The Outbreak | Cannabis, coronavirus and boredom

The Outbreak is a new blog describing the different ways the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives.

EDITOR’S NOTE: With campuses emptied and University life brought to a halt, student journalism is in a tough spot right now. We’re asking our readers to please support the work of our current staff, as well as the next generation of Pitt student journalists, by donating here. Thank you for your support!

ADDITIONAL EDITOR’S NOTE: The name of the staff writer who wrote this blog has been withheld for, you know, legal reasons.

At the time I am writing this blog post the clock reads 4:57 p.m. 

I’ve been up for about five hours with little to show for it. I spent the first four-and-a-half hours laying in bed, mindlessly scrolling through my various social media feeds, texting friends, keeping up with the news and ultimately, not trying to bang my head against the wall out of sheer boredom. I had no desire to leave my comfy bed until I felt a rumbling in my stomach. Curse my inborn necessity for food and water. 

Normally I would have to get up early for work but since I haven’t been able to, nothing is keeping me in line with a “normal” routine. I’ve completed all of my coursework for the semester — leaving me with lots of extra time. As a result, I try to find other things to do. 

When the weather permits, I leave the house for a walk — usually with my dog at my side. I occasionally mess around with an old guitar I hadn’t used since middle school. Yet most of the time I spend hours upon hours in front of a blue-tinted screen, either playing video games or watching television. And I do all of these aforementioned activities — almost exclusively — under the influence of weed. To be honest, I am not sure if I would be able to keep my sanity during this quarantine without weed to take the edge off. 

As most college students can attest, moving back home after living on your own SUCKS. Though I love my family dearly, they aren’t the easiest to live with, and frankly, neither am I. We mostly manage to act as a loving family but sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. I find that when I’m high, I’m less likely to fight with my family members. In fact, I’m actually more inclined to spend time with them than I normally would be. I tend to be much more agreeable when I’m high, and as a result I don’t get upset or annoyed by my family’s quirks like I usually do. Usually they don’t realize I’m high but even if they realized, it wouldn’t bother them. 

In addition to being more in-tune with my family, weed helps me defeat the monotonous and mundane routine of quarantine life. The days seem to go by faster and blend together when I’m high — which is ideal for overcoming the quarantine. We all want this whole situation to be over and done with as soon as possible, and there’s no better way to accomplish that than by turning your brain off with some weed. 

Weed isn’t for everyone, but it’s my vice of choice. I prefer it to drinking — especially in this situation. To me, drinking is a more social activity than smoking. I don’t necessarily see the point in drinking unless I’m with friends in a social setting. 

When I’m not high, my mind is always racing. I’m a fairly anxious person normally so sometimes it’s tough for me to just relax. In a world not ravaged by a pandemic, this makes me a somewhat productive person. Fueled by my anxiety and ADD, I’m always looking for more to do at work or in school, just to keep me busy and get my mind off of things. It would be nice if I still had such activities to do during quarantine. And with no responsibilities hanging over my head, relaxing under the influence of weed is a nice change of pace to my daily life.

In addition to my anxieties, weed really helps alleviate some of my depression as well. Like any mental health expert will tell you, staying inside for long periods of time is not good for your well-being. Ergo, I try to leave my house as much as I can. Whether it be long walks around my neighborhood or long drives around my town, I do anything I can to leave the house. Yet, sometimes these walks or drives aren’t enough to help my mental state. More often than not, I return home feeling just as down as I did when I left. That’s why weed is helpful for a lot of people like me. Under these circumstances, I’m much happier when I’m high than I am when I’m not. 

These are boring times. Exciting in the grand scheme of things sure, but as it goes for everyone’s daily routine — boring as hell. Weed helps me spice up my mundane existence. I tend to think differently and more abstractly. I find that I’m thinking about things I never would’ve noticed while sober, like why my wealthy town can’t seem to pave its roads — what could they possibly be spending money on? And — perhaps its best feature — it allows me to have fun when I’m alone. I’m almost certain to make myself laugh while under the influence, or just laugh at things around me. It also adds to whatever I was doing before. Movies are funnier, video games are more exciting and food tastes better. 

With all of the aforementioned factors in mind, it should be no surprise as to why myself and many other people choose to spend our quarantined days high on weed. With the countless benefits I see and virtually no side effects — aside from occasionally overeating — I really find it hard not to get high during these isolated times. All in all, the question it really boils down to is — why not?