- Brandon Soderberg
Over the past couple weeks, as the coronavirus has gotten worse in the United States, it has felt like the opposite of that each time I leave the house for a few moments to walk the dog and, well, at this point that’s just about it. A lot of people are out and about, acting like nothing is wrong (that’s putting aside the issue that everyone should be staying inside for the sake of your grandma), and I feel as though there’s some joke I don’t get, and underneath that some whole way of being I’ve misunderstood. Often when I shuffle outside for a few minutes, I’ve just smoked, which adds to the weirdness.
And I have been smoking more than usual to think less about COVID-19, but here’s the rub: Many of the not-so-great side effects of smoking weed, such as shortness of breath and coughing, are also possible symptoms of COVID-19. I’m not the only one worried about this. “Real ‘am I coughing because I have the coronavirus, or because I smoked pot all weekend to take my mind off the coronavirus’ hours,” tweeted Jeremy Gordon, deputy editor of The Outline. And that is on top of the paranoia-inducing qualities that can send you into dark places as you contemplate a virus bouncing from person to person, growing exponentially, doing damage to everybody’s lungs and taking out our grandmas and grandpas.
After a few consecutive bowls — so, too much — I felt like I was glitching, time slowed down or didn’t seem to move at all, and things felt strange and smeared — as if I were inhabiting the lag I’ve been seeing on the many more Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom calls I’ve been on lately. Still it could be worse. I could have not been high. What more can I say than I was able to not think about the coronavirus for a while because of Platinum Kush Breath. Ninety minutes later though, I could feel the anxiety filling back up inside me.