Opinion

Not Like This

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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS VERY MORBID AND MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION AND/OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people around the world raging over others that are defying isolation rules in their respective areas. Like others, I started thinking “Wait, these people can’t all believe that they are immune to catching this thing – some of them probably just don’t care’. I have been thinking about this for a while, because honestly, samesies.

Knowing me well means knowing that I want to die as soon as possible and I am pretty objective about it. Regardless of my mental state on any given day, the concept of long life seems so unnecessary to me. The first time I remember expressing this was when I told my mother that I cannot imagine myself being older than 45 – I was maybe 13 then. Not much has changed about my stance. For those who know how much my quality of life has improved in the past two years and how determined I’ve been about ‘living my best life’ recently, this might be surprising. To be honest, I’m doing enjoyment simply so that everyone has good pictures of me for my obituary and I can truly rest in peace.

So, I live my life to make myself as happy as possible, yet hoping that someday soon a piano will fall from the sky and smoosh me. Hopefully, it’ll be a day when I’ve had fresh nails done and I’m wearing my yellow dress. I go to sleep hoping I don’t wake up quite often – it’s basically my norm. If I suffocated on a chicken bone tomorrow, that would be a happy ending for me.

But then…a pandemic – cue panic!

The onslaught of the corona virus has been somewhat surreal to me. It’s gone from another country’s concern to a global frenzy that has affected tens of thousands of lives. People are panicking and turning into hypochondriacs with every tingle they feel in their throat. It’s understandable – none of us understands what the hell is happening.

The thing is, when you are so apathetic about living, it’s even more confusing. I am extremely anemic, which makes my immune system the Sharapova of my bodily systems – it’s not achieving much, unless I pump it full of performance enhancers i.e. vitamins. Catching the virus would be a piece of cake and I could be dead in no time. I am already a homebody so isolation hasn’t been hard. What’s hard is resisting the urge to make this pandemic the perfectly poetic ending to my dramatic ass life.

As I write this, I wonder if there might be someone else who, for a split second, thought “I have asthma, I don’t want to live – getting the ‘Rona might be a good thing”. The problem is that almost immediately after, you feel like a complete nut job for even thinking about it. People are dying, everyone is worried enough about job stability and having to teach their kids long division and you’re here fantasising about catching a lethal disease, “simply” because your life has the enjoyment quotient of spoiled beans. It feels selfish and delinquent.

Are these thoughts dangerous at this time? Yes.

Do I think they make me, or anyone else a bad person? No.

A constant yearning for death, even if you have no intention to act on it, isn’t normal. I know this, and you probably do too, because you are smart. However, it doesn’t make anyone evil. We are not crazy, selfish or misfits for lapsing into daydreams of dying in a pandemic that feels like the freakin’ apocalypse. Even if you do not have a history of ill mental health, thoughts of the impending recession and continued isolation is enough to make anyone consider whether surviving is worth it. We are human – maybe if there were cures to depression and anxiety none of us would ever have these thoughts, but we don’t.

However, if there is ever a time to manage how we think about death, it’s now. Personally, what snapped me out of my reverie was the fact that getting the disease would put others in my family at risk. Infecting someone you live with is a huge risk. Even if you live alone, contracting the virus will require you to interact with others without precaution and just during that process, you might end up infecting someone else. As a matter of fact, statistically you’re likely to infect two people, they’ll go on to infect two people each, and so on.

I absolutely believe that the order of things should have included humans being able to decide when they die – but doing it by exposing yourself to Covid-19 shouldn’t be an option. I believe that a big part of wanting to die stems from frustrations about our lack of control, however ignoring safety precautions and isolation directives takes autonomy from those around us. Not everyone wants to die – we shouldn’t put them at risk. I genuinely detest being on lock down. I want to be out there hugging people and kissing all  my crushes – if I die, I die. But it isn’t about me. It can’t just be about what I want for my life – not until this is over.

Whether Covid-19 is a tempting ticket out of this hell hole for you, or you’re itching to stockpile essentials in a frantic quest for survival, the only thing I am certain about at this time is that it isn’t a time for individuality. It is also not a time for shame or guilt about your negative thoughts, as long as we are considerate of the lives around us. You’re probably a good person, you don’t want others to die because you want to – so focus on not putting anyone at risk, even if you don’t care about yourself. Hopefully, we’ll all make it to The Good Place soon, just not like this.

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