Loss and Adaptation during COVID-19
These are some seriously trying times, leading to understandably high amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression for all of us. We are being forced to adapt our daily activities to this new normal, at least for now, due to COVID-19. Some of these changes may not go away for years or ever. Our society has to adapt to this latest crisis with innovation and dedication. This article will focus on the topic of cannabis consumption and how it must also change. I will also discuss the issue of loss, as I feel that this is a collective experience right now. Accepting losses, adapting behaviors, and practicing proper personal cannabis practices are the focus of today’s blog.
What We’ve Lost
While I could list so many things, I’ll focus on cannabis-related topics. Many of us lost the ability to consume cannabis outside as freely as we would have previously. We have lost out on significant events, celebrations (like 4/20), and so much more. Some of us may have lost access to our cannabis provider. We have lost the ability to pass a joint around a circle, and share cannabis with others directly in front of us.
What We will Lose
There are more things to be lost in the coming weeks. As the financial situation becomes increasingly dire, and people continue to go without work, times will become even harder. We will continue to miss out on major events, social events, and potentially our summer enjoyment outside. Sadly we will also potentially lose loved ones. The losses faced will continue to pile up until we can get this crisis under control. While we wait for that to happen, what we can do is do our part to help others. We can also help ourselves by practicing safe cannabis consumption practices.
Adapting your Cannabis Consumption
Trying times call for adaptation. We have not seen a crisis like this in our or our parent’s lifetime. Other pandemics that faded away often received ridicule and calls of over-reacting. Looking back, I think we can all appreciate how hard scientists have worked to prevent one of these. Unfortunately, something like this virus was bound to happen eventually. I hope all readers pay attention to useful sources of information and ignore the fluff and conspiracies. The CDC, Health Canada, and WHO are examples of reputable sources to get your information about this virus.
I talked in detail about this topic in a newly published post, which you can find here. It is an unfortunate reality that many of us has had to and will continue to have to blaze solo. I don’t want to repeat myself, so I’ll focus on other aspects of change we had had to address.
Sharing mouthpieces with others should be a no-go for the foreseeable future. Cannabis culture has been built on sharing and social smoking, but we must adapt. If you must share glassware, clean it between uses with an alcohol-based wipe. And if you must share joints, use individual mouthpieces for each person. It would be even better to smoke personal joints and glassware.
Many of us are not even able to smoke personal joints with friends, as we are stuck at home. Online platforms can be fantastic for smoking together while being physically apart. We also can keep the generous cannabis culture alive by helping out friends in need when we have extra supplies, and they are out. You can make a person’s day or even their week by sharing what you can.
Wash your hands
Wash them frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands before and after you roll joints or pack bowls. Wash your hands after you smoke, especially if you were outside. Use soap and water when you can, and hand sanitizer when you need to do so.
Don’t smoke while Sick
Two important points here. First, definitely do not smoke with others while you are sick. You should be isolated at home right now if you are sick. Second, smoking or vaping weed should be entirely avoided while sick. COVID-19 can hit the lungs hard, along with other systems. The agitation from smoking or vaping is an unwanted additional stressor to an already ill body trying to heal. This virus can appear mild and then ramp-up over weeks and quickly become life-threatening. If you must consume weed while sick, go with infused edibles, oils, and beverages.
Keep your Social Distance
If you are lucky enough to be allowed to be social, do it at a distance. Stay at least 6-feet or 2-meters away from others. Make that circle much larger than usual, and passing joints won’t be a problem if you each have personal ones. Minimize social interactions where possible, as we all must do our part to curb this virus. Do not feel invincible because you may be young, this virus can kill people of all ages. Older individuals are certainly at a much higher risk of complications due to COVID-19. Be respectful and do what you can to help keep our seniors and parents safe.
Dealing with Hardship
How to deal with missed social cannabis events
It sucks to miss out on social cannabis events. I already wrote about having an unexpected 4/20, but there are many more events likely to be missed. Replace what you can with electronic alternatives. Many event planners are moving online, providing webinars and live streams to keep us entertained and informed. It is ok to be sad about what you’ll miss out on, but it is essential to remember that this is temporary. Dying is forever, so stay safe, and you’ll get to experience many more years of events to make up for this crappy 2020.
Dealing with changes to your consumption space
You may have to make adjustments around where and when you consume because of COVID-19. So many more people are working from home, and that means more people around you to complain about the smell. If you are in a situation where you can smoke inside, try to be considerate of your roommates and neighbors. You may be enjoying a wake and bake (link) while your neighbor is going to bed after a night shift at the hospital. Be as considerate of others as you can through these trying times. Find open space where you can. Get away from people and enjoy a joint out in nature if you have that option.
When you’re dankrupt and can’t buy more
Many Stoners ignored the toilet paper lineups and instead went to cannabis stores to stock-up. For those of us who were unable to do so, or have otherwise lost access to our cannabis provider, tough times may be ahead. Plan ahead and divide your stash into daily doses so you can stretch out how long it lasts. Ask around if you must, you just may have some friends who can help cover you for a few days. Medical patients are likely to most impacted, and I’m hopeful that supply chains help provide these people with enough medicine to get them through this crisis.
For recreational consumers of cannabis, running out during COVID-19 may provide an opportunity. This would be an excellent time for a tolerance break (or T-break). Manage withdrawal through proper exercise, diet, and sleep. Expect some discomfort as you go through withdrawal, but remember that it is temporary. Keep in mind how much less you’ll have to spend on weed when you come out of your break with much lower tolerance. For that first smoke after a pause, use the smallest dose possible and be mindful of the effects.
So many of us will lose loved ones and miss out on valued experiences due to COVID-19. This will be a trying time for us all. I hope that this guide provided some useful tips on how to handle this situation as best as possible. Stay safe, maintain your social distance, and practice good personal hygiene. On the cannabis side, stop sharing mouthpieces and joints, develop increased tolerance for blazing alone, and be productive each day. Switch to oils, edibles, and beverages if you can, especially if you get any kind of sickness. While we have many obstacles ahead of us, these hard times also provide opportunities for growth and increased self-awareness. I hope readers stay safe and healthy throughout this crisis.