1. Did you catch COVID-19? If yes, when, and was it bad?
Not officially but we have had our suspicions that possibly we might have early on but we aren't sure. So, perhaps not but it isn't ruled out.
2. Did anybody close to you catch the virus, or even die from it?
Lots of people in the close vicinity of me but I know of people online and there are those who I know who've lost loved ones and friends to the virus. I live in an area that is heavily affected by the virus in numerous ways. I hear the ambulances. I see the posts about people passing away in the neighbourhood. I know that not only myself but some people I care about are especially vulnerable to this and this isn't over yet.
3. Did you lose your job due to the pandemic or did your work situation change considerably? Home office?
I didn't have a job so I couldn't lose it. Thankfully, I have my w.s.i.b. pension, small as it be. However, the apartment has become a home office for the main income earner and their job was already a remote work from home one prior to the pandemic so phew on that one. Downside, I didn't expect them to be home all the time and it sucks that their work office isn't an option but at the same time, the incredible relief yet guilt and stress of them having employment during this time period is a lot of pressure and relief? It's a mix of feelings. Especially since nothing is a guarantee and it puts all the more stress on us all, I think.
I haven't been seeing anyone during the pandemic so that answers part of the question - trying to limit outside contacts to minimize risk.
In the Fall, I was taking online classes at a college in a program that I've been wanting to complete. I found online learning to be great but I also realize the privilege in having an internet connection and a computer at home along with the ability to participate in classes. I took a term off but will be doing it again in May.
4. Have you already been vaccinated? If yes, with which vaccine and how did it go?
Nope. Doubtful that I'll be able to any time soon. I would if I could and I will when I can but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen for a while yet.
5. Has your mental health suffered due to and during the pandemic?
I already had a debilitating anxiety condition (and then some) prior to the pandemic. Yes, this pandemic has made it worse. Near the beginning of the pandemic I had to talk to my doctor about the nightmares being beyond anything I could handle. I've had nightmares (horrific ones) for decades due to my condition but they got much worse to the point where I was not okay. I was prescribed something that was supposed to make me not have any nightmares but it didn't stop them although it did what I can only describe as "soften the edges" which made the nightmares bearable again. I seemed to have blocked out how bad it really got because it was that bad.
As for the agoraphobic reclusive tendencies, of course this pandemic has not helped. Not to mention my tick of asking "Did you wash your hands?!" seeing as how it's now completely validated to ask that. Not going outside? Check. Washing hands a lot? Check.
There were a couple instances where I was worried about whether I was okay or not. Or more than a couple. But I'm still here.
6. How do you judge the performance of your local and national government during the past year?
I am not impressed. I think that too many mixed messages have been given. I think the influence of the U.S. during the first year of the pandemic did not help matters at all. Ignorance is rampant among the population with disinformation about actual scientific backed realities being dismissed and I'm so disappointed by people's behaviours overall, including those in positions of power and influence. I am not happy about the greedy and heartless manner that some have displayed during this time period. Consequences of the failures throughout this pandemic by those who could have done better will affect us for years or maybe generations to come.
7. What is the worst memory you will conserve from the past year? What made you angry?
There are a lot of bad memories - from a bigger perspective and a smaller one. Too much.
8. And, if there is one, the best memory? What made you happy?
So many little things can make me happy for a moment and honestly, I don't know if anything big made it into a list that I could have of best memories. On a personal level, I had some bad times with family heartache and stress. Happy moments are fleeting but usually through video games or good conversations with people or while in class when I felt good about writing or myself. I don't know. I'm not unhappy but I am living with such a severe anxiety condition that the moments I am feeling happiness are not quite processed the same way as say, some specific event that might make me feel happy. I am longing for best memories and happiness and such but I will live with being able to have gratitude for a place to live with my books and cats and good coffee when it can be had.
9. Do you think we are over the worst period of this pandemic by now?
No. If one takes a look at the numbers, it's not good. It's going to get worse as the variants (mutations) continue to strive to survive and adapt to us and it's going to spiral more out of control for some time yet. I don't know where some people are where they think that things are going well or okay but they're not in this reality. I'm not judging because I'd prefer that reality too if I could ignore the reality around me and in the actual data of what is going on - locally and worldwide. No, we're not over the worst period. This is the start of another worst period. There could be more. People are acting stupid and couldn't even handle less than one month of staying the f home so how can I expect that they are going to do any better now?
10. Is there anything you would have done differently a year ago if you knew what you know now? Did you, knowingly or not, incur big risks to catch the virus?
I would have stocked up on more essentials so that food and necessities wouldn't be a concern. I would have been more mindful with money and I would have put us in a position to have some sort of cushion instead of how things are at the moment.
11. What about your body? Lost or gained weight? Illnesses of other kinds? Fitness? Injuries?
I gained and now I'm losing again because we're on ramen and one meal per day kind of situation right now. Did not work on my fitness. Kept saying I would but I didn't. As for injuries, household incurred one that required going to the hospital. I've had some scary touch and goes related to stress but so it goes.
12. Did you lose or gain friends? Keep in contact with those you already had?
13. How did you spend your free time? Did you get creative? Learn new stuff? Read a lot? Write a book?
Gaming, gaming, gaming. A term of school with full course load where I succeeded at all my classes. Didn't read much but still read a few books - that's an area I've wanted to improve on for years. No writing of any books but someday I will. Did I mention I was gaming? I was gaming. Youtube, Netflix and Spotify had my attention.
14. Do you have children? If yes, how did you manage everything, from homeschooling to having to keep them at home and deal with their desire to meet other kids? Did you have to seek professional help of some kind? How was the school situation in general where you live?
I don't have children. I have cats and I worried about them enough - one of them had a stroke during this pandemic and it scared the heck out of us. She's still going but wow, it was tough to see her go through that. But I do think of those who have children during this time period and oh, my heart goes out to those who are trying to manage it all. I also think of how difficult it must be for the kids. For instance, when I was a child, though we didn't have internet, I did live in a not so great environment and I could only imagine how horrible it would have been to live with the added stress of whatever the parents were going through on top of how they may have already acted prior to the pandemic. Yeah, not a good time. Some people are more fortunate than others. I see that privilege - access to some resources and such - play a huge part in some people's experiences through this time. As for the situation where I live, the pandemic has hurt a lot of people, teachers included.
15. What will be the first thing you will do when it is possible again?
If there are any coffeeshops left by then (places keep closing), I would like to write in my paper journal in a coffeeshop. I also wouldn't mind being able to go for long walks, meandering and taking photos of things, without being afraid that I'm risking my health and that of those I live with.