Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Depression in an Orwellian Dystopia — Thank you COVID

Wendy Richards
3 min readJan 18, 2021


Routine Has Become The Enemy

I do not want to open my eyes. If I keep them tightly shut, I’m able to keep the world at bay for just a little longer. My head is buried under the covers obscuring the clock but the last time I peeked it was around 10am and since then, I had fallen back to sleep. I can hear my husband in the kitchen making coffee and Minnie the giant cat is starting to make noises at the other end of the bed. I am not opening my eyes!

The husband will bring in the coffee (yes, I’m spoiled), give Minnie a few treats (she already ate her breakfast at 5am), and climb back into bed. He will resume his daily ritual of scanning his Twitter and Facebook feeds for politics, more COVID updates, more lockdowns and, of course, sharing all the bad news with me. He used to browse Parler as well but that is no longer allowed.

My faithful companion and somewhat obese Minnie shakes the bed as she lumbers her way up to my face. Complaining loudly, in her nails-on-a-blackboard meow, she is reminds me it’s time to get up and accompany her to the bathroom where I am expected to rub and scratch her all over for ten minutes while she lies purring on the bathmat in front of the toilet.

Routine has become my enemy. My most meaningful activities are writing and traveling. But restless and adventurous travel pursuits lie on the ground in tatters — COVID has seen to that. Clients are in a holding pattern of wait and see, hoping in vain that some day they may resume making travel plans to bucket-list destinations without restrictive new world order terms and conditions.

I know I should shuffle into my home office, knuckle down and write, but I don’t feel witty, and I like to be funny, even when my stories are serious. I hate whinny. You know, something like this blog.

Being a late bloomer, I hit my stride in my 50s. Now more than ever I enjoy the company of others: lunch, dinner or coffee, I am always available. The scientists are right. Humans are social creatures and speaking to each other from our safe spaces is not mentally or emotionally healthy. We must see and feel the smiles, the looks of surprise, astonishment, joy, love, anger, and happiness. These are essential if we are to thrive and grow.

I have always been a rebel as my mother before me. Tell me it is forbidden and it becomes my mission to do exactly the opposite. I want to engage with the rest of the world, probably more so than I ever did as my shy, younger self. I want to discard the suffocating and claustrophobic mask; kiss, hug and smile at everyone! When the insanity ends (cross my fingers), I wonder if people will be kinder to each other? I think that’s a strong possibility.

If I should allow my lids to peel back from my shuttered eyeballs, the play button will have been pushed and I will be forced to face the unending day — 8,760 hours and counting. I feel I can no longer cope. Yes, I have things to do but my question is why bother? To what end? What is the point? The solution is out of my control and my spirit has been contained like a lioness in a cage. Simply existing has become the challenge. What a waste.

But none of this matters because I am not going to open my eyes. I will remain here, locked in my bubble, and fall deeper and deeper into depression.

Before publishing this blog, I had my husband provide me with feedback. His thoughts were — can’t you end on a more positive note? Offer some hope? After careful considering, I concluded that to do so would tell my readers I was a fraud. An Orwellian Dystopia offers no hope and totalitarianism offers no happiness.



Wendy Richards

Wendy debunks the myths of aging as she plays Life’s Back Nine. College student, traveler, writer, wannabe author, entrepreneur, all after her 50th birthday.