Post Lockdown Stress Disorder

My Great Grandmother May lived until she was 104. This was very fortunate for me, because I got to know her as a young adult. Most kids’ great grandparents would have passed when they were fairly young, and May was alive until my last year of college. 

Now my Great Grandma had a lot of little eccentricities. For example, I was obsessed with Barbies in my youth and she would insist on clothing them with things like upside down Styrofoam cups or saran wrap. God forbid I should spend money and buy a Barbie skirt.

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If you had a cold or the threat of getting a cold, her go-to remedy was to put Vick’s under and IN her nose. This shit literally says on the container to not do this. 

Of course, these eccentricities were deep seeded behaviors because she lived through not only a depression but…yes, that’s right…a pandemic. Spanish Influenza. 

Well, I hate to tell you this, folks, but I’ve already developed my own little weird habits and they’re becoming glaringly clear now that some of the world is opening back up.

FIRST. I don’t like people.

Let me elaborate…I no longer like crowds. Thanks to COVID-19 I’ve grown accustomed to emptiness and space in traffic, in the grocery store, in life. When our rock gym first opened up, it was by reservation only, and although I want my gym to make money, I loved having practically a whole boulder wall to myself. Free for me to fail multiple times on impossible dynos without a care in the world. Now that they’ve opened up more I don’t have that privacy, and if there’s even one child in my vicinity I turn into a swamp witch.

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SECOND. I love people.

Ok, so maybe this is confusing but hear me out. I hate people when they’re near me, but I am also desperate for attention now. I’m usually quite introverted, but my God just tryyy to get me off the phone now. Where are all the people? Come at me, people. Let’s get some Jane Austen wordplay up in here. Please, send me flirty texts. I won’t ever meet you in person but…heeeeeeyyy, boo boo!

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*I am mostly kidding. Please, don’t COVID and text, friends.

THIRD. Maybe I like masks?

This is pretty simple as I am a slightly…ahem… @chubbygirlclimbing … (see that Insta plug? But it fits so shut up) …anyway, as a slightly chubby girl climbing, I quite enjoy covering my fat chin(s). I can blink seductively at men now using a combination of smizing (which means smiling with your eyes for those that aren’t aware of Tyra) and my general feminine eye wiles. What double chin? You can’t see it. Much like that stupid cat it’s either there or not there or whatever the heck. Undeniable logic. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

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What eccentricities have you developed from either being over-adaptive or not adaptive at all to these apocalyptic times? How far off am I from the norm?

Jen Alger contributor (theDIHEDRAL)

22 Replies to “Post Lockdown Stress Disorder”

  1. Great points! I can’t seem to wear my contact lenses any more because I read an article about glasses protecting your eyes from COVID… hmm. Also, whenever I see groups of people on TV, a little part of me says, “Stop touching! You are breathing in their germs!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed this post. I did the Vicks under the nose as well. I used to go to the gym, now I work out at home. I do not like the mask since I wear glasses, and all they do is fog up when I breathe or speak. Now I am wearing contacts and I still don’t like the mask lol.
    Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was already pretty eccentric and solitary. I avoid wearing masks by not going where people are. I feel more contempt for the mass of humanity than I did before because they actually ARGUE about whether C-19 is real or not. I take the dogs to more remote locations because humans have decided the way to walk their dogs is to drive to a trail head, open the door of their car and let their dog run. Grrrrrrr. Otherwise, I think I’m about the same as ever… For me it’s just a matter of getting through without getting sick and maybe dying because 1) I’m old 2) I have chronic asthma. Party on!

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  4. Love the post it brings back memories about my vicks experiences that and germiline for cuts or basically anything.
    Lockdown has made things worse for me I know don’t want to go out anymore because I’m sight impaired I feel even more isolated, but hay how I’ve got my quilting now.
    Stay safe and take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I so identify with you. I hate people, liked no traffic on the road and now there’s still too many people out. Traffic is picking up and I hate that. Some folks wear masks, some don’t, as if walking past you isn’t contagious. I carry a bottle of alcohol with me and I did the Vick’s under the nose and on the chest with a flaxseed heating pad. My biggest thing is I’ve become addicted to Korean film and not just because of Parasite.

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  6. I have discovered after months of isolation and insulation that I am probably not a fit for polite company and should probably keep my mouth shut when it comes to anything more significant than a debate over Keene vs. Lowa as the better hiking boots.

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  7. I still put Vick in my nose…..And yes, I’m happy alone but have spent hours on the phone to people over the past few months. Also, I suddenly feel it is acceptable to be eccentric because lets face it, nothing is normal anymore.


  8. I think they put that warning on VapoRub because of people like your great grandmother (and my mom). And you should stay at least 6 feet away from Norm even if he wears a mask.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As a fellow chubby girl, I appreciate and totally feel you on the mask sentiment 😋

    Another personal mask-related bonus – I can whisper “WTF” pretty much whenever and no one bats a fucking eye. #Pandemic2020SilverLinings

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This was honestly a great read. So many people are dealing with stress and anxiety and depression so this has been the area of research for me for a couple months. checkout and let me know if it was helpfull because, honestly guys in times like these we all need support

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As always Jen, your contribitions make me smile. This one really hit home. If my mom was still alive she would be 100 on July 1, 2020. Vicks was the go-to remedy for sickness.
    On the chest with a towel around the neck to keep in the warmth, under the nose (probably in the nose even if by accident), and on the opening of a humidifier. Then the room was sealed with me in it. Ah the memories.
    I had a cold at the end of last year/beginning of this year that just wouldn’t go away. I broke down and bought Vicks…. the cold went away. After reading the label I discovered that Vicks is good for muscle soreness.
    Enter COVID 19. After 20 plus years, I am teaching at a community college and loving it. But all of the sudden I have become an online instructor and have developed repetitive use inflamation from using the mouse non-stop. Vicks really does help with muscle pain! And now my family is subject to the smell whenever they are near me! I may consider going to the gym covered in Vicks. Who knows, it may help keep others away from where i am climbing. If anyone is at the gym and you smell Vicks vapo rub, it’s your decision. Say hi or stay away.! JK . 😉 Say hi even if it is from 6 or more feet away.😃

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ha. Funny. Life hasn’t changed for me that much from Covid as other factors as i’ve continued working. I’m “essential” to keeping the rich men rich. ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is comical and totally on point at the same time. I have also discovered that:
    1) I like wearing a mask.
    2) I miss people, but I’m glad to be alone a lot of the time
    3) I have never had such a great experience in public places as amidst the post-lockdown gathering restrictions

    I’m not sure whether putting Vick’s Vapo Rub under and around my nose is objectively an effective cold prevention strategy, but next time I’m concerned, I think I may just try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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