Pedestrians shop in advance of a new coronavirus lockdown in Dublin on December 31, 2020.
File photo: Pedestrians shop in advance of a new coronavirus lockdown in Dublin on December 31, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

There’s no denying it any more. This lockdown is getting the better of me. There’s no escaping the monotony of this current life; with zero excitement, no visits, no trips to the shops, no trips anywhere. The boredom is relentless, and the less I do, the less I feel like doing. My motivation levels have dropped like a hot potato, a potato I’m fast resembling.

I’m tired of reading about people who have discovered a new lease of life, a new way to be grateful or hearing about those who have shed stones in weight from eating healthy and getting out for daily runs or walks, back to nature and loving life. It’s sickening that people could thrive in such dire circumstances, even though that’s the reason humans have become the most successful species on the planet. The ability of my fellow humans to survive surprises me.

But it’s not all roses all of the time. It can’t be. I imagine those glorious, shining moments that people somehow always seem to capture on camera and upload onto one social media platform or another are mere glimpses of an ideal that give them reason to go on. I defy anyone to sustain the joyful feeling of seeing the sunrise, a child laugh or a quiet snowfall for longer than a few minutes, before reality comes crashing down around them again.

The rest of us sink lower into the mire, wishing to live in glimpses of our old lives pre-lockdown.

Sometimes I just want to hear how awful things are for everyone. I don’t want to be told to be grateful for what I have or to hear how worse it is for other people I’ve never met — although I do hold a special pity for the poor wretches who have to entertain and even ‘home school’ small people, which, thankfully, I have not had the pleasure to contend with.

I want people to tell me the weird things they have begun to do to stave off the boredom, like counting spiders, maybe even talking to them, biting their toenails or making cringeworthy TikTok videos. I want to hear how bad it is being in the same house with other people constantly, or in my case, one other person, and often being sick of the sight of them. Can love survive lockdown, I wonder aloud. Do you have to look at me, I think to myself?

My hope lies smouldering like the embers of an old fire, waiting for something to revive it. Every day is the same. My body feels it more than anything; lying and sitting seem to be my only states of existence, and it calls to me to do more, to do anything, while my mind screams for numbing pleasures, which, more often than not, I willingly succumb to.

Action is drastically needed. While I sit here writing I think of all the other productive things I could do when I close the laptop. I could get my gym gear on and work out. I am surrounded by the means of exercise — anything I wish at the touch of a button. I could complete another painting, usually a landscape that I like to call ‘abstract’ because then I don’t have to explain what it is. I could clean up the kitchen and prepare for dinner, or do all of these things and more. Perhaps today is the day.

No more TikTok or TV — not today. Today could mark the beginning of a new chapter in my lockdown life. A chapter in which I take charge of my body and soul and begin to shape myself into a human that would make my species proud, one that could take us forward in our pursuit of survival, or at least won’t let us evolve into slobs. Like all those other days before, this could be the day that everything changes.

— Christina Curran is freelance writer based in Northern Ireland.