I'm sad. I'm frustrated. I'm exhausted.

It shouldn't surprise me, or anyone else who feels the same. The experts tirelessly warned us we'd get here: a dark and deadly winter that was preventable in many ways.

The latest round of hopelessness and anxiety I'm feeling as 2020 comes to a close starkly contrasts with what seems like a fairly benign list of "confessions" I penned in mid-September. Then, I lamented my reliance on retail therapy as a beacon of better days ahead, subsisting on takeout to support local restaurants, taking lots of naps, and finding emotional comfort and purpose by caring for my cat.

The last few weeks have been exponentially more exhausting than I could have imagined just three short months ago. I'm now circling on an eternal carousel of desperate emotions, spiraling from anger to depression to forced oblivion and around again. My personal outlets of shopping, snuggling and sleeping help, but can't completely erase the struggle.

I'm distraught about so much death. Remember in March when public health experts said COVID-19 could kill up to 200,000 people in the U.S. if left unchecked, their worst-case prediction? We passed that unfathomable mark two months ago, topped a quarter-million a month ago, and still have months to go before the vaccine does its job.

I'm beyond shocked at how so many inside my social circles are still acting like the coronavirus isn't a big deal. Just last week I found myself in the position of having to decline an invite to a (supposedly outdoor) holiday party.

I'm bitter I haven't seen my little sister in almost a year and a half, yet people continue to travel for leisure like it's "whatever."

I'm heartbroken so many favorite venues and restaurants, like the Garland Theater, could close forever. What I'd do to rewind back to the last night we went there, knowing it would be the last for far too long. Every time I drive by and see the "Stay Safe Spokane, We Miss You" on the marquee it's a needle in my heart.

I'm frustrated at the lack of empathy all around. Everyone's hurting, some more than others. As much as I feel these painful, frustrating emotions, I'm incredibly fortunate to be in a very safe and stable place.

We've been at this for the better part of a year now, though, and the cold, wet, gray of winter in the Inland Northwest doesn't make it any easier. Please take care of each other, and remember to allow yourself some grace, too. ♦

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's food and listings editor. She compiles the weekly events calendar for the print and online editions of the Inlander, manages and edits the food section, and also writes about local arts and culture. Chey (pronounced Shay) is a lifelong Spokanite and a graduate of Washington State University...