Covid Stories: An Open Call

Some folks don’t want to talk about it. In one online forum, The Secular Heretic encountered Covid Rage (now dubbed by authorities, Covid Fatigue), for just asking people if they’d experienced Covid Rage. For what it’s worth, only one person freaked out, calling it “psych baiting.” Most folks seem to have ignored it, or were too shy to weigh in. What could be more psychologically harmful than keeping it a dirty secret? Before all this Covid Business, we knew better; we were more psychologically mature. We knew that it’s better to talk about things than to keep them pent up.

Just the other day (November 29, 2020), travelling on public transportation, one of the Daymakers was captive audience to a diatribe from a fellow traveller. The lady in question came aboard in a huff, using her outside voice to appeal to a colleague who’d boarded with her. “I’m sorry!” she announced to all and sundry. “But he was the only one on the bus without a mask, and the bus driver sure as hell wasn’t saying anything!” It was pretty clear why we all had to listen to her. She wanted us all to know that if one of our masks slipped below the nose, we’d have her to contend with. Her companion, in contrast, spoke quietly in response. Perhaps he was attempting to calm her down with soothing tones. The kicker is that she soon alluded to how others were suffering from Covid Fatigue but how she remained completely unaffected. . . immune, you might say.

Also, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), finally broached the subject. Predictably, they suggested only anti-maskers were suffering from Covid Fatigue and attacking others. The good ones, who police masking, are not suffering from Covid Fatigue, nor are they the type who start fights. The CBC’s advice to the public was not to insist anti-maskers wear a mask because these folks are potentially dangerous. They presented footage of one man straddling another and punching him. Stories about pro-maskers picking fights go entirely unreported. Meanwhile, angry pro-maskers are by far the more militant simply because they are the ones who get in the way of those who flout protocols; the anti-maskers mind their own business and just want to be left to get on with their own business.

The Secular Heretic doesn’t care whether you are pro- or anti-; we just want your stories. We understand that the dynamics in play are due to the civil conditions. And we figure that the best way to deal with this sort of angst is to talk about it.

Please send your Covid Rage stories to marko@thesecularheretic.com. We are interested in truth, fiction, creative non-fiction, horror. . . whatever you are moved to compose. Both experienced writers and non-writers are welcome. These can be stories about yourself or another; maybe you lost control or maybe you witnessed someone else lose it. Let’s not hide it and pretend it never happened. Let’s face what’s going on with maturity and dignity, and let’s have some fun while we’re at it!

As lockdowns drag on, we face a mental health crisis. Writing about it can be a way to better deal with our feelings of impotence, helplessness, fear, loneliness and frustration. No matter what your politics, whether you’re in favour of lockdowns or whether opposed, we must be mindful that we are suffering through this together. Under these pressures, both our worst and best selves have a chance to emerge. We must do our utmost to remain civil and courteous to one another.

The point of sharing our stories of lockdown rage is to better see ourselves, hopefully to transcend our pettiness and come together with the knowledge that we are not alone after all.

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