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AdviceHey, Bonita!

Advice for Kicking the Quarantine Blues

Hey Bonita,

I’m really not handling this quarantine very well. I’m lucky enough to be able to continue working from home, which means that the stimulus payment is extra money for me. Normally, I’d take a weekend trip with my friends somewhere close, like Savannah, but everything is shut down. Honestly, I’m just bored and lonely. I’m able to do Zoom meetings with coworkers, and I even did this virtual dance party thing last week, but I feel like none of it is enough, and I even started crying for a while after the dance party. I miss my friends and family. I want to go out and have some drinks. I want to get some booty.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. Is this depression? Should I get professional help? I just feel so sad these days.

Thank you,

Bonita Apple-none

Hey Ms. Apple-none,

This is a lot like the question I got last week, and I am really happy to get another shot at answering this. I told Lonely, Broke and Struggling to just kinda get into their current circumstances and make the best of it, and I worry that I sounded dismissive or something. I am not telling anyone to give up or to go gentle into this dark night, but to understand that acceptance (understanding what situations you have power over and can affect change upon) is a huge part of dealing with life in a healthy, productive way. 

I also want to get drinks and booty on a beautiful Athens summer weekend. I want to twerk with DJ Mahogany on the Little Kings patio. I want to go to work, of all places, and I want my regular daily schedule back. I want life to return to normal. So do you, and so do most of us. But what we have to accept is that contagions are not able to reason, they are not able to see our loneliness and depression. Disease will not feel sympathy for us and give us a weekend off to party down, crash pools and get laid. It’s been two months now since my job sent me home, and we still haven’t seen a decline or stabilization in the COVID-19 cases in our state. This disease is still out there and still contagious, and the choice is ours: Care to roll the dice for a night out on the town? Me neither.

Social distancing and isolation are the only proven ways to slow the spread of this contagion.  This isn’t about government control or anything stupid like that, but about the future. Do yourself a favor and read up on the Black Death in the 14th century, which was much less deadly in places that quickly quarantined their cities from outsiders. It was still deadly, mind you, but Poland experienced so few deaths compared to the rest of Europe that a rumor persists that the country was spared completely. I tell you this to really put a bow on the very real and very good outcomes that we could experience by seeing this through. Needless to say, I don’t recommend going out and getting action. Hop on Tinder and find a hottie to sext and connect with, then ride them into the sunset once this is all over.

I definitely recommend getting a therapist. There are plenty of local options for therapy via telephone or video conference, and check with your insurance to see if they cover mental health services. If you need a more affordable option, I recommend starting with Family Counseling Services and asking about their sliding scale. My therapist and I do bi-weekly phone sessions, and it’s been a real godsend. I’ve sobbed on the phone with them in pure desperation and loneliness, but sometimes I just share recipes and plans for the day. It’s great to have someone to talk to, even if you’re paying them, and there’s stuff you can discuss with a therapist that you might not be comfortable discussing with friends or family. Your therapist can suggest things to do with your downtime and safe ways to get the social contact that you need. I cannot, in good conscience, make any recommendations that go against social distancing, because I do not want you to get sick or worse. I want this to end soon, just like you.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on twitter: @flagpolebonita. 

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