A Room of One’s Own

Day 2 of Isolation – I hear my son’s laughter echo through the house. I ache to hug him. My back aches from being in bed. I pace the floor. I stare at my fingernails and wonder if I should cut them.

I have coronavirus. After 8 months of social distancing, avoiding going almost anywhere, wearing masks, exercising extreme caution – the thing most feared has happened.

Day 1 was crying, hysteria, anger. How could this happen? I searched my mind trying to find the one factor that I didn’t control. I can’t find it.

I don’t have any symptoms. Mentally, I have cabin fever, anxiety, depression and a profound sense of being cut off from humanity.

Physically, it feels like any other day. I feel grateful I’m not terribly ill or in a hospital.

The health department sends documents to sign. You call everyone you’ve seen like you’re reporting that you have an STD. You feel like people will judge you and you feel terrible.

I try to sleep, to make the day go by quicker. I watch a lot of TV. It feels like company. My husband brings meals to the door. We watch a show together on Zoom at night.

I hear people bemoan how awful not having Thanksgiving with everyone would be. I was excited to have Thanksgiving at home with the boy and the husband.

Not to be – at least not on the day.

I toss and turn at night. I have a headache – stress or symptom? My chest is tight – anxiety or symptom? Every ache becomes a worry. It does not help to watch the TV briefings anymore.

It worries me that I don’t feel worse.

How many people are out there who have it but don’t think they have it because they feel completely normal?

If I wasn’t tested every 3 weeks for work, I would never know.

My son yells through the door, “Mom, are you still in Rona Jail? Mom, I miss you. Mom I can’t wait more days.”

My husband is sleeping in his office.

I feel like this year has aged me. I see new wrinkles in the corners of my eyes.

It seemed people connected more in the beginning.

As the chronic stress has dragged on, I see less of that.

It’s like we forget that everyone is having a hard time.

Everyone is alone in a room longing for a way out.

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