"Pandemic fatigue," "coronavirus burnout," whatever you want to call it, it's real — especially for all of us who are and have been following COVID-19 safety guidelines. And it can be exacerbated when you watch other people live their lives like nothing's wrong and treat you like you're the weird one.
Well, Redditor u/JazzyPenguin recently asked, "How do you cope with being treated like you are crazy for following COVID-19 safety guidelines when others around you aren’t doing the same?"
They added, "It’s harder when it’s the people I love who are not being careful — still hosting holiday gatherings, seeing each other indoors without masks, etc. — and then write me off as the shrill one when I bring any of it up. 😕"
And the responses are super relatable and encouraging. So without further ado, here's how others are coping:
1. "I cope by keeping my foot firmly down and mostly ignoring the snide comments that come my way. I don't need to justify my actions and decisions. So if you can't comply with them, then don't bother me with your bitching."
"I've had my fair share of arguments and have been branded the 'crazy, overprotective new mom' by my husband's family because I've taken this pandemic seriously as absolutely possible since the beginning.
Yes, I'm especially adamant when it comes to my 5-month-old, but I'd be just as serious if I didn't have a baby around for this. There are a few loved ones that are much more 'relaxed,' but they've been respectful of my decisions." —u/magicrowantree
2. "I say, 'I work at a hospital and go to COVID-19 floors on a regular basis. It's more for your benefit than mine.' It's true and unsurprisingly shuts up even the most ignorant of people."
3. "Keep on doing it. If anyone asks, just respond with, 'Listen, I don't tell you how to protect yourself and your family. Don't start telling me how to protect mine.'"
"Most of the covidiots I run into are against it because they don't like being told how to live their lives, so use that mindset against them." —u/IceBear14
4. "I’m feeling some sort of mix of 'everyone around me is stupid,' 'I wish I could do fun family things like everyone else is,' and 'I must be losing my god damn mind.' Everyone is playing fast and loose with the safety guidelines except my grandparents."
"Loved ones I previously thought of as smart, caring individuals are going on vacations, dates, or whining about mask policies. They're looking down on me because I’ve found a way to leave my tourism job and still pay my bills. My kid's pediatrician encouraged getting their hair cut at a salon and taking pictures with Santa this year.
After sticking to strict isolation, mask-wearing, and cleaning habits since March, I’m simultaneously worn out and reinvigorated. I honestly don’t think I’m superior in any way to the people around me, but this shit is starting to feel like some basic Darwinism." —u/inb4circlejerk
5. "I just happily agree. 'Yup, I'm paranoid. Yup, we are all crazy. No, we still won't get together with you, because I'm so paranoid and crazy. And yes, I still wear a mask every time I go outside because I'm so paranoid and crazy.'"
"The top priority in a pandemic is to survive it without getting sick. Period, full stop, end of story. Let everyone else think what they think. Just do what you need to do to keep yourself safe." —u/Happy-Kaleidoscope82
7. "It's like driving a car, and the other drivers aren't being safe. You keep your distance, try to stay positive, and try to understand that everyone has different levels of risk tolerance, understanding of the rules, etc. and that the best you can do is keep yourself safe and not contribute to the problem."
"Getting upset, or wanting to personally intervene to police other people's behavior is perfectly understandable, but it probably won't help, it might even make things worse." —u/ElectricChess
"So, practice defensive living." —u/rocketmonkeys
8. "I walked out of work. As the HR manager, I had no choice. I was just so frustrated that my boss wasn't taking it seriously."
"He wouldn't provide masks, gloves, barriers, etc. for the factory. Then, he insisted that all of the office workers stay. So I walked out. I carried on working from home and completed all my tasks. I got disciplinary action, but he couldn't fire me.
Months later, things have finally changed. But, I've found another job. If that's how he treats staff's lives, he'll do it again. Tomorrow is my last day. So, protect yourself and your family first. And ignore the idiots. This pandemic is real." —u/robfromza
9. "Just say, 'Apparently, I care about you more than you care about me.'"
"I heard that from someone else." —u/qatalyst9
10. "I wear a hat in winter to keep my head warm. I treat a mask the same way. I don’t care what other people think, and I have become so used to having a mask with me that I feel uncomfortable without one."
11. "I cope by prioritizing myself for once in my life. Before this pandemic, I was always being everywhere for everyone else and sacrificing my time. Now, I have a valid reason to say no to anyone else and put myself and my principles first."
"If they don't like it, fuck it, I have absolutely no cares whatsoever. Don't wanna stay friends with me? Wanna think I'm crazy? That's okay. I didn't need you then, I don't need you now." —u/Chaiandstopme
12. "I used to try and talk to them, but they didn't logic themselves into their mindset, and I can't logic them out of it, so whatever."
"These days, I just ignore them as much as possible. When I can't — when it's actual family or friends — I say, 'Look, I'm immuno-compromised. My father's in his 70s. Both my sisters have lung issues. This thing gets to us, and our whole family is going down. Sure, there's a 99% survivability rate, but 1% starts looking like a big fucking number when that shit hits your family fan.'
Does the mask work? I'm not going to argue with you. If there's even a chance I could save a life by wearing the mask and the only thing I risk is looking like a fool, I'll wear the fucking mask. I'll wear a rainbow clown afro and a honking nose on each nipple if that helps. I'll survive looking like a fool. People are dying from COVID-19. Oh, I'm living in fear? I wear oven mitts when I bake, I don't fear the fucking oven. I'm taking a reasonable precaution against foreseeable harm.
If they're still in it with me after that, it's usually because, 'Blah blah blah, God's will,' and there's nothing I can do about that. They're free to put their faith in prayer, and I'm free to put mine in a mask. I get the, 'You're a sheep,' counter-argument a lot. My go-to is, 'You're an ostrich,' but I'm told, 'You're a c*nt,' shuts them down just as well if not better." —u/purplhouse
13. "Using their mentality against them is the trick. You gotta out-stupid them. Make it a BIGGER conspiracy to think about."
"'Anti-mask mindset is rhetoric created by the liberal media, disguised as conservative freedom protection, designed to allow COVID-19 to spread through the conservative population more freely when 5G towers are installed.'" —u/coontietycoon
14. "I live in rural Indiana, and hardly anyone wears a mask or social distances. I go about life the same way I always do honestly — stay in as much as possible, and when I'm out I pretend they don't exist. When I do get snide comments I just ignore them and carry on with my day."
15. "I remember seeing a tweet that read something like, 'Even if the pandemic turns out not to be a big deal, and we really are all ‘sheep,’ I’ll be content knowing that I was a sheep by caring for other people and wearing a mask.'"
"This stuck with me and makes me glad to follow guidelines." —u/BJoverTrapper
16. "I cope by waking up every day knowing I'm keeping the ones closest to me safe. You see the people in your bubble, be it family or friends, and think that you're the luckiest person in the world to be stuck with these people. You celebrate the small things and laugh as much as you can. You do the best you can with each new day, knowing you're doing what you know is right."
"It's hard. There are days where you sit and curse the world because you see people living 'normal' lives, and you can't. You wish people took it seriously because you hate hearing how people you know and love and respect are getting it.
You might lose friends, and you mourn those relationships lost as much as you mourn not getting hugs when you see people or going to social events. You lose sleep over wondering if fitting in would be worth a possible exposure. You make hard decisions where there is no right answer, and you're doing the best you can." —u/Random_Th3spian
17. "I get upset, but you only get to pick so many battles in life. I work in a pharmacy, and I’m pretty fascinated by COVID-19, so I’m constantly reading about it. When people try to be shitty about the whole thing, I usually rattle off some of the more interesting things I’ve read lately. They usually reply with some stupid conspiracy theory, and I just tell them I can’t go down that rabbit hole with them."
"Also, while I have the platform, hey, you fucking idiots, the government is pouring billions into facial recognition, a mask is your best defense against COVID-19 and restoring your privacy! Fuckin’ idiots..." —u/Theoren1
18. "I work in hospice, so I tell them to keep it up because I'm the one that pulls the plug. Reactions are awkward 100% of the time."
19. "I was on a bus, and the man beside me wasn't wearing his mask. I told him to wear it, and he just pointed toward other people who weren't wearing masks. So I told him, 'I ain't gonna tell everyone. You are sitting beside me, so I am telling you to wear it.'"
"He then put on his mask. And guess what? A man in my next to left seat also puts it on!" —u/redditor_lolz
20. "I'm a COVID-19 ICU nurse. I find it funny when people say something like this. Then when I inform them of where I work, I suddenly have at least six feet all around me and people are staring at me in shock or horror."
"But, you do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe. Don't worry about others. If they don't pay your bills or snuggle up to you at night, why does their opinion matter anyway?" —u/OGBigcountry
21. "I’m in a weird position. I live in the South, but I have to speak with people daily from NY and NJ for work. I talk more freely about my concerns with them because they're also concerned. I’ve never been so personal in a work setting, but it at least allows some catharsis."
"Since March, they've been far more cautious and nervous about COVID-19 than the people I know, and they always bring it up." —u/ShotgunBetty01
23. "My wife's a nurse. And she's working more now than ever because... what a fucking shock! There's a shortage of nurses because they keep getting sick from asswipes who don't take precautions. And I have no fucking problem telling them this. If you don't practice social distancing or wear a mask, and you get sick, I think you should be banned from going to a hospital."
"Because your fucking stupidity, arrogance, and overall selfishness is literally putting the only people who can do anything about this fucking bullshit at risk. Die in your fucking house alone, asshole. Keep my wife out of your crap.
And the irony? If my wife reads this, she would be super pissed at me. Because unlike all of you assholes who refuse to wear a mask and practice social distancing, she's a good person who has and will continue to put herself at risk to help people." —u/PunchBeard
24. "At work, when people say insane conspiracy shit, I laugh at them. It’s the only response I’ve found that shuts them up. I've tried to explain and discuss the facts, but once I realized that was never going to work, I just started laughing at them. And I mean at them."
"And in public, I wear big over-ear headphones." —u/ForgetfulLucy28
25. "Just keep doing your thing and keep yourself safe. The others will have to find out the hard way if they get it. This should have never been politicized in the first place."
26. "You could say that I'm afraid and that going through all these hoops prevents me from living my life. But I say, I go through these hoops so I can live my life to the fullest, unafraid, for as long as possible — simply by protecting myself from ignorance and stupidity."
"For example, I choose to be paranoid about salmonella, so I overcook my chicken slightly. And wash my cutting board and hands after handling meat or eggs. I choose to be paranoid about becoming paralyzed, so I wear a seatbelt.
I choose to be paranoid about frostbite, so I wear gloves in the winter. I choose to be paranoid about STDs, so I wear a condom. I choose to be paranoid about alligators, so I don't go splashing around in the swamp.
I choose to be paranoid about the rope holding, so I double-check the knot before I climb. I choose to be paranoid about getting a heart attack or diabetes, so I eat healthily and exercise." —u/memecut
27. "All of us are discovering that some people we've liked for a very long time are morons. Life has a way of sorting out the people who are worth time and effort, and the sorting is happening double-time right now."
"But there are also people out there who are nailing it. I intend to fill my life with people who responded to this crisis correctly because those are people I can trust." —u/Iwouldlikeabagel
28. "I actually almost feel justified. My husband's whole family caught COVID-19 because they were at a party together. Here we are with no COVID-19 because neither of us is about that life right now."
"We are hoping that everyone recovers fine, but I don't know if that is gonna happen. His parents are both high risk. We miss our family but safety first." —u/Bethdoeslife
29. "If anyone ever said anything to me, I would probably just laugh at them. My mask even says the immune disease that I have on it, just for that one purpose — to keep people from giving me shit."
"Having said that, I mostly stay home, I do no-contact shopping and doctor's appointments. I'll not let anyone make me feel bad for protecting myself or my family. We just lost my aunt today to COVID-19 complications, so I would probably ask if they have lost anyone to COVID-19. And if they'd say no, I'd tell them to shove their mocking up their..." —u/daelite