1. You get punished anyway. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been stuck in your house since the middle of March. It doesn’t matter that you’ve canceled your plans, canceled your vacation, cancelled your parties. Everyone else has been doing whatever the hell they want, and you still have to pay the price. Knowing your luck, you’ll be the one who gets sick the second you step out the door while everyone breaking the rules gets away with literal murder.
2. You gradually start to cut more and more people out of your life. Even though the people breaking the rules like to say, “I’m not judging you for staying inside so you shouldn’t judge me for going out,” they’re the first people to whine and complain when you turn down plans. They are judging. They are looking down on me. So why shouldn’t I judge? Especially when my staying home isn’t hurting anyone and what they’re doing is causing people to lose their lives — not to mention causing the quarantine to go on for even longer.
3. You slowly start to resent everyone around you. Everyone is out partying and having the time of their lives. They’re posting vacation pictures. They’re sitting on top of their friends while getting wasted in their backyards. Meanwhile, I’m crying my eyes out because I can’t get my dog a vet appointment or get myself an appointment for the gynecologist. I only want the basics. They want to party. And somehow, they’re the ones getting what they want at the end of the day. Somehow, I’m the one getting fucked.
4. You lose any sense of normalcy. You can’t get your hair done. You can’t get your nails done. You can’t go out to eat. You can’t hang out with your friends. Of course, technically you could do all of those things. You could even go to Disney! But you’re not going to because you’re not irresponsible. You’re not selfish. You’re a decent fucking human being who cares about the people around you even though they clearly aren’t returning the favor.
5. Your mental health takes a huge hit. Somehow, there are people in your life who haven’t accepted what’s going on in the world. They’re calling it a hoax. Or they’re assuming nothing bad could ever happen to them personally. You don’t know how they’re managing to live in a dreamworld for so long, but it’s not something you’re capable of doing. Nor something you want to do. You’re living in reality, so you’re having a hard time coping. After all, the world is falling apart. Your mental health really shouldn’t be great right now. Anytime you’re productive is a miracle.
6. You look like the asshole for trying to protect the people you love. People judge me for wearing a mask while walking my dog around the block. They judge me for overreacting when I turn down invites to their weddings and BBQs. They judge me for judging their shitty decisions. Meanwhile, thousands of people are dead. Thousands of families are mourning. I’m sick of living in a world where no one cares about their neighbor. I’m sick of feeling gaslit for being careful during a goddamn pandemic.