#3 Quarantine Life (Part One)

My, oh my... this time period was quite the roller coaster. Everyone was flipping out when they realized the entire WORLD was affected by this virus. Covid-19 (also known as the coronavirus) is a new illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person (via standing less than six-feet close to an infected, respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes, and touching surfaces that may contain the virus and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes) according to the CDC. This virus ignited a pandemic that put the entire world on pause. Flights were cancelled, malls had to be closed, the streets were empty. It was a quiet time period for planet Earth (for the 9th time). Yes, pandemics have occurred in the past, well at least the ones that were recorded in history anyway. The pandemic was an eye opener for everyone, while for others a waste of time. For me, well....

I was in Minnesota when the pandemic was announced. I know, random state to be in during the cold winter. I'll talk about Minnesota another time. But yes, I was in the 'Bread and Butter State' during my spring break. I took an impulsive decision to fly over there after I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. Bet you want me to spill the tea on that one too? I had a friend over there that always tried to convince me to go visit since 2016. However, I always had a priority holding me back, whether it was a school assignment, a surgery, or a girlfriend. But even then, I always felt passionate with the idea of traveling to a state I've never been before. Regardless, I decided to go this year. Gave my friend a phone call, got the ticket, and stayed there for a week. When the pandemic got declared, I was agitated thinking I wasn't going to be able to return back to Jersey. This was two days before my flight... so imagine how shaken I was in my last 48 hours over there. Luckily, my flight wasn't canceled. I felt it everything was going as planned. But I promise you, it was a whole different world when my foot touched that airport. It was almost like a ghost town. Very less rowdy. People covering their faces. I really felt like I was in a hospital or a western scenery! Getting on board, I walk in to see only 13 people are ready to fly. This plane ride would turn out to be the best, having an entire section to myself to stretch my legs. Economy has never felt like first-class. The experience was amazing, but little did I know that the plane ride was the peak of this roller coaster and it was long drop down from that moment.

Upon arriving my house from the airport, I swear I felt like I was being frisked for everything I had. My parents told me to remove every single cloth I had on me. Except for the underwear obviously, come on now guys! Afterwards they bathe me in pure rubbing alcohol, you can imagine how irritated my skin got. I unexpectedly discovered tiny cuts on my body I didn't know I had. Finally, after a cold shower and eating some chicken soup, I got to lay down in my bed. I started to think about how everything is going to be different for a while. I felt optimistic. Everything seemed to go swell in the beginning. I didn't have to dress up to leave the house. School turned into remote classes. I had my Xbox ready for gaming and binge show watching. Food was always on the table. I was actually living in a bubble this time! Life's great right? What could possibly go wrong? Well... EVERYTHING.

All of my classes were online, that meant that lectures had to resume through a video call. To stare at the computer screen for 2-3 hours wasn't ideal for me. So, I would join a class session and leave the computer running on its own. I don't know if I have ADHD, but it was just too hard to focus on a lecture while at home. And I don't blame some of the professors. Trust me they tried their best to accommodate us students. Some lectures were cut short, followed by small quizzes that aided in our final grade. Even so, I would just daze off by either going to the kitchen to grab a snack and glance on my phone. Or I would turn on my Xbox and put my attention there. I wasn't learning anything. My capability to grasp any sort of information from my classes have been compromised. Online classes aren't for everybody, and that includes me!

Aside from my classes, I buried myself into my Xbox to distract myself from the boredom the pandemic brought. I was still living in my metaphoric 'bubble' at the time. I would play every single day and chat with my cousins and friends until 5 or 6 in the morning! I would only wake up for class and then fall right back asleep. Then I'd wake up and repeat the same procedure over and over once more. It's insanity, I know! It took me a whole month to recognize that this pattern wasn't healthy at all. The concept of putting yourself in a routine that doesn't get you anywhere sounds dangerous. I felt lazy, dirty, incompetent of anything. These thoughts would soon crash into my head. And once that happened, I laid down on my bed, facing the ceiling and started analyzing myself. I fell into a state of depression. I don't know what really triggered it. Did I miss going outside? Did my breakup mess me up badly? Is everything that's wrong with my life my fault? And the answer to those questions are certainly yes. It was that bad guys. It's as if the 'bubble' I was living in was slowly shrinking, closing in on me from every corner. The anxiety kicking in, like a claustrophobic person trapped in a confined space. At that moment, I was at my lowest... just typing this down gives me flashbacks from that night. I felt alone. Trapped in a dark void. I laid down there, cold, still, waiting for something. A miracle. A sign. Anything that would tell me this is all part of some great big scheme. I waited for it to transpire.

Nothing ever did.

And that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me...

[To be continued...]

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