Finding Comfort in a Global Pandemic


Val Lindsey

There I was, proudly showing my friends the newest addition to my stuffed animal collection. They laughed and cooed but eventually moved on from the subject. Yet I couldn’t. My mind stuck to their reaction, what about this could possibly be so amusing? I sat there, suddenly feeling embarrassed of my love for this thing. I felt so childish. 

I looked back at everything I had done in recent times. Between falling back into old fandoms and shows, listening to retired music from years ago and even dressing in a more girlish way that I had sworn off before, I just felt so confused. 

What had caused me to suddenly revert back to all these things from so long ago? And why were they suddenly bringing me back so much joy? 

It caused me to think harder about my surroundings, everything around me that I had promised wasn’t as bad as my parents and teachers made it seem, when suddenly all the details seemed to fall in place.

 It was truly embarrassing to admit that I had fallen back to my old, objectively out of style ways. But now I understand it as a sort of coping method. Turning back to such things seems to help me process and understand the outside world in a much simpler way than I would’ve thought of on my own. 

Why bother stressing myself out about the here and now when I could instead be in the there and then? These things gave me joy because they brought me back to a time without COVID-19, or at least without the stress of it. Instead I was worried about if this skirt matched my hair, if this song would help set my mood for the day, and if this stuffed animal brought me the happiness I had been lacking. 

It did. It all did. I find it hard to be ashamed of that now, understanding and knowing that doing what I enjoy and dressing how I like makes me happy. Knowing that my friends aren’t trying to look down on me, they’re trying to find their own comfort in these awful times. Just as I have done for myself.