Underneath my yellow skin

Covid, COVID, covid…no matter how you spell it

It’s week whatever in lockdown, and I’m about the same as I ever was. Unhappy about the golfers not practicing good social distancing/masking, but I know that’s a me-problem. Meaning, I’m in my house. There’s no way their germs can reach me. I know that being outside in a widely-dispersed area greatly negates the risk, and yet. The fury rises within me, and I have to talk myself down. I can’t control other people, obviously, so I can only do my best to distance myself.

Speaking of which. I’ve read several people online with compromised immune systems saying they don’t know if they’ll ever feel safe to go out again. I can relate. I have a very mild case of agoraphobia–it’s more accurate to say I really don’t like to leave the house if I absolutely don’t have to–and it’s ratcheted up during this time. All the fears that have been percolating in my brain in a low-key fashion before this mess have bubbled to the surface, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to feel comfortable around other people again.

On the plus side, my sinus issues have gone down a ton. I’m still a bit afraid I’m having sinus issues right now, but it’s nothing compared to what I used to get. Which has led me to the conclusion that the outside really is trying to kill me. I mean, what can the conclusion be but this? I’m saying this in jest, of course, but it’s not untrue. I’m allergic to almost everything on earth up to and I like to joke including the air, and, obviously, I can’t control the environment around me when I’m outside. Now that I’m only going out to smoke (yes, irony alert) and to grab up the packages delivered to me before I put them in the garage to live out their natural lives–yes, that’s where the packages go to live–before disinfecting everything, of course.

Side note: I’m trying not to freak out at the ever-changing information as to what is and what isn’t helpful when it comes to covid-19. It’s hard, though, when even the experts are changing their recommendations¬† on a regular basis. Remember back in the day when us plebes were absolutely not to wear masks ever and they wouldn’t help, anyway? Now, it’s mandated in some states that you have to wear them, and it’s heavily recommended.

Right now, I cannot imagine being in a crowd again. Back when I was in my twenties, I was really bad with crowds. There was a time when my mother cajoled me into going to the Ren Fest–well, even before that, there’s the story she likes to tell about how when my brother and I were kids, he wanted to go to the State Fair and¬† I did not. Even when I was a baby, I hated excessive stimuli. I’m pretty sure I had sensory sensitivity from a very young age, and it certainly did not help to be dragged to the State Fair every year. The way my mother tells the story, it’s always this, ‘what could I do?’ and a ‘poor me, single mom’ mentality (which she might as well have been). I once asked why she didn’t just not go, and she had no answer to that. It underscored that my brother was always more important than me, falling in line with the whole boys are better than girls mentality from her country–and this one, to be frank.

Anyway, my mom wore me out and I went to the Ren Fest with her in my late twenties. I freaked the fuck out and had to leave after thirty minutes–which did not please her as you might imagine. It happened at a wedding she dragged me to as well. The wedding and reception were at two different places, and I was getting overwhelmed at the former after the ceremony itself was over and insisted we go to the latter. My mom was not happy about that, either.

It took me decades to realize that it wasn’t just me being fussy or picky–that I actually had psychological issues that should have been diagnosed. My mother is a psychologist, but is a hot mess herself, and she put down whatever I did to me being overly sensitive or me being lazy/self-centered/fussy/whatever. I’ve had some sussing out of the problems with the help of my last therapist, but a lot of it is just me figuring shit out on my own from my research.

Anyway, with the help of taiji, I was becoming more comfortable with crowds. I could walk through them and not panic as I found the holes that were previously unnoticeable to me. I still didn’t like being in crowds (and I still can’t stand loud crowds), but I wasn’t panicked over it, either. That’s all gone away, and I’m almost phobic about being around other people. I know as long as I’m in my house, I’m fine. It’s me and my cat, and he’s not going to give me covid-19.

By the way, I’ve given up on being consistent about how I write covid-19. None of them look right to me, so I’m just going to write it however I feel like it at the time and be ok with it. Normally, I would pick one way and go with it, but not this time. Why? Because I don’t feel like it.

Speaking of not feeling like it, I’m done with this post. One of the downsides to this covid-19 mess is that my productivity is not at its best. I tweeted about how I’m doing about the same in general because I’m always working with low-key anxiety that flares from time to time. Because of my PTSD, I’m at my best in a crisis because my brain is always bracing for the worst-case scenario. But, the two ways it’s been messing with me is my sleep (getting more than I normally would, but at weird times), and my brain just goes, “Nope, I’m done.” In normal times, I could push my way through it and just soldier on. Now, it’s really hard for me to do something when my brain says no.

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