The Dreaded Post COVID-19 Conversation

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Day 20 of #100DaysToOffload

As restrictions are starting to wind down, people are getting ready to finally go back into the office. The company I work for has already started doing this but I am personally putting it off for as long as I can.

Admittedly, a part of me misses the socialization of the office. My company has a younger demographic and I got along with a lot of my co-workers. I miss being able to talk with others who aren't my family, especially after two years. However, there is one question I'm not looking forward to hearing and have already heard during our last attempt to relax restrictions:

"What did you get up to during the pandemic?"

There is a lot I don't like about this question.

Firstly, to me it somewhat trivializes the pandemic. For most people, yes, they were able to avoid the virus or just get cold symptoms but god forbid you ask that to someone who lost someone to the virus or had their life uprooted for the worse by the pandemic.

Secondly, it implies that you must be doing something productive during a world wide crisis. I think people cope differently (kudos to you if you found your coping mechanism to be baking bread and I mean that wholeheartedly, that's cool and awesome and please send me some bread) but for some people, coping methods might not always be healthy (hasn't there been an increase in drinking since the pandemic started?).

It just feels like a loaded question, even if it's well-intentioned and largely innocent.

You might say, "You're just saying that because you did nothing over the pandemic!" You are right. I didn't do anything during the pandemic, not really. I tried, I really did. I tried to pick up my knitting needles again. I tried to cook new things. I tried to get back into drawing. I tried to read. I tried to take daily walks. I tried to work out at home. I tried to do yoga in the morning. I tried to play the new Animal Crossing game. I tried going through my entire Steam library. I tried to do a deep clean of all my things. I tried adult colouring books. I tried puzzles. None of them really stuck.

It wasn't until about four months ago (almost two years into the pandemic) that I finally felt ready to really tackle "productivity." I've learned that I have a lot of ADHD-like symptoms (I've already been tested for ADHD but my symptoms were not severe enough and not super present during childhood) and really had to re-frame how I approach doing things (no seriously, like, all the things).

A part of me regrets taking this long. I do feel like I "wasted" the pandemic, especially now that I'm going to be forced back into the office shortly but I think this is the wrong way to look at it. Every person's journey looks different, pandemic or not.