After evenings of endless boredom and monotony, even the opportunity to pay $20 for a well vodka Red Bull sounds good right about now. (Courtesy photo)

Despite our losses, it’s what we’ve gained from the pandemic that matters

Quarantine is almost starting to feel like normal life, until I remember how unnormal it actually is.

Maybe this column should be called the COVID Chronicles since that’s what it seems to have become. Seeing that this is the fourth installment since the pandemic, it means we’ve been engulfed for two months now. Quarantine is almost starting to feel like normal life, until I remember how unnormal it actually is.

I guess that’s the thing, corona life is an emotional yoyo. There are days where it’s no big deal. I wake up, do work, try desperately to find some grants for, eat meals, play video games, read, watch Netflix, go to sleep, and then start all over again in the morning. Mixed in to all that there’s fun and playfulness and loving my fiancé and kibitzing with our great roommates.

Then there are the days of sorrow, of morose moods and irritability. The mornings where I don’t wanna get out of bed. The evenings of monotony and boredom and sighing and the deep thirst for something, anything, different.

Just yesterday I tweeted “I miss going out so much that I would happily go to a crappy night club right now if possible. Like I would gleefully rave my face off at Ruby Sky if it were still open and we were allowed to party.”

I hated Ruby Skye with a fiery passion when it existed, but last night I would’ve done just about anything for the opportunity to pay $20 for a well vodka Red Bull and the chance to dance to EDM that tried to mask its mediocrity with loudness.

Yes, the stir-craziness is real, but so is the sadness. I had some really big plans this year that have been completely dashed due to the pandemic. I was gonna launch a new satire website, but since our revenue dried up, I can’t afford to do it. I was also gonna do a crowdfunding campaign for the second season of Shaky Ground, our web series that pokes fun at modern San Francisco. But with so many people losing their jobs, crowdfunding the show is out of the question. Most importantly though, Kayla and I are postponing our wedding until some undecided time in 2021 because we’re just not certain what October will be like.

And those are just the items that bum me out for selfish reasons. From the staggering loss of life, to the economic devastation, to the horrendous distortion and bungling of our government, this pandemic has been cruel and harrowing.

The upside though, is that it’s shown us who we really are. It’s reminded us that, as humans, we need each other. It’s hammered home the fact that we are stronger when we work together than if we let the people at the top divide us. We’ve seen the president and the federal government bungle everything then refuse to take responsibility, and we’ve responded, “Fine, we’ll take care of ourselves.” And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

From supporting fundraisers to sewing masks to donating food to running errands for our neighbors, we’ve all stepped up in some way to look after each other. At 7 pm around the world people stand on their doorsteps and balconies to cheer for our nurses, doctors, and other essential workers. We’ve also realized how essential so many other workers are, because without the people producing, selling, delivering our food, we wouldn’t survive.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t broken our system, it’s laid bare how broken it already was. It’s just that now more people are realizing it than ever before.

Yes, quarantine life is messy and uplifting and heartbreaking, but I don’t want to go back to what we thought of as normal life before. We need a new normal after this, one where community and solidarity are ever present and not just things we hope are there when the shit hits the fan. We need a system that is invested in the greater good for everyone, not just how good the investments are for a handful. And because of this, we need to get out and vote in November. And from here on out only support candidates and organizations working to make sure that we have a social safety net in place for the next disaster, instead of those who are only looking to enrich themselves and their friends off this one.

And if there is one other important thing we’ve learned from being in quarantine it’s that 95 percent of live stream events suck. So let’s stop this from ever happening again.

Stuart Schuffman is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at and join his mailing list at His column appears every other Thursday. He is a guest columnist and his point of view is not necessarily that of the Examiner.

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