMG, where did you get mono? That sucks!! I had a really bad case of it when I was 17. I could only suck on ice chips for like a week because my throat was so raw and swollen. Was almost hospitalized.

    I’m glad you like your therapist!

    Anyway, Lolla. Ugh. I’m so annoyed the Mayor went through w/ it. We’re not supposed to be able to do AirBnb in my condo building, but I’m pretty sure our neighbors did it over the weekend to make some extra lolla cash. A whole bunch of young guys were partying starting at like 8:00 in the morning on Saturday and then yesterday they left 3+ bags of trash on the front sidewalk and a whole bunch of red solo cups in a planter… WE HAVE AN ALLEY, WITH LARGE TRASH BINS. I did not stray far from the house last weekend.

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    • ktfran August 2, 2021, 8:34 am

      That was supposed to be a reply to anonymousse.

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      • anonymousse August 2, 2021, 9:14 am

        I honestly have no idea. At the time, I was masked up everywhere (not going out much) and only kiss my husband, who was never sick. I had been in and out of my doctors previously for the shingles, which was honestly one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had. So, other than being isolated from others from the pandemic, I was basically in bed for weeks.

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      • Dear Wendy August 3, 2021, 6:23 am

        That shingles is triggered by stress and is so fucking painful is a real indignity. Whatever stress you’re dealing with to have triggered the damn thing is usually so intense already. I got it when my grandmother was actively dying. We were very close. She kind of helped raise me. My shingles were so bad the dat she died there was no way I could make it to her funeral. It was awful. I wish the vaccine were more widely available.

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      • ktfran August 2, 2021, 9:19 am

        That’s nuts! What a shitty year so far.

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      • anonymousse August 2, 2021, 9:50 am

        Thanks, ktfran.

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  • TheLadyE August 2, 2021, 11:41 am

    This has been one of the worst summers of my life. I mean, my heart and soul dog passed away in July of 2019 (2 years and 2 days ago), so that was awful, but this summer has been just bad upon bad upon worse.

    I had to isolate completely during 2020 because of my lung problems. I struggle with depression anyway. That loneliness was and is still extremely painful.

    In January, I was feeling very poorly, tested my oxygen level and it was at 73 (normal is 95-100). Best friend took me to the ER. I was in the hospital for 3 days, where it was determined it’s my lung condition acting up. I eventually got an oxygen tank that sits here at home with me, so I’m on extra oxygen most of the time.

    I also started to struggle to breathe when sleeping. Turns out I have severe obstructive sleep apnea, which is common for people with lung problems. I was diagnosed in May but couldn’t get a follow-up appointment to calibrate my CPAP machine until tonight, in fact. So it’s been all summer of not sleeping and feeling like crap. The last 2 times I went out, I almost fell asleep at the wheel, so I’m really hoping to get a CPAP machine tonight and get past this problem.

    I put on 20lbs since 2019, which on a 4’10” frame is NOT good.

    I’ve been spending every weekend in bed. This past weekend I didn’t get out of bed until 10pm Saturday & 7:30pm Sunday.

    And where’s my boyfriend of 2 years in all this? Not here. Long story short, we took a break in April after I got us an AirBnB at the beach for our 2 year anniversary and he didn’t show. His world is chaotic 100% of the time and he’s miserable and unhappy but won’t do anything about it (job, family, friends, etc) and he had been neglecting me for, honestly, months. Months and months. I put up with it for a long time but I realized it would be easier to have zero expectations because then I wouldn’t be let down. He told me he didn’t want to lose me so he was just going to try to get himself together while we dated, but I was so tired of feeling so alone. Joke’s on me: now I really am alone.

    A good friend of mine has been there for me this whole time for which I’m grateful, but he’s an anti-vaxxer and I just can’t. I CANNOT. He just spouts the same old stuff, it came to market too quickly, not enough research, blah blah…like who died and made you a scientist? But he won’t budge. I cannot tell you how furious it makes me. He also voted for the fucking 3rd party candidate instead of Biden. WTF.

    At least my ex voted for Biden (he wanted Bernie) and got vaxxed right away, damn.

    Now I need to lie down again.

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    • Kate August 2, 2021, 12:06 pm

      Wow, that all really sucks.

      I also gained a bunch of weight… 20lbs total since the last time I have a record of weighing myself in 2018, and most of it was during the pandemic. It’s distressing especially when you’re short, but it’s not the end of the world. The first 10lbs came off pretty quick and now I’m into the next 10 which is going to take longer. I think once you get your cpap figured out and can get some decent sleep, you should feel better and be able to do stuff like walk a lot, and the weight will come off. I really would encourage you to push through the depression and get yourself outside for walks. If you’re getting basically zero steps right now, try to do 2,500, then work up from there. Obviously check with your doctor, but walking will make you feel better and look better.

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      • Kate August 2, 2021, 12:08 pm

        Also I know this isn’t necessarily what you want to hear, but it’s so much better to be alone than with a chaotic mess of a person who has nothing left for you. Now you can focus 100% on taking care of yourself. And you have family, friends, and dogs. You’re okay.

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      • TheLadyE August 2, 2021, 1:14 pm

        Thank you, and yes, absolutely – I am not really getting any steps right now. It’s hard for me to even walk across Target sometimes. Some days are better than others. I’ve been told the CPAP machine will change my life, and for that, I’m cautiously optimistic.

        I used to be so active, even for having lung problems: body pump classes, yoga, walking my dogs every single night for 2 miles +. I’m really hoping the weight will easily come off once I can be active again.

        As for my ex – it was so difficult because there really was nothing wrong with *us* and I’m just really disappointed and sad. We were really compatible in so many ways and I thought we were endgame. He has a lot of shit to work through, though, and I can’t do it for him. Alas.

        Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

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    • Copa August 2, 2021, 1:12 pm

      @TheLadyE I’d been thinking of you when checking this site in the past few months and had wondered how you were doing. I’m sorry to hear about all that you’ve been going through. I hope you get that CPAP machine and that it is helpful.

      I’m also sorry to hear about your break-up. That really sucks, but you deserve a guy who meets your needs.

      I hope you have some other friends who you can lean on during this time who aren’t crazy anti-vaxxers.

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      • TheLadyE August 2, 2021, 1:18 pm

        @Copa – aww thank you. I was honestly embarrassed about my breakup. Like, I’m in my late 30s and have been dating for 20+ years, wtf. It’s so disappointing and a shame.

        I do have other friends, indeed. 🙂 The hard thing is that I’ve been reduced to basically being handicapped for the moment. It’s hard for me to walk a block or to even take my dogs out. I’ve NEVER struggled this much before as an adult and it’s hard for people to understand. My very best friend of 20 years has heard me wheezing and knows, mostly, how bad it is, but even she doesn’t realize the level of which things are hard right now.

        Hopefully this CPAP machine works wonders. My sleep has been awful for months and months.

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      • Copa August 2, 2021, 4:10 pm

        Well, I think it’s ok to be sad and disappointed about a break-up, but you don’t need to be embarrassed. It wasn’t working for you and your needs were going unmet, so now you’re free to focus your energy on getting better. Eventually you’ll be free to meet someone who has his life together and doesn’t let you down all the time.

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    • Ange August 2, 2021, 5:39 pm

      I think you won’t know yourself once you get the CPAP going. So many negative outcomes for our body stem from not enough sleep, even weight gain. Here’s hoping it’s not long until you’re using it.

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      • TheLadyE August 3, 2021, 8:11 am

        You know, you may be right. I did the sleep test last night to calibrate the CPAP and it was like night and day (no pun intended). I actually SLEPT. I slept for real with no wine, no TV, no meditation videos, and it was real sleep. I just wish I’d gotten more than 6ish hours. I can’t wait to get the actual machine now, because I think it’ll be a game changer. The tech said based on my previous test that I haven’t actually been sleeping at all, just resting, because my body can’t get to deep sleep from trying to keep my oxygen levels up. Ugh.

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      • Ange August 3, 2021, 5:53 pm

        That’s a positive sign for sure! Even if it shows some crappy stuff currently.

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    • Dear Wendy August 3, 2021, 6:30 am

      I’m so sorry, LadyE! What a rotten year! Hope your sleeping improves ASAP. I feel like with me anyway, like 80% of my issues improve or disappear when I start sleeping better.

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      • TheLadyE August 3, 2021, 8:13 am

        Thanks, Wendy. It has been really terrible and it’s honestly made me a bit scared for the future because I’m still in my 30s and this is happening…what’s it going to be like 20 years from now? But the sleep test last night with the machine was really helpful and hopefully I’ll have my own machine soon. It’s gotten so bad that even my legs and feet are swelled up like an old lady’s and I have to wear compression socks. When I woke up today though, the swelling had gone down more than it has in 3 months! I can’t wait to get this machine and, in essence, recalibrate my life.

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      • TheLadyE August 3, 2021, 8:18 am

        I will say, despite everything being very rough right now, 3 things have helped immensely:

        1. My little dogs. They know their mom isn’t feeling well and have been snuggling with me for hours and hours at a time even though I know they would rather be playing.
        2. My therapist. It’s been 4 years with him now and I can’t believe how perfect he is for me. Finding a good therapist is priceless.
        3. My job/career/company. Without my extremely understanding boss and team and my company’s incredible insurance, holy moly, who knows where I’d be right now. Can’t thank the powers that be (choose your deity here) enough for that.

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