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The best of Coronavirus Confessions: Good sex, bad teachers and secret smokes

Illustration of a steering wheel, a smiling person, a spray bottle and toilet paper
A curated, best-of collection of reader-submitted coronavirus confessions.
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

Early last month, when we asked readers to anonymously submit the shame-inducing, rule-flouting behavior they were less than proud of engaging in since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we expected to receive maybe a couple dozen responses total — a tiny handful of genuine, heartfelt confessions that we could publish and a whole lot of snarky trolling that we could not. The result was quite the opposite.

So many folks poured their hearts out to us over the last 30-plus days that what was supposed to be a single post became four, and we ended up publishing a total of 144 reader submissions that ranged from admitting the simple pleasures (“I’ll go check the mail again after 30 minutes just for fun — even if I know it’s still empty”) to bombshells (“I have a wife and a 6-year-old. I have also been having a long-distance extramarital affair for the past three years. The pandemic has forced an end to the affair because we can’t meet up. It’s a blessing in disguise.”)

To mark the end of our Coronavirus Confessions series, we’ve picked some of our absolute favorites from past posts — and thrown in a few fresh, never-before-published ones at the very end for good measure. Now, if you really need to get something off your chest, drop us a line using the form embedded at the bottom of our original reader call-out, and we promise we’ll read it — and not judge it.

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Family matters

  • I’ve been drinking a lot more. My wife is incapable of being quiet. She bustles and bangs around with nervous energy all day. The virus was bad enough, but quarantine is killing me. The day before yesterday, she was gone to work four hours, and I drank enough to black out.
  • I finally have a solid reason for not visiting my in-laws. Believe me, this has been so restorative for my emotional health.
  • My partner has been social distancing with his family in his home country, and being apart from him is making me realize how many things annoy me. I have finally been able to clear my thoughts because I don’t have to prepare myself for acting interested when he talks about film podcasts and the dumb conversations they have.
  • I give my 4-year-old every meal in bed while she watches cartoons just so she will leave me alone for a bit.
  • My son, who was at university at the time, bought a box of several N95 masks before things went really bad, and we’ve kept them for ourselves. My daughter and I feel bad about wearing them, knowing front-line medical workers and first responders are still in need — but apparently not bad enough to give them away.

Happy with the status quo

  • I am worried that I like staying at home so much that it will be difficult to go out and do things again.
  • I hope that coronavirus conspiracy theorists become infected with the coronavirus.
  • I am germaphobic and am secretly glad that, for once, everyone else has to experience the same anxiety I live with — and try to hide — every day.
  • I’m already lazy so this is right up my alley.

  • I’m secretly unafraid of the economy crashing. Because of my choices, I already will live hand-to-mouth for the rest of my life, and having company will reduce the shame.
  • I’m a visual artist, and up until quarantine, my day job was hanging art at wealthy people’s houses. Now I am on unemployment, and I get to stay home and make my own art. I love it. I feel guilty saying that, but it’s awesome.

Secret services

  • I paid my hairstylist double to meet me at my psychotherapy office and cut my hair.
  • I went to get Botox and my nails done. The nail shop owner made me park down the street and hung blankets over the windows and left the lights off. It felt so illicit.
  • I ghosted my therapist after we switched to telehealth.

Driving from L.A. to San Diego to do laundry, secret trips to the beach and other anonymous admissions from readers.

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  • After a month into lockdown, I texted my aesthetician and asked if she had a key to the salon. She responded, “Yes,” and I said, “Great. Please come in. I will pay you cash. Don’t tell the owner.” And we did just that. She came in earlier to sanitize the salon. We both wore masks and left the shades down. She colored my hair and waxed my body. She was grateful for the cash, and I was grateful for the services.

Did we mention all the quarantine sex?

  • I’m 62 and having daily hot phone sex with my 57-year-old boyfriend.
  • I’ve been ordering more than my fair share of sex toys. I’m the Goldilocks of dildos. This one’s too big. Those are too small. And I still haven’t found one that’s just right.
  • I watch porn when my girlfriend goes out to get groceries once a week because it is literally the only time I have to myself.
  • I drove 600 miles for a hookup.

    From sex-coach apps to teledildonics, options for sexual intimacy are right at your fingertips

    • After five weeks of not seeing my paramour, we decided to find each other “on the way to the store.” Let’s just say that car (on a busy street) saw some action sans masks.
    • I’ll drink a whole bottle of wine; then I’ll text my ex to feel better about myself.
    • This is a real confession: I have a wife and a 6-year-old. I have also been having a long-distance extramarital affair for the past three years. The pandemic has forced an end to the affair because we can’t meet up. It’s a blessing in disguise.

    What we do in the shadows

    • I try to do as little as possible while working from home because I’m secretly jealous that I’m not getting any stimulus money.
    • During my FaceTime workouts with my softball team, I fake doing wall sits. I act exhausted and in pain but, off-screen, I’m just sitting down.
    • My roommates keep breaking quarantine and inviting random people over, and the guests never offer their places as hangout spots. In retaliation, I spread cat food in the yard under their windows for the raccoons to come at night.
    • I am a secret occasional smoker of organic cigarettes, which I always felt ashamed of as a single parent. [I] would have a pack stashed away for a few weeks. When I have to go out for necessities in my mask a few times a month, I stop at different gas stations and purchase [two packs] from each [one]. I am not only a secret occasional smoker now. I am secretly stashing many, many, many packs. The shame and guilt is awful. I can’t buy a carton because I am too embarrassed and, in my mind, a real smoker. I have turned into a secret real smoker and hiding the evidence. Wow!!!! This felt good to admit! LOL!
    • I’ve been buying bubble bath bombs even though I don’t take baths. I’m buying them for the fake rings inside, even though I don’t wear fake rings. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but it might explain some of the gifts my relatives are about to get.
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    • I am a high school teacher and am on Zoom from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. most days. After six hours online, I couldn’t take it and attended a faculty meeting while using the bathroom — video and audio muted, of course — but it was a glorious act of rebellion and in line with the prepared content of our meeting.
    • I act as if I’m a strong and positive force for friends and family all day, but then cry myself to sleep every night. But I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.

    Bonus confessions!

    • I made so much money from doing grocery/food deliveries that I paid off $8,000 in debts in two months. My wallet feels so much better. I still have my day job that pays me my full salary, I work remotely — with a lighter workload — and I don’t even feel bad. I grew up in poverty, so this was the break I needed to thrive! I kind of don’t want it to end as I have been saving up for a better car.
    • I’m an elementary school teacher and have never been happier to wake up at 7:30 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. and not have to deal with snot and tears. ... I also used this time to adopt a rescue dog, so life is pretty good!
    • I live in T-shirts and boxer shorts. My work-from-home schedule is now 10 hours and often includes weekends, but I nap after lunch and pour a glass of wine around 3 p.m. I have a decent home-office setup, but lately I work from bed or a really comfy chair or from my sunny little back porch. Traffic noise outside — we live on a busy street in West Hollywood — is minimal. Because I’m on immunosuppressant drugs and my risk of infection is high, my partner does all the grocery shopping. Lately, my fun has been to send friends and family (and ourselves) dinner from restaurants that hire their own delivery people — and tipping lots!


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