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As sultry summer meets COVID, fatigue factor settles in

'It is like going to hell in a handbasket and in said handbasket you have to lug masks, sanitizer, gloves and wipes,' says columnist
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The dog days of summer have now merged with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This combination has turned me into a overheated, whining brat. I know because I live with me. 

It was already hard enough staying inside the house for most of each day, but now it is more unbearable with the high temperatures and humidity. 

It is like going to hell in a handbasket and in said handbasket you have to lug masks, sanitizer, gloves and wipes.

I always like having the windows open at least in the early morning and late evening, but no chance for that now as it just seems like a sauna everywhere. 

Add the now mandatory masks in Simcoe-Muskoka — which is the right decision — and I turn into a tea pot. (Short, stout and steaming from my lid.) 

I have turned into my younger self and my older self all at once. 

I am both a young kid complaining there is nothing to do and also I am my mother lecturing. The young me and older me as it were battling it out.

Young Me: “I don’t have anything to do.” 

Old Me: “Go outside and play.” 

YM: “It is too hot!” 

OM: “Go run through the sprinkler.” 

YM: “I don’t even have a hose!” 

OM: “Go do some crafts. That’s fun!” 

YM: “I have completed 245 diamond art kits. I find tiny beads in my underwear.” 

OM: “Go clean a drawer. That will make you feel better.” 

YM: "That lame idea didn’t work 50 years ago and it doesn’t work now!"

I find myself arguing and negotiating with myself. Every day this is the stuff going through my head. 

“Let’s get up and get all our chores done and then we can have a treat! “ 

“Why don’t we make a list of everything we accomplished today. Then, we can enjoy a nap.” 

“OK, self, get your work done and then you can watch two serial-killer documentaries on Netflix!” 

It is ridiculous. I do it all the time. I try to talk myself into productivity. It rarely works. 

There is definitely COVID fatigue going on. We’ve all been at this since February at the very least. Whether working in a new normal with all the cleaning preparation and equipment or not working due to the lockdown, the stress is real. 

I think it's both fear of the unknown and fear of the what’s next? 

It looks like the summer is a bust in terms of large outdoor events from concerts to Kempenfest to the CNE, including all the small fairs in between. 

Fall doesn’t seem too promising, either. 

It is getting harder to be optimistic about finances or fun. I am guessing most people have little of either at this point. 

I have now sanitized every flat surface I can find. I can name every CNN anchor and reporter and tell you their timeslot. I’ve donated upwards of 20 boxes of household items to charity. I’ve Zoom chatted, set up online banking, ordered items delivered to my door and learned how to answer my cellphone. 

As you can see I have not been idle with my time!

I keep telling myself it could always be worse and, of course, it could. 

If we and our loved ones are healthy — that's enough to be celebrating. 

It is just hard to remember that sometimes. 

What’s that you are saying, Mom? 

“Look on the bright side?” 

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps?” 

“Rise and shine!” 

“Do something for somebody else!” 

Let’s see if that gets me through another week. 


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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