grey-cat

Lately, I’ve been feeling frustrated a lot more frequently than I like to be, and it’s all because of the seemingly never ending pandemic. I’m frustrated that so many people seem to care so little about how their actions affect everyone else. I’m frustrated with people  who refuse to get vaccinated, refuse to wear masks, or worse, deny that Covid is real. I’m frustrated that if it wasn’t for that, we could be so much further along in being done with this virus that has turned all our lives upside down for the past 17 months and counting.

Of course things are better than they were this time last year. I’ve been fully vaccinated since the end of May, and I’ve resumed a lot of activities I hadn’t been comfortable with before then. I’ve been getting together with friends I haven’t seen in a very long time, and it’s been glorious. I’m back to eating in restaurants outside.  I’m caught up on all the home repairs I’d been putting off because I wasn’t comfortable having someone in my home. But there are still so many things I want to do again that just don’t feel safe yet. Crowds still make me queasy, but I want to go to concerts so badly. I want to travel again. I just want things to go back to what they were in the before times!

Yes, I’m “pangry.” I wish I could take credit for the term, but I found it in an article about pandemic frustration on the website of the American Medical Association.

Frustrated and angry is not a normal state of being for me, so the above quote couldn’t have come at a better time to help me realize that it’s up to me to short circuit this awful feeling. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge the anger, but it’s not healthy to stay stuck in that energy. Frustration and happiness are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and I’d rather spend my time on the happiness end.

I find that for me, the most important remedy against pandemic frustration is to limit my news intake drastically. I’ve been less disciplined about it for the past couple of months because for a while, the news kept getting better. Now that we’re headed in the wrong direction, I’m cutting myself off again as much as possible while still staying informed.

And of course, all the usual self care activies – eating healthy meals, exercising, spending time in nature, meditation – all help, too. As does spending time with our cats!

Do you feel “pangry?” How do you cope?

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14 Comments on Sunday Quotes: Frustration and Happiness

  1. Thank you so much for your writing about feelings of frustration. I’m getting a bit stir crazy as we are at home all the time, due to my husband having had a heart attack last November and a semi invalid ever since. He had a bad fall a few days ago, and while no bones are broken, he is struggling a bit to get over the soreness caused by the fall. He is 77 and rather frail, after a lifetime of being fit and very active. We live in Tasmania, Australia, and are so fortunate that we have little to no Covid here. I am going to make sure we stay on the happiness scale and focus on the positives and choose activities to add to happy.

  2. P.S. I almost forgot: By all means, disinfect any mail that comes to your house. We disinfect ours as we disinfect all of our shopping items; that is, we put it into a tote or plastic box or (tied) shopping bag and spray it with H2O2. This H2O2 vapor should take care of the virus within a few hours (according to CDC). Just spraying items (shoe soles, clothes, etc.) in the open is not nearly as reliable but better than nothing. (If you aimed at more security, you’d have to change your clothes every time you came home, which for us would not be doable.)

    • I don’t think there’s any evidence that surfaces are a route of transmission for SARS CoV-2, but everyone has to do whatever makes them most comfortable!

  3. I feel exactly like you do, Ingrid. PANGRY!–I have always looked at the bright side of life, but this pandemic and the way half of our society ignores it is getting to me. This is particularly because we lost Big Balls (don’t ask how he got his name :-)), the cat with the best character on this planet, to covid-19.

    My husband and I came down with covid, exactly a year ago. We did not realize at first that it was covid, as because of our medical history we never thought we would have the slightest chance to survive covid. Yet we only got sick like with a medium severe flu. But when the off-and-on symptoms (some of them very unusual, even weird) did not go away but kept returning, we eventually realized that it was covid. In retrospect, I think we only survived because in early 2003, 25 of our (then)35 rescue cats had been very ill for 3-4 months with a cat coronavirus (1 died). At the time, we asked our veterinarian whether we could catch this virus and were told that this cat coronavirus rarely makes humans sick. Yet we, certainly, were exposed and probably acquired some immunity to coronaviruses. Thus, we assume that rescuing cats has saved our lives.

    Unfortunately, Big Balls (who had been dropped off at Happy Cats Ranch 3 years after the cat coronavirus epidemic) caught covid-19 from us. He was more dead than alive for 3 days and then recovered but was left blind and with a heart condition. This heart condition did him in about a month ago. We are still heartbroken. There will rarely ever be another cat like Big Balls. (He would nurse sick cats back to life–even cats who had treated him badly before they got sick.)

    Also unfortunately, my husband and I are covid long-haulers. (The symptoms are too many to list, and they have made life more difficult for us, especially, since we have been without hired help for quite some time and have, more or less, given up finding reliable help. We are also without a petsitter. Scary!)

    In this difficult situation, we have just been “blessed” with another fur ball. Returning from a shopping trip last Thursday night, we almost stepped on a black kitten that was in front of our door. We initially thought that the kitten was well-fed and belonged to somebody. So I distributed flyers in our neighborhood yesterday morning. If no one claimed the kitten, we planned to take it to our local shelter, which presently does not euthanize cats but gives them to an organization (located in another town) that fosters them and takes them to adoption events in Salt Lake City. But then we noticed that the kitten wasn’t well-fed but its big belly was caused by worms. We also noticed that the kitten had diarrhea and was incontinent. (Big messes!) And we further noticed that the kitten had a paralyzed tail. (Must have had some accident.) Thus, all in all, not a good adoption candidate! Well, my mother instinct kicked in. Yet what should we do with this little shit-covered worm castle that kept wanting to climb on me? Giving it a bath only took care of the problem for a very short while. And my husband felt so sorry for the poor thing that he kept letting it out of the cage we had set up for it.

    So, even not in best shape after distributing the flyers, I took the kitten outside, so that it could move around a bit without leaving messes. And to my surprise, the kitten behaved like an extremely well-trained puppy. It walked right next to me and responded to “Come!” when I had walked a bit too fast for it to follow. It also responded to “Come!” when I sat down on a chair and the kitten played around the chair and got out of sight for a moment. (I had never seen such behavior in a cat, even though we used to have grown cats following us on walks and hikes, but never that close and so reliable. I used to have to sing to keep them from trailing off.) When my husband found me about an hour later, I showed him the remarkable behavior of this (about 3-mos-old) kitten. And I also informed him that it had just been adopted and named “Mama-Maedi (Mama-Girlie)”. 🙂 Please keep your fingers crossed that we can get her successfully dewormed and that her incontinence is only caused by the diarrhea (which, we assume, is caused by the worms) and has nothing to do with her spine injury.

    Let us all hope that the idiotic ignorance that has contributed so much to this pandemic and is responsible for most of the covid-deaths will not lead to an even more deadly mutation of the virus.

    AND DON’T FORGET: While cat coronaviruses rarely make humans sick, human coronaviruses can infect your cats and kill them. (Only Big Balls caught covid-19 from us, but our 15 other indoor/outdoor cats either might have some immunity from the 2003 epidemic or are young, healthy, and NOT close-contact cats.) You might be vaccinated, but your cats aren’t. In order to avoid infecting any cats coming home from any place where we might have got in contact with the virus (stores, vet clinic, restaurants, visiting other people, etc.), we spray our shoe soles and clothing with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) before we enter our house. (We even spray the floor of our vehicle.) We further put all shopping items into a tote, which we spray with H2O1, and if possible leave them there for a few hours. And we thoroughly wash our hands before we touch any of our cats. (We also wipe all door knobs we might have touched before washing hands with H2O2, unless we have sanitized our hands before leaving the car.) This won’t guarantee not to get our cats infected, but it is the only practical way we can think of to minimize the danger. (Unfortunately, one of our cats keeps visiting a 90-year-old neighbor, who gets visited by a social worker. We can only hope that this cat won’t bring covid back from this neighbor.)

    All of you and your fur babies STAY SAFE!

  4. “Pangry” What a good word for it.
    Taking your advice from several posts, I remind myself to not delve into the doom and gloom news, and it reminds me when you mention that in a post.
    I knit.
    I play video games.
    I marvel at the night sky, and for now, draw into my senses the feel and smell of cooler weather and rain when we get some.
    I observe, chat with and interact with the cats. They have life so very right.

  5. Ugh, I hear you. I feel zero empathy for those who can be vaccinated and for whatever reason choose not to. If they get sick, they made their decision. I don’t like this ugly part of myself but right now, that’s where I’m at.

  6. I am right there with you; beyond frustrated with some people. My husband says people are driving more with rage lately. We were just talking about this yesterday and I said the people were frustrated and angry and maybe taking it out on people they don’t know. It’s just sad.

  7. I agree with you, Ingrid, and call your article “Spot-On.” Just when I was ready to stop wearing masks when I ventured out, now I learn that there are so many people (half of the population?) who are refusing to be vaccinated due to some fabricated “Woo Monster” fears that keep popping up. Now, I’m back to wearing masks when I venture out to the store and have, once again, put off enjoying dinner out. So many selfish and ignorant people out there who will keep this virus going. Good grief.

  8. I totally agree with you Ingrid as I feel the same way. When these naysayers come down with COVID, please don’t come to the hospital for treatment and waste the medical professionals time trying to keep them alive. They are making their own choice to live or die. Oh well ! I just don’t want to catch it and give it to Tasha. The other day a guy who went to a concert in NYC came in for treatment for a skin condition he has and he literally breathed on me! I had my face shield on, but my god, these people are CRAZY!!!

    • Happy International Cat Day to you too Nan and to everyone!

      Maggie, Gema, Almond Joy, Darla, Charley, Renford and Nancy

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