Living Through COVID Has Made Me Lazy — And Now's The Time To Snap Out Of It
I have become the living embodiment of "sloth."
This Essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Grocery delivery? Check. Alcohol delivery? Check. What about dinner? Check. Anything else I haven’t been able to source out to an app, Amazon has been happy to dump haphazardly at my front door. Aside from financing billionaire Jeff Bezos’ penis-shaped exploration of the galaxy, what else have I really done for myself in the last two years of this pandemic?
I believe the scientific term is “sweet f*#k all.”
Over these last two years of neverending twilight called "COVID," I have become the living embodiment of "sloth." I roll out of bed and right into a sitting position in front of my laptop — staring bleary-eyed into a screen of peers in the cleanest three-day-old semi-professional shirt I have — maybe nude from the waist down, or not. It’s a crapshoot really. [Disclaimer]: Except for when I’m at Narcity meetings. I swear.
Pickled in my own juices so to speak, I hear the melodic “ding-dong” of my doorbell and shuffle to my front porch at a pace halfway between a zombie extra from The Walking Dead and World War Z.
There’s a pain creeping up my calf that’s emanating from my ankle — it’s either my muscles atrophying from disuse or just blood pooling from 730 days sitting at a desk. Maybe I have the Delta variant and it’s a blood clot that will eventually cause me to stroke out on my front porch. I’m just spitballing because I have no real idea of my medical condition outside of "Google Doctor" and Web MD. I haven’t seen my IRL doctor in two years now.
I fling open the door to greet another human, one designated an "essential worker" by a government that has deemed her "essential" enough (i.e. expendable) not to be allowed to get a tax return to work from home without pants.
I wave at the delivery person’s back as she sprints away to her vehicle to avoid the new workplace hazard of catching the plague from a creepy pantsless customer.
I work from home. I eat at home. All the gyms have been open and closed in the amount of time it’s taken for me to find what passes as workout clothes in the depths of my laundry hamper — a nearly bottomless pit that might as well be one of the giant sandworms from Dune.
I look at the six pairs of dumbbells I ordered to my home, their last use being that one time I lugged them all up the stairs from my front porch. I feel guilty. I submerge myself in this guilt like a warm bath of Calgon that doesn’t take me anywhere — it just sucks more motivation out of me like pruning skin after sitting in a hot bath too long.
Recently, Doug Ford has paused selling off Toronto wetlands for commercial real estate development long enough to reveal that Ontario will begin reopening. Airline travel restrictions will loosen. Is this a sign of a return to the way things used to be?
In a way, I admire the Freedom Convoy folks, and no, not like that. What I mean is I admire the willingness of a large group of Canadians to actually leave their house en masse — to commune with each other over pig roasts and hot tubs steeped in each other’s unwashed bits. Okay, the latter is gross, but I’m talking about human intimacy.
Unlike many other unfortunate humans, I don’t live alone. I live with a beautiful, patient partner who could do much better, but unfortunately for her, COVID has limited her options. Her loss is my one gain through this pandemic, and I have taken full advantage “by putting a ring on it” before it’s over.
“Ha Ha!” (Evil laugh as I twirl my moustache under a tophat).
This little anecdote has nothing to do with me being lazy. I’m just patting myself on the back for finding the one good thing to come out of this Black Mirror episode.
No, wait. I actually brought this up for another reason.
Throughout this whole thing, each other’s faces are the only different faces we’ve spent the majority of our, well, facetime with. The other people in our circle were only accessible through FaceTime.
Even now, double vaccinated and one-time booster pricked, some of the friends we haven’t seen still won’t see us. You see, there are people in our lives who are immuno-compromised, which wouldn’t result in the “sniffles” version of COVID Joe Rogan stans drone on about while mixing ivermectin with their testosterone treatments. For my friends in this position, catching COVID is tragic news. Like lights out, thanks for playing, game over, tragic.
As the world grows weary of waiting to hit new bars and old stomping grounds, with no care in the world about the Omicron variant or Russian invasions, there are people who will be watching from their windows. With their very lives in the balance, they will continue to order in all the necessities of life the rest of us take for granted, and they will watch both the vaccinated and unvaccinated world go on without them. They have no choice.
We also have psychologically affected friends who know someone living with long-COVID — the gift of brain fog, lung damage and potential blood clotting that keeps on giving — or people who have died. Their fear is based on actual, less than six degrees of separation-type shit, where the trauma of the sad outcomes for those close relations has made them wary of enclosed spaces. It would be effortless for me to tell those people they are being unreasonable in their fears, but then, I haven’t had to watch anybody I love gasp their last on a ventilator over a Zoom call, have I?
These examples of people who are going through intense mental, emotional and physical barriers to going outside and living their lives have helped put things in perspective for me. Next to those folks, I have no excuse for being a recluse.
I’ve realized that it's finally time to think about how I reintegrate back into doing basic things like my groceries again. The one thing nobody can deliver to your door is your sense of self, which includes self-respect and self-love.
This was initially supposed to be a learned essay about making yourself productive again after the last two years, which would be like publishing a self-help book before being put into a medically induced coma to get over a painkiller addiction. I’m not that kind of person. So instead, you get this personal accounting of my honest struggle with just getting myself back together and living out in the world.
I have started with one thing that has springboarded into another. Having regular showers again means having to do regular laundry because a shower doesn’t count if you put on the same mouldy clothes you’ve been wearing for a month straight afterward. Doing the laundry means I have no excuse not to wear pants in any virtual setting, which I must stress again, I have never actually done during any Narcity staff meetings whatsoever.
The headline above says, “now’s the time to snap out of it,” but I’m not making demands of anybody other than myself. If there’s one thing I know — assuming people are physically or mentally capable — folks will come out of their COVID coma when they’re good and ready. That is a personal decision to be made by each person that I have no answers on how to speed up. That headline is for me and me alone. It’s my time to snap out of it! Slowly, I am doing so.
I’ve just gotta put my pants on — one leg at a time.