Boredom, restlessness, anxiety, fear, frustration, despair, impatience, sorrow; then, shame for feeling all of those things when I compare my situation to others. Repeat, then eat another brownie.

A newish addition to this stew of bleargh is the unpleasantness of all these opinions being slung around by a society of armchair experts who apparently just received medical degrees issued by Wake Up Sheeple University. I feel like a walking Jonah Hill gif: sorry I find the information shared by actual scientists to be more worthy of my attention than that one article you found by some rightwing crackpot blatting on about how this is just like the flu and no one freaks out about the flu, FUCK ME, RIGHT?

I can agree that information has been messy and inaccurate in some cases and I also feel deeply mistrustful of practically everything I read online these days but also can someone please explain using very simple terms what the nefarious end goal would be for any person of authority to oppose reopening businesses and services? Like, I honestly don’t get the conspiracy vibe around this. They want everything to stay shut down because … then the libs win? What?

I hate how this whole mess has become yet another political game piece, and I am having a really hard time being the sole citizen in my married family who’s on Team Hey Let’s Maybe Try to Kill Less People by Proceeding with Caution especially when that point of view is treated as unnecessary (foolish, informed by the wrong sources) economy-tanking worry-warting, and I am also aware that however many days of house arrest this has been probably hasn’t been ideal for any of us in terms of maintaining the ability to engage in polite disagreements.

Repeat. Then:


21 Responses to “The secret is high quality cocoa + bone-deep sighing”

  1. Anne on April 30th, 2020 1:10 pm

    I have painstakingly maintained a neutral expression on multiple Zooms with my boss while innocently trying to recall a flu season in recent memory in which the entire NY/NJ/CT region was so overrun by the flu that refrigerated trucks were needed for all the bodies. But otherwise, yep, totally, same as flu, what’s the fuss, that IS just anecdotal observation after all. Then I explode on the inside because it would be pedantic and pointless to try to explain that the CDC’s flu death numbers are modeled and not actual like COVID, include deaths not specifically indicated as flu, like COPD and …see? one can get ranty very quickly. Better to be nice and sweet, can’t openly insult one’s boss. Instead I burst into tears randomly at r/aww on Reddit and your gorgeous cat on Instagram. I think that’s how my anger comes out now. Just weeping for the pure things. I should try brownies.

  2. Shawna on April 30th, 2020 1:29 pm

    I had been wondering how the different political leanings within your house were playing out, but I thought to myself “even if historically one were a supporter of the more conservative side of things, that one also once upon a time tried to make and market a device for sterilizing keyboards in hospitals so surely there must be a basic awareness of medical precariousness in this pandemic. I mean, one seems like a smart person so…?” But, well, hm, not much to say about this since I like you and don’t want to insult anyone in your immediate family.

  3. PETE J HAIDINYAK on April 30th, 2020 1:48 pm

    I have always told my kids that you need at least three independent source that don’t reference each other to consider something ‘MIGHT’ be true. As far as people that go out in crowds or advocate such an act is just Darwin thinning the herd. There was a time thousands of years ago these people would have been eaten by trying to pet a lion or run off of a cliff at night. These days the only reliable way to thin the herd is Train Crossings or cleaning their guns.

  4. sooboo on April 30th, 2020 3:51 pm

    The data clearly shows it is a dangerous time for us to be around each other. Your either the type of person who cares about protecting people you don’t know, or your not. That’s what it comes down to. Very tired of this divide as well but I don’t think it’s going to change soon. Those brownies look good though.

  5. sooboo on April 30th, 2020 3:57 pm

    *you’re, blerg

  6. Emily Campbell on April 30th, 2020 4:58 pm

    The conspiracy fear is that Trump had the election in the bag because the economy was doing so great and “they” are overly exaggerating this and keeping things closed longer than necessary to tank it. That is not so far-fetched to think there is no truth to that somewhere.

  7. Pinkiebling on April 30th, 2020 7:34 pm

    +1 on Shawna’s comment. Hugs, Linda. You’re awesome and I admire you.

  8. Jill on April 30th, 2020 8:25 pm

    Our current married frustration stems not so much from disagreeing with the stay home order (we are American, he’s military, living in another country so essentially we are just homebound on military orders while life goes on around us) but with his sudden unilateral decision that kids should have less screen time. It. Is. A. Global. Pandemic. We aren’t allowed to do anything or see anyone or go anywhere. Who fucking cares if they Fortnite and Roblox all day? (Apparently him, who is at work not dealing with them. AARGH.)
    I am conservative-leaning, but I am sitting here on the opposite side of the globe watching the rednecks in my homestate of Michigan go FUCKING BONKERS with their gun-toting protests. I’m all for the right to bear arms, but dudes, time and place and this ain’t it.

  9. Nancy on April 30th, 2020 9:55 pm

    My family brownie recipe is very similar. So, pro tip, right before you put it in to bake stir in one or two packages of dried cherries. The amount you stir in depends on how much you love cherries. Do not re-hydrate the cherries -they will rehydrate as they bake in the brownies. Chocolate and cherries? Yum.

  10. Donna on May 1st, 2020 2:31 am

    Well, I moved out and back into my empty house, so social distancing is gonna be a whole different animal now, but I’m getting blazing fast internet tomorrow.
    I worry about going out too quickly. The second wave of Spanish flu killed more people than the first one. And continued to kill people the following winter and so on until there were enough people with immunity that the herd immunity kicked in.
    I wonder which will be first, herd immunity or a vaccine.
    And omg yeah. Brownies.

  11. Melanie on May 1st, 2020 5:02 am

    I hear you. It’s all so tiring. Hug from a stranger in Canada who gets it. I just feel so on edge all the time and emotions bubbling over. Ugh. Doesn’t help I’m working at job that had layoffs and told rest of us to pick up the slack (um how? cloning?) with 2 year old at home, husband not working. I just keep telling myself. We are saving people’s grandmas and there are more of us doing our part than those who arent. wow. that turned into a rant. to summarize. I get it. Mine hasn’t been brownies….its white bread… alot of it. Thanks for continuing to post. You are the best.

  12. Jill on May 1st, 2020 6:16 am

    I have not associated myself with a political party for a long time now. I believe both sides have gone to extremes and I am tired of the lack of common sense from both parties. I truly don’t know what to believe anymore. I saw this on social media and it sums up how I feel:

    As our government tries to figure out how to return our towns, cities, and states to a new normal, please remember:

    🛑 Some people don’t agree with the state opening… that’s okay. Be kind.

    🏡 Some people are still planning to stay at home… that’s okay. Be kind.

    🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening….that’s okay. Be kind.

    💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes….that’s okay. Be kind.

    👩🏾‍⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off….that’s okay. Be kind.

    📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job….that’s okay. Be kind.

    😷 Some will wear masks for weeks or months ….that’s okay. Be kind.

    💅🏻 💇🏼‍♀️ Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done… that’s okay. Be kind.

    ❤️ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.

    We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind.

    If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind! Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental/ physical states than we were months ago. So remember, be kind.


  13. Hillary on May 1st, 2020 6:37 am

    There is a very vocal portion of my family that is conservative and it astounds me that they keep calling this “a bad flu.” It’s NOT the same. But they are beside themselves about the shutdowns and are convinced it is all politically motivated. I keep hearing how all of this “my side’s fault” because I’m liberal. That it is fake and it’s just to stop Trump. Or, it is real, but China did it to stop Trump because he’s been tough on trade. Or it is part of some larger plot to get Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    It’s exhausting, really. They think I’m out of touch with reality and I think they are ridiculous.

    But brownies might help.

  14. Sande on May 1st, 2020 7:14 am

    We choose to stay home, drink our Lysol cocktails, and watch the Darwin experiment continue.
    Seriously though, we stay home to keep my husband safe. He’s type 1 diabetic. My brother had this and it almost killed him. Once it hits that close to home, you understand this is worse than the flu. At least I hope for those who don’t believe.
    But really, watching the Darwin experiment has been entertaining. And sad. The false entitlement is profound in our country and that is what really makes me scratch my head…. Why?

  15. Michelle on May 1st, 2020 8:36 am

    I am a loooooooong time reader, as in Dylan wasn’t born yet when I started reading, but first time commenter. I can soooo relate to the split politics home life. I am a slightly to the left nurse and hubby is a faaar to the right non healthcare person. He also has a random mild to moderate phobia of wearing a mask/being around people that are wearing masks. Things are getting ugly! I may need to make those brownies soon! Prior to this, we always got by fine just not talking about politics and smiling and nodding at inlaws houses!

  16. Kim on May 1st, 2020 10:23 am

    I’m a New York-born Jew married for 20 years to a South Carolinian Southern Baptist. We’ve had a lot of LIVELY discussions over the years, but it helps that the husband is an intelligent well-read person, who has an open mind despite the upbringing he had. However, lately? I just end every discussion on the topic by loudly and obnoxiously quoting Jesse Pinkman: Yo bitch, SCIENCE.

  17. Mackenna on May 1st, 2020 9:33 pm

    Yep I’m totally down with not experiencing lung failure, suffocation, strokes, kidney failure, having to be intubated (which I understand is so unpleasant you have to be knocked out when they do it) and at worst, dying – alone – and I want to do my part to prevent others from experiencing all of the above. I get people freaking out because they are not in pay, but the “give me liberty or give me death” crowd when death is a likely result of the liberty in these circumstances seems mindnumbingly dumb. And I can’t stand the wingnuts who show up with huge guns strapped to them. They just look idiotic and all I can think is, give them all dildos.

  18. Andrea on May 1st, 2020 11:21 pm

    I just want people to stop peeing in the pool, already. The sense of entitlement is amazing to me.

    On a different note…made the brownies tonight. Doubled the recipe, except the sugar, and added a teaspoon of espresso powder. Added a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, baked in an 8×8 pan…They just scream to be served with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream.

  19. Ang on May 4th, 2020 6:56 am

    We are, thankfully, all on the same page about masks/stay-at-home/lock the screen door so the crazy neighbor lady doesn’t come in (literally). Did have to explain to my almost-80 year old parents that they needed to mask up and stay in because if they end up in the hospital they are going to die alone – this worked and they are now happy to be healthy and at home.
    And we made the brownies (choc chips instead of nuts – nut allergy) and they are AMAZING!! Like if I could figure out how to make them so no one knew it was happening, I would hoard them in my office and eat the whole thing, one brownie every hour, until they were gone. Thanks for the great recommendation!!

  20. Courtney on May 4th, 2020 9:30 am

    I too am married to a “it’s just the flu” spouse and it is infuriating. We live in a very small town in western Canada and our region has only had one confirmed case so this bolsters my husband’s argument that this has all been overblown. Never mind that the reason we’ve only had one confirmed case is that our province has been on strict quarantine. But who wants to hear facts?! What really gets me angry is when my husband lumps Prime Minister Trudeau in with Trump. He agrees Trump is an idiot but then says that Trudeau is the very same. It’s at that point my face melts off.

  21. Jessica on May 4th, 2020 3:19 pm

    I am lucky – my husband is even more “SOCIAL DISTANCING MEANS WE GO NOWHERE NO ONE STANDS IN OUR FRONT YARD WE LEAVE PACKAGES IN THE GARAGE TO AGE LIKE A FINE WINE I’M NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE AND YOU AREN’T EITHER” mind set than I am. Our two daughters… well, they are hanging in there with 20 hours a day of netflix, tiktok, youtube intermingled with online “school”. I’m actually extremely lucky. And gaining back all the weight I lost at the end of 2019. Sigh. I miss the gym, my office at work, getting my hair and toenails dealt with by professionals, going out for dinner with a friend who has conversation above and beyond covidcovidcovid. But having said all that – the fucking disease can cause a tsunami of blood clots… if you want to win a fight against me just threaten me with blood clots. Covid wins. I’m staying home.

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