July Link Up – A Lighter Touch
Today I’m sharing my responses to the A Chronic Voice July Link Up prompts. This post is designed to be a slightly lighter touch on the current events.
The first draft for the link up prompts was done in a very serious manner, but it also turned out to be five pages long and an utter depress-fest to read. We know how difficult these times have been, and if you’re feeling emotionally wrung out from it all then please know that you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s good to soften the edges a little and take a break from the dark reality.
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The onslaught of bad news has been bothering most of us lately. Coronavirus, statistics and death tolls, restrictions, violence, protests, racism, crime and riots have taken over daily headlines. Our conversations, social media feeds, radio broadcasts and websites are over-saturated and we’re unsurprisingly becoming overwhelmed.
What’s also bothering me is an unsuspecting victim of the supermarket shelves. We had the Great Loo Roll Shortage of 2020. We had the Great Flour Shortage. Am I the only one who has broken out into a cold sweat over the absence of Kellogg’s Frosties? First they shrink in size, then they jump in price, and now they’ve disappeared entirely. We need our sugared flakes of heaven back, stat! These bad boys are my nighttime faux popcorn snack. Now I’ll be crying into an empty bowl.
There’s nothing quite like the relief to dry skin from a nourishing cream. At the moment, hand lotion is being applied liberally to dry, cracked hands damaged by extensive sanitising and constant hand washing. I’ll be able to use use my bare hands as a body exfoliator before long. Give it two months and they’ll be rough enough to sand planks of wood.
Although life may be slowing in some ways, many of us have found that life has become more demanding and increasingly stressful. Everything is taking longer, there are more things to worry about, our health suffers, we’re fearful for ourselves and our loved ones, and we’re having to work harder to keep afloat. These extra demands take a toll.
Even supermarket trips have become more demanding. Granted, I should probably be staying home but I’ve no choice but to go and thus I’m as careful as possible. The trouble is, I feel like I’m in a tiny minority.
Last week, a little boy was with his mum when he pointed to me and – I kid you not – screamed, “mummy, she’s wearing something on her face! She looks silly! What is that, mummy?” What worried me wasn’t that I’d instantly lost my cool credibility, but that I was the first person he’d seen with a mask in all this time.
When shopping, I can count on one hand the number of people wearing a mask in any one trip. I can count on 10 hands, if I possessed that many, the number of people that forget about social distancing and the virus the moment they enter a store. It would take 100 hands to count the swear words I mutter beneath my mask from the moment I enter a store.
Don’t even get me started on Tesco’s evil one way system and the single queue for all tills in a superstore. It’s exhausting to endure that marathon of every aisle, likely more than one, when you’re chronically ill and in agony. It also seems to be more dangerous, and you’re screwed if you reach the finish line only to realise you’ve forgotten the bloody gravy power.
Maybe it would be more efficient if customers were allowed in 5 at a time in a 10 minute game of Supermarket Sweep. Or perhaps we could take a single-file, open-sided train ride down the middle of the aisles. Shoppers would get sticks like fishing for ducks at the fairground, leaning out of the train to snag the produce. Meanwhile, a ring of fire will ensure shoppers don’t disembark early and cheat. I’m sure some of the more sadistic staff would also appreciate cattle prods to enforce the rules.
I’m usually very patient and I’m not an angry person. I’m open minded and I’m tolerant. However, these past few months have pushed me to a breaking point of sorts, with patience replaced by frustration and anger.
This is the time we should be coming together, not tearing each other apart. This is the time we should be considerate of others, not putting them at risk. My anger has been a deep well, at the bottom of which is hopelessness and despair that I’m not sure I could ever crawl out of. However, it’s this same anger that keeps me going. Some find anger to be a negative emotion that needs to be banished. For me, anger can be a fuel, a spark of energy to persevere and push when I’m otherwise too exhausted. It’s the motivation to fight despite the challenges, in spite of the ignorance, and irrespective of the selfishness of some.
I’m very tolerant, but I have my limits. I cannot tolerate destruction, bullying, racism or prejudice. I’ve lost patience with the government’s failure to value human life above money in order to save face politically. And I’ve no empathy left for the selfishness and ignorance of those putting others at risk through their stupidity or nonchalance during the pandemic.
I also can’t tolerate seafood products (yuck), tomato (childhood fear), mayo (looks like vomit), pigeons or pigeon poop. Turns out there are a lot of things I’m not great at tolerating lately.
We have so much to be thankful for with technology connecting us, especially during the isolating times of the pandemic. I doubt even Einstein could have anticipated it possible to conduct video chats across the globe on a handheld device, or to be able to order a bucket of southern fried chicken via an app.
However, all this telecommunicating also means we’re constantly connected, which can cause stress of its own. Every day I tackle an email inbox full of online surveys that pay less than peanuts (and I wonder why my income barely covers the groceries). Then it’s time to wade through a barrage of phishing and spam emails. All the talk of Viagra and enlargement is starting to make me feel very self-conscious. My penis is already quite impressive, thank you very much!
Continual pings from messaging apps can be enough to make you want to fork your eyes out when you’re exhausted and battling a migraine. As for video chats, I’m frozen like a disheveled deer in headlights. Nuh-uh. No way. This hot mess is for my eyes only.
Does anyone else have a deep-seated fear & disgust when it comes to eating things from the sea? And what are your thoughts on video chats; do you have to have advanced notice to prepare yourself for one?
This post is intended as a light-hearted take on the prompts. It is not intended to cause any upset or offence, and is based only on my own thoughts and opinions.