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Covid-depression

Depression is a real thing. I can’t define it but I know it when it arrives. And sometimes it gets its hooks into you and does strange things. It fires all the wrong synapses and all you’re left with is the feeling that you’ve fallen and you’re not so sure you want to get up. Sleep is more of a refuge than a comfort, but no matter how many hours you pour on…it never seems to touch the tired spot. The seasonal blues is normal enough, but in the midst of a crippling pandemic, it’s like it’s been given a dose of steroids. It gets dark so early, and you can find yourself actually looking forward to the sun going down. It’s less competition. It levels the playing field.

We’re not built for all this…..this enforced isolation. The only thing still on the same schedule are the bills that arrive, pandemic be damned. All the worry. What if this? What if that? What if I lose this? How am I going to pay that? There’s no help. There’s no cavalry. There’s no safety net. There’s no leadership. It’s the privilege we were born into, and then just blind luck. Some will make it. Some won’t. Burdens shared are burdens lighted. But we can’t share. It’s reckless to share. We need to hold. And be held. And that’s not allowed. We know what we need to do but half won’t do it. We know what we want, but can’t get there until everybody pulls in the same direction.

Imagine living along the coast during World War II and being asked to turn off your house lights at night so that lights on shore would not help the German U-boats find their way in the darkness, and saying “Fuck you, I’m keeping my lights on because my rights…..”.

That’s where we are.

Until this monstrously selfish behavior ends …..it’s a 9/11 every day. And soon it will be an Antietam every day. It’s appalling and sad.

There’s always somebody worse off than you. If you have food and shelter, and the bank isn’t threatening you, you’re near the front of the line. If you’ve remained untouched by this virus, you are fortunate. The numbers are terrifying, and there doesn’t seem to be any plan to get them under control. Since March, the selfish gene has gone viral. No amount of crippled ICUs or dead bodies can dent the mask-less heads of those who can only feel the lash on their own backs. If anything, the worse it gets, the less empathy we see. We only seem to double down on cruelty. Yesterday the Governor of PA announced he tested positive for COVID-19, and within 15 minutes I was reading posts from “Friends” wishing him a speedy death. This is not the same country in which I was born. It’s out of this poison soil that depression grows, and spreads. It’s watered by ignorance.

We all have ways of trying to cope. Reading or writing or exercising or eating and drinking or staring at Netflix like a stoned Elvis (hopefully unarmed for the TV’s sake). For those lucky enough to be working…..it’s wake up in the dark and come home in the dark, dodging freak snowstorms and black ice. Trips to the grocery store and booze runs with just enough on the debit card to get you in and out. Watch over the kids like paranoid lunatics, maybe bring a Spotify playlist for a ride through your childhood, remembering distant memories and recalling other names. Leaving the house and then coming right back because we forgot our masks. Some things will never be normal.

Everybody says they understand. But they don’t. Everybody says “I’m here if you want to talk” but what are you gonna say? You can’t talk about depression without sounding whiny, which is why nobody talks about it. So you wait it out. And you hope for a better tomorrow. But these days? It’s hard to hope for that when you don’t know if it’s Wednesday or Thursday.

I don’t remember what “normal” felt like, so if we do get back to it I’m sure I won’t notice.

It looks like another shutdown is coming. The screeching will commence….but for the most part it’s the screechers who have got us here, by thinking of nobody but themselves. The longer they fight this, the longer and darker this winter is going to be. It should be over now. Like it is in most nations on earth. Americans seem perversely willing to walk across dead bodies to preserve their right not to sacrifice to keep the pile from growing.

I don’t know what comes next. I’m tired. And I’ve been lucky. Extraordinarily lucky. And still, it gets hold of me. And won’t let go. It’s all too real.

I feel for everybody. Please take care of yourselves so we can soon get back to taking care of each other.

In a bit..

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 11, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Beautifully expressed… Somehow every word resonates!! stay strong.. !!

  2. December 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Yes, it is real. You are right, we aren’t built for this. Good to read your words again. Been away for a while. Song About a Train has been in my top 5 songs for over 20 years now. It brings me comfort, brings me safety. Its always there, something I can rely on. Hope you’re doing well bud………..jason bennett

    • December 23, 2020 at 11:05 am

      Jason it’s good to hear from you again. Been a long time. Stay safe my friend…..

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