Quarantining Outside My Comfort Zone

DISCLAIMER: This post was written one week before I plan on posting it, so by the time this is published I will no longer be in quarantine and I will have rejoined the real world. Just wanted to make that clear so as to dissuade any worries.

So a few months ago I made a blog post about going on a five day canoe trip for work and how it was super fun and spiritually enlightening. There were classic goofs and gags. I lost my pant legs and tried to go to the bathroom in Canada but missed it by thirty yards. It was a grand adventure and I was able to explore more of our beautiful planet. Well, last week I went on an entirely different five day adventure that was neither fun nor spiritually enlightening. It was boring and depressing and I mostly just buried myself under a pile of blankets and cried the whole time. Allow me to explain what I am referring to, if it is not already obvious from the title. Have you heard of the Coronavirus? It’s this really stupid viral sensation that ruined everything and made us all go inside and yell at each other on the internet even more than we already did. A lot of people died, too. It was really scary. It’s kind of weird that you’re making me explain it to you because I feel like you should know this already. But yeah, it’s a scary virus that sucks.
And I managed to avoid it. For two years. I didn’t get Covid when it first became a thing, I just started going on walks again. I didn’t get it when I went back to school in person for my senior year, even though a lot of the idiots in my grade clearly had Covid and always had their masks down at their chins, and certain teachers were more than happy to allow that to happen. I didn’t get it when I went back to work at Best Buy. I didn’t get it during my freshman year at college despite the fact that people were even more careless there than in high school. I did get the booster shot though, and that messed me up for a couple of days. And I didn’t get it this summer at work, even though we were all stuck on an island together. But lo and behold, in true comedic fashion, I managed to get Covid at the beginning of the second week of my sophomore year of college. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. And I thought to myself, “This sucks, being stuck in an apartment for five days. I should blog about it and make it all seem somewhat worth it.” So that’s what I’ve done. Enjoy my journal entries about doing nothing, reworked for public consumption so there aren’t as many swear words and descriptive comments about my bodily functions.

DAY ONE:
What a shit day I’ve had. I woke up at 4:00 to go to the bathroom and I saw that I’d been snoring so loudly that my roommate had left the room. This is not, unfortunately, the first time this has happened. I’ve been told that I have a pattern when I snore; loudly emit a noise that sounds similar to a lawnmower in a garbage disposal, then stop breathing for several minutes, then groan weirdly for a little while and repeat. So I went to the bathroom and tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t fall asleep for an hour and a half!!! So when my alarm went off at 6:30 I already felt like absolute shit. I had a horrible headache that’s only gotten worse as the day went on. Around 1:30 it felt like someone was driving a stake through my head, and all I could do was lie on the couch and moan in pain. Even arching my eyebrows hurts. I also had a stomachache, a slightly sore throat, unending congestion, and a boiling fever. I was pretty sure I knew what was going on, so I showered, emailed my first teacher, and went and got a Covid test from housing. Oh, and, spoiler alert, I tested positive. So I grabbed a maroon cart that people use to move in and threw in everything I could think of that I’ll need for the next five days. The housing department put me in the Junction apartments temporarily, which is on the other side of campus from my apartment and at the top of a hill. I know this because I had to move all my shit by myself. You’d think they would have someone help a very sick person move their things, but apparently not. I got unpacked a few hours ago and dragged one of the mattresses into the living room so I can sleep in here. This apartment is the same size as the one I’m usually in, but it’s way nicer. There’s wood accents on all the counters, a pre-provided TV and microwave, multiple closets, leather furniture and dressers that are also bookcases. Plus the laundry room is right above me. I assume this would feel like a spa if I wasn’t in so much pain. I’m not sure how I’m gonna do five days of this. I brought some food with me, but they said if I want food cooked for me I need to go pick it up from the dining hall. I assume they would have me wait outside and socially distance, but it still feels like a less than safe proposition. But we gotta focus on the positives! I just managed to eat a peanut butter sandwich without throwing up. I’m cognizant enough that I’m not just crying on the couch while I watch Disney Channel. I bet I can get some stuff done while I’m here, too. It’ll be great. And hopefully I don’t feel worse tomorrow. Anyway, bedtime for now. It’s already 4:00 PM.

DAY TWO:
The cool thing about all of this is that all of my friends and family are doing what they can to help out and be there for me. Which is both a blessing and a curse. Not the fact that people want to help me. That’s awesome. My stepmom dropped off some medicine and apples and stuff for me yesterday on her way out of Duluth and my boss offered to make me chicken noodle soup. Both of those things are awesome and I’m super grateful. It’s talking to people that I’m having a hard time with. I’ve called a few friends because I’m so desperate for human connection but after about five minutes I get this intense urge to be alone. My mind won’t make up it’s mind about what it wants. I haven’t really done any homework or writing yet, but I’ve started making my way through the “OH MY GOD JOHN HOW HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THAT MOVIE” list. I just watched The Thing for the first time. It’s an excellent movie that still holds up today with horrifying effects. I would highly recommend it. Unless your stomach is currently fighting to stay alive. Then it may not be the wisest decision. Then I watched Predator, which is worth it for the famous handshake alone. Look up Predator handshake. You’ll thank me later. Also I’ve definitely been watching too much 30 Rock, because I’ve been having viscerally upsetting nightmares where I’m a pompous Jared Leto-esque Hollywood type who can’t act and makes life hell for everyone. This is what happens whenever I get really sick. My mind uses the thing I watched most recently against me in a very aggressive manner that makes me uncomfortable. The day I got my booster shot I watched the Hot Ones interview with Gordon Ramsay, and that night as I sweat through my bed I dreamt that I was a contestant on a game show where Gordon Ramsay just walks around and spits on people and yells at them. It was quite disturbing. It’s a good thing I wasn’t watching the Guy Fieri one, though. That would break me. If there’s one thing in this world that I absolutely can’t stand, it’s frosted tips. And intolerance. That’s the big two of things that I hate. I am feeling better though. I fell asleep at 4:00 yesterday and I woke up an hour later feeling much better. It’s 5:00 now, and the aches and fever only now just came back. So if you subtract sleep and the fact that my body insisted on waking up at 6:55 this morning, I got four good hours yesterday and ten today. That’s a huge improvement right away. If I continue improving at this rate then I’ll be back to 85% by Friday. I’ve never been at 100% before, and it’s not going to happen now. But yeah, if I keep getting six extra good hours every day then I’ll… wait. What the fuck am I doing? WHY AM I DOING MATH?!?! SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG. I NEVER DO RECREATIONAL MATH. I GOTTA GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO ME AND I WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOW IT TO CONTINUE ANY FURTHER. SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!!!!!!

DAY THREE:
I was feeling better. I managed to calm myself down from my math-induced panic attack(Not the first one I’ve had) and eventually I fell asleep. But then, at 12:30 in the morning, I woke up just surrounded by sweat. My blankets were soaked, as were my pillows. I swear, it looks like the police found a dead body on my mattress because the sweat formed what looks like a chalk outline of my body. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t fully awake so I acted on instinct and threw everything to opposite ends of the room. Then I ran to the shower and just sat under the pouring water and cried for a while. After about twenty minutes I turned the shower head and played a depressing game where I put my foot on the drain for a bit and fill the tub a little and then move my foot and drain the tub a little. I played this game for a while. Then I grabbed my backup pillow and blanket(Ain’t my first rodeo) and fell asleep in the other room. I woke up for good at 7:30 and vomited water for a little while. I dry heaved a little bit too. I think I’ll add dry heaving to the list of things I won’t stand for. Dry heaving, frosted tips and intolerance. Also I guess that the Queen just died? I don’t have a ton of knowledge about the royal family in general, but I feel like 96 years is a pretty good achievement. I’d be cool dying at 96. I mean, no age is a good age to die, obviously. But it’s not like she pulled a Betty White and died seventeen days before her 100th birthday. I’m still bummed about that. I probably shouldn’t be talking about the royal family and the Queen, since I know next to nothing about them except that the tabloids make them seem like older British Kardashians. But yeah, rest in peace, the Queen. I liked that video of you skydiving with Daniel Craig, or whatever that was. In other news, I watched Predators and True Lies today, I washed my blankets, and my boss dropped off my soup. And I ordered Chinese food! I’m getting so much done! I still gotta finish that Ruddtrospective though.

DAY FOUR:
Two Poems About Having Covid
I’ve stared at the ceiling for so many hours now
Each speckle and ridge and bump comes together
Telling a story that only I can see
If I look long enough, it’s almost as if I can see the pieces move
Expanding across the never-ending white tapestry
So many seconds, minutes and hours of my life
Have been spent staring at ceilings just like this one
I just wish that someone would explain to me
Why so many ceilings are like this
Nobody likes popcorn ceilings
They rain white dust on you whenever anything brushes against them
It’s like sitting under a box of dandruff
How long have I been here?
It’s been so long
When I shut my eyes this ceiling is all that I see
Wave upon wave of ripples crashing against each other
My mind has become more blank than ever before
All that remains is the ceiling
And the absence
I become increasingly aware every day of how alone I am in this apartment
Rolling around the place, suffocating under the weight of my own congestion
And desperately trying to avoid getting sucked into the blank and overly textured void that lies above me

A life spent looking at ceilings
Is no real life at all
I may be sick
But I’m not dead
I’ve actually been given a great gift
Time to do all the things I want to do
I may be stuck wandering through the same three rooms
Technically five rooms
Because the kitchen is it’s own room
And then there’s the bathroom
The two bedrooms
And the living room
The closets are also really big
Do they count as rooms?
If so then that’s nine rooms
Why does this apartment have so many closets?
Also the bathroom has a dividing door
So maybe that’s also two rooms
The point is I’ve been wandering
And I’m stuck, but the whole world is in front of me
I can work on my book
I can do homework
I can finish the Ruddtrospective I’ve been working on
I have a great opportunity that has no limits
All I have to do is take a leap
But I’m still kind of sick
I don’t have a ton of energy
I’m really tired, too
And is this even still a poem?
Yeah, doing stuff can wait until tomorrow
I think I’ll just watch The Terminator instead
I’ve never seen it before
So watching it kind of counts as doing something
Oooh, I think my pizza rolls are done!

DAY FIVE:
I had a bit of a panic attack this morning. It’s okay, I’m still here. I’m fine. It’s nothing new or overly difficult to work through. Plus I’m really good at journaling my way through negative feelings. Oh, by the way, I looked closer at one of the emails the school sent me and it turns out I’m not getting out tomorrow. I have to be in here for five full days after the day I was diagnosed. Which means that Tuesday didn’t count as a day! Isn’t that just fantastic?! I’M SO EXCITED!!! I WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO SPEND ANOTHER DAY IN THIS APARTMENT!!! MY SANITY IS INTACT, FOR SURESIES!!! I’M NOT AT ALL BUMMED OUT THAT I’M MISSING OUT ON BEAUTIFUL DULUTH WEATHER RIGHT NOW AND MY FRIENDS ARE OFF GOING ON ADVENTURES!!! I LOVE WATCHING MOVIES AND EATING GOGO SQUEEZ ON A SWEATY MATTRESS!!! I’M SO GODDAMN HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SURPRISE BONUS DAY SIX:
You know, it’s kind of funny. I told myself at the beginning of this year that I wasn’t going to miss any classes or fall behind on homework. I promised myself that I would have a great semester. And then a week later I walked by a sick person like an idiot and now I’m here. The worst thing about being stuck in one place and not having the energy to do anything is that my mind wants to think about shit. I caught myself getting all introspective early and wondering what’ll happen when I die. I was like “Hey, mind. Cut that shit out! I’m already going insane. I don’t need you questioning reality and making shit worse.” But yeah. Tomorrow I finally make my escape. Or at least I think I will. I have to get a call from housing. So we’ll see. I probably won’t write a blog thingy about that day, because if they do let me out tomorrow I’ll only be in the apartment for like an hour, so it’s not like there’s much to journal about(UPDATE: That’s what happened.) and it can be like a cliffhanger too. Hey, that’s a cool idea. I’m such a good writer. I got Chinese food today. I know it may seem like a weird thing to get excited about, but few things on this Earth make me happier than lo mein. That’s the stuff right there. And as soon as I finish watching Kindergarten Cop I’ll be making my way to sleepy dreamtime land. I’m all packed and ready for tomorrow and I moved the mattress back, so I’ve got a cozy little setup on the couch for tonight. All things considered, this whole thing wasn’t terrible. But I want to get the hell out of here and frolic around the park by my apartment and be one with nature or something. And hopefully tomorrow I’ll get my wish(UPDATE: I did).

So there you go. I hope that you enjoyed this blog post about me going insane, because if you don’t then that whole experience was worthless and I totally got sick for nothing. But if you did enjoy it then it’s great that I got really sick and felt like I was going to die! Obviously I did not die, and it was the fear of disappointing my loyal blog readers that kept me going. In the end, you guys are the true heroes. Does any of this make sense? Who knows? Full disclosure, I might still be a little stir crazy, even though it’s been a week. Anyway, more blog stuff to come. Thank you for reading this!

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