Pandemic Powerlessness and Depression

I posted a video copping up to pandemic depression. Maybe you’ve been feeling that way too? Click to watch.

Earlier this week I shot and posted a video on YouTube. It was about the powerlessness I’ve felt during the pandemic, how it really dragged me down, and that I’ve been depressed the last couple of weeks as a result. While my personal audience isn’t huge, dozens and dozens of people watch my YouTube videos, I was surprised to receive about twelve messages from friends who wanted to say, “Yes, I’ve been feeling that way too.”

Even though I’ve been zooming, emailing, texting, and sending postcards, I’ve always felt a crucial something has been missing from my interactions. Furiously attempting to connect with as many people as I could during the pandemic, I didn’t realize – as I finally do now – that I was missing subtle social cues that just don’t transfer electronically. The nods, hums, and body positioning that confers empathy and connection. 

Missing them, I’ve been trying hard to make up for quality in quantity. Of course, it’s not because my friends and family have been letting me down, it’s merely a limitation of the medium. Life without direct contact.

I think we’re all feeling it during this pandemic, and it hurts.

Peering through my video screen, I’m trying to see my friends, trying to connect. But there’s always a screen between us, metaphorical and literal. 

Combining the screened-off feeling with the powerlessness I feel in this pandemic, my inability to get idiots to wear masks, to stop conservatives from politicizing science, to convince President Trump to actually lead – I’ve been steadily sinking, sinking, down to a place where nothing is good and there is nothing to look forward to.

It’s been a dark place, full of anger and cynicism. Perhaps you’ve felt that way?

But then something happened, and I decided I was done being depressed. I can’t really say what it was. Maybe it was my wife telling me she was tired of it. Maybe it was the words of a friend. Maybe it was just me deciding I wanted to turn a corner. Maybe it was all of it?

And so here I am, fully aware of how bad the depression can be, and really not interested in going there again. 

I’d like to know if you’re struggling, or have been with the pandemic. Drop me a note and share your story if you can. I’ll be happy to hear it. Maybe we can find your turning point.