During the pandemic, some of us isolated from all human contact. I hid from Amazon delivery guys and treated little old ladies like zombies from World War Z. Groceries were delivered by anonymous essential workers we tipped mightily and never saw; Publix could have been dropping my food via Wiccan astral projection. I once sprayed plastic bags with bleach, then yelled at my husband, “I’m not going to die so you can snarf Doritos!” We did not go out. We did not gather. We watched “Tiger King.” My pandemic experience was an experiment in agoraphobia, adult coloring books, and doomscrolling.
I’m not alone here, my brothers and sisters in quarantine. I see you and your leggings and your Covid haircut. All hail the Gospel of the CDC, amiright?
And when we few, we happy few, did start to venture out, we masked like we were going to either rob a convenience store or perform brain surgery. Before I was vaccinated, no one but immediate family had seen my face since sometime around last February. I ran from unmasked people like I ran from the Amazon delivery guy. We kept a six foot bubble like some magic circle and yelled at all who dared enter. I shouted, “ALLERGIES, NO COVID!” to an entire Rite-Aid. On multiple occasions. Then I poured hand sanitizer on my hand sanitizer.
So Karen, now that we’re all getting vaxxed and the CDC says you can free your face, don’t bitch to us about how hard you had it. We all saw your Facebook feed, and the Internet never dies. Your pandemic experience was not our pandemic experience. Some of us were the kids doing all the work on the group project. Some of you were the kids playing paper football in the corner.
Don’t think we didn’t notice.
Don’t think you can lie about it now.
Your Pandemic Experience Was Different
Maybe you feel validated because you mostly stayed in. Except by “mostly,” I mean “sometimes,” and by “sometimes,” I mean “didn’t really.” We were hunkered down, masking like Batman villains when we ventured out once a week. (Assuming of course you worked from home. Those who didn’t: I salute you. Essential workers: I applaud you. Even if I did run from you). You traipsed down to your favorite stores and browsed every aisle, then topped it off with a trip to Outback for a Bloomin’ Onion.
We saw your nose, bitch.
We saw those non-distanced, unmasked pics of your bestie beach vacay. You threw down margaritas, in a bar; swam, in a pool; slept overnight, in a hotel; and did all these things while making unmasked duck faces, then smushing them against your besties’ unmasked duck faces. Then you posted all that shit to Facebook two memes down from a picture about social distancing.
We. Saw. You.
Many of our pandemic experiences included learning to cook. Judging by your family barbecue pics, Karen, yours did not. Your steak might have been well-done, but your social distancing was not. We missed holidays. We missed birthdays. We missed weddings and graduations and all the things. You rolled on up with some balloons and an atrocity of a potato/raisin/mayo casserole to snap photos and breathe other people’s aerosolized germs.
No really, Carol, in between our doomscrolling, we saw you.
So Keep Your Mouth Shut
If you bitched out essential workers over your “right” to go maskless, if you threw pool parties for the kiddies while our percent positive rate was climbing, if you dined indoors from March of 2020 until like, approximately yesterday, your pandemic experience was not our pandemic experience. Do you think our glasses didn’t fog, honey? Do you think we wanted to play barbershop with our kids?
So don’t pretend. Don’t gaslight us. You have no right to whine, complain, or lament your hardships, which included the server screwing up your apps at Chili’s. I didn’t see my best friend for more than a year, but you treated yours to girls’ day at a spa? There is no equivalency here. Don’t jump on the hardship train. We know what you did, because we saw the social media pics. Karen, if you planned on lying, you shouldn’t have chronicled your life on FayBo.
Don’t tell us your pandemic experience was so hard. Don’t say 2020 was the worst year of my life. Life sucked for us all, Tammy. But some of us spit, and some of us swallowed. Some of us did the group project and some of us screwed around. Don’t pretend you deserve an A when you flunked. We aren’t grading on a curve. You did the work or you didn’t, and when you didn’t, you lost your right to complain. If you managed not to get COVID-19, Karen, it’s because we put on our big-girl panties and pulled up our masks.
So STFU and sit down. Go complain to Carol and Tammy. Don’t try to tell us your pandemic experience was sooooo hard. We’ll laugh your ass out of the room. While we were clinging to our adult coloring books, you were getting a salon haircut. Maskless. In a mall. Then you had your eyebrows microbladed and someone did your toes.
Your pandemic was not our pandemic.
Don’t pretend it was.
We have the Facebook posts.
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