COVID Day-In-My-Life: Five days deep

| Junior Scene Editor

Illustration by Sophie Leong

At the crack of dawn — now understood to be 11:38 a.m. — I woke up and immediately had to play catch-up with missed notifications. Mostly messages from friends and family who had woken up at a more acceptable time of day, some news alerts (Queen Elizabeth is still dead and the planet is a lot hotter than it should be), and a bombardment of Outlook emails. 

This brought me to noon. Between 12 and 12:15 p.m., two friends walked by my dorm (cave, corner, cage, capsule, quarantine zone — a multifaceted place). Their brief waves were lovely, and what I assumed would be the entirety of my daily “in-person” human interactions. I then did a quick sweep of my desk and cleaned up my room and then decided to make some breakfast/lunch (I guess around 12:45 p.m., the meal is definitively lunch). 

By my second-to-last day of quarantine I was proud that I even had freezer food left, but I was officially down to my last Trader Joe’s frozen burrito, and I was out of the good ones. While that delicacy spun around in the microwave, I took a COVID test. Two pink lines appeared. Still positive. 

I ate, scrolled aimlessly through Tiktok and Instagram, and then decided to call some hometown friends. At 2:30 p.m. I debated getting dressed, but opted for a nap instead.

3:15p.m.? Snack time. Following the pattern of treating myself that I had established earlier in the week, I decided to officially break into the cheese and crackers I had been saving. Absolutely worth it, I added the last of my fruit supply and called it dorm charcuterie. 

By then I was itching to do something that I could cross off of my to-do list, and dorm charcuterie just didn’t cut it. I was forced to turn to a statistics lecture. My note-taking on the aforementioned lecture and another call home put me at 5:30 p.m. It was officially time to put on When Harry Met Sally (for like the 3rd time this week). 

Around 7 p.m. I woke up from a nap I didn’t realize I was taking as Harry found Sally at the final New Year’s party. It was then dinner time. 

Learning from the challenges I faced earlier in the week, I had started monitoring BD Grubhub as early as 5 p.m., hoping that more stations would be open to orders, but to no avail. 

In the original letter I received from Habif, after emailing them a picture of my positive COVID test, they instructed me to Grubhub my food: “Remain masked, pick up your food and return to your room to eat at a time that others are not in the room.” Personally, I didn’t feel right about going to the dining hall at all while I knew I was contagious, and despite not having severe symptoms, I thought this was an unfair ask to those who might be experiencing them. 

Luckily, I had been grocery shopping recently and happened to have a lot of frozen food. I was able to ration it out to cover lunch and dinner almost every day of my quarantine, with the exception of three meals — which I had to GrubHub and beg a friend to deliver. 

While this was the solution that made me the most comfortable, it would not have been possible for me to do had I gotten COVID even a week later and didn’t have as many microwave meals left. More importantly, however, it was a huge privilege that I was able to go out and spend my own money on additional food outside of my meal plan in the first place. The food supply that I was able to curate for myself should not be assumed as the norm, and I was lucky to have gotten COVID at a time where I was able to sustain myself for several days without leaving my dorm room.

But I was running out of food, Grubhub wasn’t super helpful. Each day, the only options available to order from were pasta or pizza.  Another, (slightly less dire) challenge that accompanied dinner was that at 7 p.m., I finally had to get dressed. I ended up with pasta.

7:45-8:45 p.m. was spent doing homework, checking my email, scrolling through Instagram, organizing my Google Calendar, and more scrolling. From 8:45-9 p.m. I scrolled through The Pageant’s entire event calendar. At 9 p.m. it was back to homework. An incredible amount of reading needed to be done. Sometime around 10:15 p.m. it was clear that no more words could go into my head. Popcorn was made and The Princess Bride was begun. 

About an hour later I heard someone, or a stampede, pounding on the door of my suite. Thinking it was only myself and my other suitemate with COVID in our dorm, I concluded it must have been Habif at the door. Perhaps after 4 days of radio silence they had come to see if I was really quarantining. 

After masking up and exiting my lair, I was startled to find several people harmonizing in my common room. My third suitemate, who had been living on a blowup mattress in our common room closet for the last week due to the lack of COVID housing and our contagious roommate residing in her double room (let’s not normalize this??!!), had made it into an a capella group! Yay! It was not Habif, and despite the suite-wide epidemic, the show must go on.

For about an hour or so after the most human interaction I had seen in days, my suitemates and I masked up, social distanced, and caught up in our common room. This put me at 1 a.m., at which point another friend walked by and waved through the window, and I called it a night. 

I’d also like to note my screen time somehow managed to climb to about 10 hours. My phone informed me that 24 minutes of that time was “productive”, and I think that ratio perfectly describes my quarantine experience. 

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