Sunday, December 06, 2020

Mistletoe: An Admission

(This image is owned by Raw television series. It is the word 'Raw' in red neon with the R and W being capital letters and the A replace by a flame.)

I think, yesterday, I experienced my first sense of what COVID may be doing to my mental health. Let's admit it, this is a tough time for those of us who are following the guidelines. Joe and I don't understand those who don't, can't see the virtue of their arguments, and fear that they may end up doing us all in. So, compliant sheep that they may think we are, we are pretty much in lockdown. 

We only see three other people who are in our bubble and that's always done thoughtfully. No coffee get-togethers, no quick lunches, no anything, especially no touch. We see this as our patriotic duty and it's harder than I thought it would be.

So we, like most everyone else, are binging on television series and the latest is an Irish drama called "Raw". It's compellingly written and the characters are fully developed. One of the storylines is about a gay couple. They aren't the feature of the show but they are integral to all the other action that goes on. We've been gripped by this series and really care about the characters, all of them.

The episodes are an hour long and we don't watch television during the day, there are too many other things to do. This means that we can only fit two, maybe three, episodes in an evening.

So, back to COVID, I find myself feeling isolated from people. Oh, there are zoom calls, but chat on zoom isn't the same as chat in person. People have a sense about them, for lack of a better word, an aura. It's the hug that a person's presence gives you. People, I find, are also less likely to tell the stories of their lives over an internet connection so we skate over the surface of our lives. In the end, we sound more like Christmas letters, information-packed, but lacking a real warmth. We become generic versions of ourselves.

Gosh, how I miss people.

Last night I couldn't go to sleep. You know why? Because I was really worried about a couple of characters in Raw. Would JoJo marry the man she loves? Would Pavel and Geoff get back together? I mean really, sincere worry. I knew it was a scripted show, I knew that it was years old and still I worried.


Because I needed to care about something, someone, outside of my bubble. Because I needed to be enmeshed in some else's story.

COVID has robbed me of that.

I'm missing it.

I woke up this morning well-rested, I did sleep finally after all. But I feel this is the first gunshot warning. "Take care of this Dave, now." And I will.

I'm only telling you this because I think it does us all well to look at where we are right now, with COVID, and our mental health. Yeah, we are coping, but at what cost? How do you take care of the needs you have, and the life you are missing? How do we get through Christmas in our small little bubbles? And is that the sound to the mistletoe market crashing?

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