Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, or anonymously using this form. Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.
I’ve been jerking off alone for years anyway, so COVID isn’t harming my love life. Nevertheless, I feel like I’m going insane due to lack of social interaction. Should I give up and just dig a hole in my backyard, or should I try to go on?
—Going Insane Alone
Always, always, always go on.
We’re all going to come out of this pandemic a little less sane than when we went in (I mean that in a colloquial, not a diagnostic, sense). But the important thing is that we come out of it. Things are a little brighter now, perhaps, than when you wrote. The tangible fact of seeing people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine makes the notion of an end to this feel more real. It’s not going to be soon, and it’s not going to be easy. But it will happen.
In the meantime, if you feel at risk, reach out. I don’t just mean to an anonymous advice column. If you have health insurance and can afford the co-pay, find a counselor. If that isn’t available to you, call or text CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank at 855-325-4296 or visit IowaCrisisChat.org. They are available for non-emergency conversations, as well as crisis situations.
There is no true substitute for social interaction. I won’t sugarcoat it. It’s been a long year and it may be another long year before things are “normal” again. Online gaming groups, virtual social hours and even Facebook Messenger have been connecting people isolated by location or circumstance since before the pandemic began, and have only become more acceptable and accessible now. They aren’t the same, but they can help.
I’ll see you on the other side of this, Alone.