Fuck You Covid

By: Erin Parrish

I’ve had some shitty show experiences. Who hasn’t, right? Cleaning up a random guy’s vomit from my shoes, losing an ex’s keys at the Metro in Chicago, the lead singer of a band I love being too drunk to sing, a sleeze groping me, the aforementioned ex ditching me during a show leaving me without a ride two hours from home, full on panic attacks from a crowd that got too rowdy - these all rise to the top of my “shitty show” list. But the good and phenomenal shows always outshine the bad. And, excluding the groping, I’ve been able to look back at most of these experiences and laugh.

But the persistence of COVID has created experiences and emotions that I struggle to reconcile. Since pandemic restrictions were lifted and being fully vaccinated 8 months ago, I’ve been to or planned to go to a handful of shows. Each show has been a freaking roller coaster of emotions and experiences. Shows are typically a roller coaster of emotions for me. I’m introverted, anxious, and, I’ve been told, intense. Any given show and I’ll feel excited, joyous, angry, anxious, joyous again, and sad, in that order, but at the shows I’ve attended over the last few months have brought on a new emotion. With COVID cases persisting and a new variant emerging, I felt shame, not related to alcohol consumption (sobriety rocks), for the first time while attending a show.

Let’s get a few things out of the way before I go on. First, I’m not writing this to pass judgement or make anyone feel bad about their choices. I’m writing this to share my experience and, maybe, a few people will relate. Second, I absolutely