One Year Into The Pandemic: Here’s How We’re Feeling 

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I went to pick up an online order from Chipotle last night with my boyfriend. It’s our way of celebrating Taco Tuesday and has become a tradition since the pandemic.

Our routine goes like this: we order the food, he pulls up to the door, and I run in to grab the bag on the table, then we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru to get a soda because hello, you cannot have Mexican without a bubbly Diet Coke.

It’s become something we both look forward to that gets us out of the house a little bit. Eating in our vehicle is our new date night.

However, last night there was a line out the door. The restaurant wasn’t able to get any online orders. People’s cards were being charged, they were showing up to pick up dinner without dinner being there, and you couldn’t order your food in person once you got there like you could pre-pandemic.

Those employees handled it so well: they formed a line, wrote down everyone’s order by hand, and then gave it to the people hustling behind the counter, as customers waited outside in the freezing cold for their food.

It was a very telling night. Some people lost it. Some people just left. Some people yelled at the employees. Some people stood outside patiently and had the “it is what it is” attitude. I have never condoned losing it on an employee for something they have no control over. But, though we need to do everything in our power not to humiliate a stranger who is working their ass off, we’re all hanging on by a thread since this mess has been going on for a year.

We’ve all been at this for 365 days and counting. It’s changed all of our lives and taken us through a lot of ups and downs.

I know I’ve gotten more content with being still and staying home, something that was so difficult for me before. But I’m also increasingly concerned about what isolation has done to my teenagers and their mental health, so I’m always hyper-aware of how they are acting.

Scary Mommy reader Angie L. says “It’s shitty. I sleep too much, food delivery is too easy (versus going to store), my second chin has reappeared, and it has wreaked havoc on my sex life. We’ve been together 3.5 yrs, but don’t live together. We both have aging parents we’re taking care of and don’t want them to get sick.”

Taking care of your parents (along with yourself) through a pandemic is difficult for a few weeks, much less a year.

Carrie J. is a business woman who owns a few stores and is trying her best to keep her chin up. “I hate how on edge everyone is everywhere. I never had to quarantine having stores. We worked through it all. We get beat up a lot more. I’m praying for an end!”

The honest truth is, even though we don’t have as many places to go, we are all freaking exhausted.

Lani L. says, “I still feel like a bear preparing for hibernation. Definitely have put on some weight which just adds to my already fragile self-esteem. Ongoing battles with anxiety and depression, plus a first grader and seventh grader that are so over online school. Still not seeing my family much. Before we got together every week. It’s pretty f’ing lonely, and I hate to sound so woe-is-me, but just keeping it real.”

The loneliness, the anxiety and the feeling so tired you can’t keep your head up seems to be really common. Also, a lot of us have gotten a little fluffier and that is OK! We are in the middle of a pandemic and we need to give ourselves some grace. Food is comfort, and we need to be comforted.

Miranda B. is also worn down, but has made another realization. ”I’m so unbelievably tired, but I’ve learned how very unimportant most things are. I don’t need to work as hard as I used to.” She also has found another silver lining for her family: “Homeschool has been the best thing for us. We are inspired and enjoying it.”

Another reader, Ava M., keeps it real by telling us, “I regret ever teaching these children to talk. (Whine, complain, groan, mumble.) Now they’re teenagers and I want to rip my ears off my head. Other than that, everything is fine.”

Oh, so many of us can relate to that sentiment. We can love our kids and be grateful for this time, but also want them to shut it since we are always within an arm’s reach of each other.

It’s been over a year since COVID swept across the world, and here we are. Yes, this is hard, but we keep plowing through. Because, we can do hard things — even if we’re sick to death of doing them.