This article is part of the Covid & Our Mental Health series.
This is part 2 of my 5 part series where I rant about Covid and you pan through my river of words for insightful gold
"Teach from home," they said, "it doesn't matter that you might not have basic student skills, like knowing you shouldn't begin your writing with a pronoun."
I was motivated.
"We'll give you links to all the online resources," they said, "it will only take 45 minutes per day! "
I was proactive.
I went into the first week of isolation with a tightly-structured daily schedule for managing my seven-year-old twins. I would make sure they balanced fun exercise with various school subjects, and maybe even throw in a dash of homespun wisdom like, "don't ever tell a woman how she feels." My kids would return to school and immediately be skipped a grade or, if the schools are closed for another year, three grades.
Now it's two months into isolation, and I give up. Or, rather, I should say "I gave up," because I only made it three days into my "school at home" schedule before throwing in the towel due to exhaustion (and I'm severely, diagnosed-ly hyperactive).
Because it's not really "teach from home," it's "school at home."
You know what schools have? Janitors. You know what else they have? Receptionists and yard duties and lunch servers and administration. I have none of those people, so now I have all of their jobs.
Oh, and I'm the entire IT department. Over the past 7 years, my wife and I would smile smugly at each other when we would see another parent using their tablet as a babysitter. Oh how confident we were that our placing strict limits on their tech access would make them turn out as leaders of a horde of screen-addicted zombies.
Now those future zombies brilliantly navigate school meetings on Zoom while my kids struggle to find the "unmute" button and instead put my laptop in airplane mode.
The point is, I get to do all the jobs. What's that? I don't get paid? What else? I actually have to pay in the form of taxes that go to education?
Covid sucks. I'm mad a lot of the times.
But it's hard to be mad at a virus. It's microscopic. You know what's easy to be mad at? Other people.
I can't take my anger out on other people, obviously. That's not helpful in a normal world, and in Covid World those other people are probably angry too and then you have a grenade-in-a-foxhole-that-no-one-can-leave situation.
We all have to find ways to get rid of our anger. Here's a list of 19 suggestions called "30 ways to handle Covid-19 anger." It may be helpful, it may not, but it is certainly something on the Internet.
Looking past the proven mathematical theorem that the number 30 doesn't equal 19, there seem to be some useful activities to release anger, like "screaming alone" and physical exercise. Then there's stuff like "drink a Frappucino" which lets us know why this author decided to call it quits 11 items short of their goal.
I can't do jumping jacks while screaming in my garage all day, however. But I'm mad for a good portion of the day, so something needs to be done. I was already mad at the universe for being an unsolvable mystery, and that was before it started actively trying to kill us all.
My solution may work for you but probably won't because I'm a neurotic ball of weirdness who should never have an advice column because people will ask me stuff like "how do I deal with my mother-in-law's intolerance of my vegan lifestyle" and I give them advice and the next family dinner everyone ends up in jail, somehow.
I'm not giving advice. I'm just showing you that something works for me, so you can gain hope that there is something out there that will work for you. Or maybe you're not angry a lot of the time, maybe it's just me: That would really piss me off.
What seems to be working for me is, every time I'm dealing with someone, I'm also doing some cliche anger-releasing activity. During work conference calls I'm riding the exercise bike. When I'm trying to get my kids to do their school work (where if they have fewer than 3 meltdowns in an hour I consider it a great day) I'm also machine-gunning digital men on my laptop. Right now I'm watching my kids play with the neighbors while still trying to stay six feet apart but utterly failing and I'm also raging out with this article.
Yes it's messy. Yes I've heard the expression "don't half-ass two tasks when you could whole ass one." I can't whole-ass one, dear readers, I can't whole ass anything.
Good luck finding your own ways to get through your anger safely. Remember that there are a lot of resources available, here I did your research for you, you're welcome.
Also remember this: It's absolutely necessary, for all of us, to get through any Covid-related emotional issue safely.
Until next time, stay healthy.
... Dammit! I just raised my voice at my kids. Again: not an advice columnist.
Evan "Drunk Nerds" Hoovler has a new book, Teaching with Comedy, published by Kaplan. He and two other goons co-own the fantasy football comedy conglomerate, Football Absurdity. Check back next week when I write about the bargaining stage of accepting our Covid lifestyle, because that's the structure I outlined for myself without really knowing what I was going to write.
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