Pandemic blues

I feel like this is the first weekend when I actually feel pretty down, and that’s saying a lot since this pandemic began way back in March, which is now nearly nine months ago. I’ve been constantly telling myself to make the most out of this time. Read more! Make more videos! Edit more! Exercise more! Do more face masking! Experiment with more different recipes! DO MORE! I just feel exhausted. I’ve felt exhausted for the last week or so. My mind and my body are slower, and I feel more numb. I suppose it doesn’t help that my cubital tunnel dull pain in my elbows is still lingering. My PT says that since we just recently started the nerve flossing exercises that I likely will not see real, tangible improvement for at least 3-4 weeks. That was just so depressing to hear. I almost cried. I’m 34 years old, and I have a nerve problem in my elbows. I told my doctor friend this, and she was at once in disbelief and in rage. “You’re too young for these kinds of problems!” I hate everything today.

I was thinking about all of the things we’ve done in previous years, ranging from personal to work travel around the country and world. I thought about events we’ve gone to, from food festivals to comedy shows to off Broadway shows. I’ve thought about catch-ups and events with friends. I thought about all our trips to Asia and Canada over the last seven summers, plus our European Thanksgiving trips and the Christmas markets we got to mingle in and be a part of. I thought about how I have not been back home to San Francisco since February — that was nine months ago. In the last seven years, I was really happy about my routine of going back home about 3-4 times per year. It felt like a good number of visits to go home and a solid amount of time to spend with family and friends back home. I’ve even thought about the prior “normal” act of hugging or kissing a family member or friend upon seeing them, and all of it just drove me nuts this morning.

Nothing is normal anymore; everything feels wrecked. Even now, when I see TV shows on Netflix or HBO and I see people interacting in offices and hugging, I immediately think, as a gut reaction, “Why are they not wearing masks?” And for a moment today, I thought, I really miss San Francisco. I actually miss my parents and just want to see them. I would like to have an argument in person with them just to be in person with them. I would like to see my mom nag me while I am packing my roller bag, asking me as per usual, “Why did you not bring a bigger suitcase? Now, I can’t pack you as many things!” I’m sad I cannot see my aunt, who always tries so hard to be optimistic about every freaking thing that happens in life. Yeah, she inevitably will send me off with some gift she has regifted, but you know what? It’s the thought that counts. I’m annoyed I can’t catch up with my close friends back home over afternoon tea or boba or at some new interesting restaurant that has opened up, or do something else stereotypically “Asian.” I’m mad I was never even able to see my close friend pregnant, even for a second. All of this is driving a combination of rage as well as sadness in my head.

I just can’t stand this country right now. I can’t stand this lockdown. I can’t stand anything today.

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