As the title suggests I am giving myself a free pass to just unload about the pandemic and how it’s affecting my mental health. I totally understand if that is not your jam and want to click off now.
Still with me? Cool! For context I live at home with my family, including my 63 year old parents, and work in a pharmacy. There is not enough tea on this planet to save my nerves. For me the worst bit is the hypervigilance of always having to be on guard at work and at home to minimize the risk of spread. It’s exhausting especially when you feel like the rest of the world doesn’t care. One of the pharmacists I work with went grocery shopping with his wife and new baby a couple weeks ago without masks and his reasoning was “If we were going to get it, we would have gotten it by now,” because that’s totally how viruses work. Surely if I was ever going to get dysentery I would have gotten it by now, right? [/EXTREME SARCASM]
Last week alone the company I worked alerted us to 8-9 confirmed cases that I didn’t have direct contact with (fingers crossed), but they’re letting people who have had possible exposure still work as long as they don’t present symptoms. My city just issued an level extreme level alert urging people to say home because hospitals are reaching capacity. On top of that I have to confront the reality that I will be working through a cold and flu season inside a global pandemic like some kind of nightmarish Russian nesting doll.
And then there’s the isolation from community. My mom stocked up on craft projects and I live with four other people and their pets so I’m not “lonely” but I also feel like I’ve lost connection to the ace community. My main community connection is Twitter and I probably should branch out to other platforms because Twitter is a trash fire. It’s a very entertaining trash fire, but it’s still a trash fire. I’m not sure if I wan’t to got back to discord because the reason I left was because I didn’t fit in with younger aces who made up the bulk of that community. That’s might have changed since the pandemic started. Somebody also pointed me a new platform that’s still in beta so I’ll be checking that out.
Sadly several ace mutuals on Twitter deactivated because Twitter is a trash fire and there is always drama. Rather than make a whole post about I’ll just do the spark notes version really quick. Long story short several Twitter fandom groups all imploded the same week because of people outing themselves as ace exclusionists. Somebody in a Star Wars fandom posted a block list of people in the group who were ace exclusionists, which is a standard practice. Somebody else took the posted block list and started harassing the people on it. This is where the details get a little fuzzy and evidence becomes scarce, but allegedly a trans teen on the list received doxxing threats and was outed to their parents when someone sent them screenshots of the teen’s Twitter account. Acephobes took this incident and ran with it, eager to prove how dangerous the ace community is to the whole LGBTQ:
While I absolutely believe there is an element of truth to the story (remember several other fandom groups were going through similar implosions earlier that same week), acephobes were real quick to try and pin the blame on the ace Twitter community. Understandably several ace accounts retaliated, unfortunately they did so by blaming the above acephobe for a string of ace harassment campaigns that had occurred back in October, November, and December.
I find the irony absolutely astounding.
The whole ace community should shoulder the responsibility of an ace (allegedly) or cis-het ace (as the story progresses to met the agenda of who’s telling it) misbehaving, but all acephobes are individuals who don’t share a hivemind and thus aren’t responsible for what other acephobes do and it’s not their responsibility to renounce other acephobes. Absolutely astounding.
Unfortunately when the dust settled it was the ace accounts who took the worst of it and several deactivated. I wasn’t exactly “friends” with any of these people, but the normalcy I felt seeing their posts everyday was really nice and I’m going to miss that because that’s a feeling I unfortunately don’t get from my RL coworkers. My RL coworkers are in general, with few exceptions, not very nice humans or at the very least professional enough to pretend to be nice humans for eight hours.
Basically I need new friends. Actual friends would be nice, but what was a hard task before the pandemic is now seeming herculean. I guess I go and try that new platform that was suggested and hope for the best. Overall I wouldn’t say my mental health is optimal, but it’s acceptable, I think, given the circumstances. The stress headaches are something else, but I see my doctor next month so maybe she’ll have some suggestions other than yoga.