10 Editor's Pick
March 26, 2020

Depression in Quarantine.

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon


My desk is two feet away from me, but I can’t get out of bed.

I haven’t felt this way in a long while.

I know I need to snap out of it. Shake it off. Get out of my head. There are things to do, and I don’t have a “real” reason to feel this way.

I keep telling myself every five minutes I will move. One foot out of the covers. Throw your phone across the room so you have to get up to get it. Once you make a coffee downstairs you will feel better.

And finally, I do. But I’m still waiting on the part where I feel better.

Normally, I revel in my morning coffee. But today, it’s tasteless. My head feels heavy, I have a slight headache, and I can feel it behind my eyes, in my cheekbones.

I have work to do, and for this, I am grateful. I know I need the distraction, something to keep my mind moving today.

But today, today my fingers move slowly. I look at what needs to get done and it feels overwhelming. Where last week I was inspired and motivated, now, I feel like I am drowning. I keep reading the same sentences over and over again, unable to take in what the words are saying.

I tell myself to just get through until lunch. Then do yoga or something to move your body and you’ll get out of this.

The only place that feels comfortable right now is the floor.

I roll out my yoga mat and hug a pillow against my chest while I turn on Yoga with Adriene and she begins to speak calmly to me through the computer screen. I’m doing her video on yoga for depression, and still, the act of moving my body feels like I’m trudging through quicksand.

There are more important things going on. I tell myself. You are lucky.

But I can’t shake this. There is nowhere to go and there are people to reach out to—but what would I even say? “I feel depressed?” The whole world feels depressed. And on the scale of how my life is going, I know I am in a place of privilege.

I am lucky. Yes. But luck isn’t an antidote for depression.

At 3 p.m. I get a message from a friend back home: “How are you? <3” She asks. I want to reply, “Holding up!” Because part of me doesn’t want to talk about it. But instead, I say, “Actually I’m feeling pretty low today.” And she replies, “Me too.”

When I finish work I shut my computer but can’t be bothered to move from my desk. My instinct is to go on social media, and I feel my thumbs moving of their own accord to Instagram. I scroll and scroll and flip through people’s stories, not really taking anything in. It’s just a motion.

My sister checks in to ask how my day was. And I tell her that I’m not feeling great. I feel like I should exercise, I say. Or do something productive.

She tells me to grab a glass of wine and we’ll watch an episode of something together, with her and her boyfriend. “Forget exercise for one night,” she says.

I have been trying to drink as little as possible during this isolation period, and I don’t want to “give in,” but tonight, I’m letting myself sink into these emotions. Maybe tonight, I just need some kind of distraction.

Turn off phone notifications. Get into comfy clothes. One glass of red wine. Popcorn. Laugh with my sister and her boyfriend on FaceTime. Watch an episode of Netflix’s new teen drama, “Dare.”

Soon after, I fall asleep.

The next day, I wake up and my body doesn’t feel so heavy. I sign in online and read a note from my colleague about how she has been coping. She talks about how she has been just taking things one day at a time.

Sometimes, she is motivated and happy. Other times, she feels depressed and anxious.

Yesterday was a new kind of awful. A low that I hadn’t felt in ages. But I got through. And today is here and already, things feel a little bit lighter.

I make coffee. It tastes good. And I sit down at my desk, ready to work.

One day at a time.



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