I have coronavirus. And I wake up every day reminding myself of this fact. If anyone has read the articles in either The Equinox or The Sentinel, you would have probably read about me already. If not, here is the overview: I am a Resident Assistant and I am currently shacked up in Monadnock Hall; and it wasn’t until my third COVID-19 test that I received a positive result.
Now that that has been discussed, here are some more facts about me: I like to read, I have recently adopted a fish named Brian, and I am more than just someone who has coronavirus. I have experienced many things throughout my time in quarantine, but something that has bothered me the most would possibly be that everyone thinks they can tell me what to do. I have received many texts, calls and other messages of people telling me what I should think and say, and how I should act; the most common one being “the college has failed you.”
I do not think that Keene State has failed me in any way, whatsoever. I took the risk of coming here and I took the risk of getting infected. Something that has been resonating with me a lot has been that, because of me, my friends were sent home. Some of them were Resident Assistants like me and others were just my good friends. Either way, not a day goes by that I do not feel sorry about it. My friends are the most important people in my life, and it is so scary to think that I could have possibly given them a deadly disease. As far as I can tell, they are all fine. Regardless, I am still scared for them.
Besides those two things, here is how my life has been going since I was diagnosed: I took the call at my friend’s place in Butler and I felt myself shut down inside. I feel like I blacked out because I honestly cannot recall what I was feeling or how it went. All I know is that I was scared. I am extremely fortunate to be asymptomatic, so I was not feeling any different from usual which, I think, is the reason why I was so stressed out.
I was sent to live in Monadnock Hall and have been there since. I was able to bring some stuff with me, but I was so stressed out that I didn’t realize what I brought until the next morning which ended up being: all my textbooks, what seems like an excessive amount of pants, about three shirts, and a few other important things. With just my comforter off my bed and one pillow, I went to sleep that night in fear, in a new place that I had never been before. My days since then have all mushed together and the only things to me that really signify time passing is when I eat: 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and when an episode ends on Netflix. Other than that I feel like I am living the same day over and over again; I wake up, take my temperature, shower, eat, do class, eat, do class, eat, take my temperature, watch Netflix, and sleep. Every so often I will have my friends bring me things, cookies, dinner and one time, a new pair of pants.
Aforementioned, I am asymptomatic, so I have been lucky enough to not feel sick, but I think the mental toll it has taken on me is probably the worst part. I have not been outside in almost a week and I have not talked to anyone in-person in what feels like forever. Sometimes people will walk down the street and stare at me. I just assume they have read the articles about me and know. It makes me feel like a sideshow oddity.
I miss my friends, I miss the feeling of the air on my skin, I miss walking to the library to print for my classes, and I miss not feeling alone. There are so many things I felt were hindrances when I was not stuck in quarantine, but now that I cannot do these things, I am looking forward to them. Many of them are things I would have never thought I would miss: wearing my rainboots, being blinded by the sun, and listening to my friends tell the world’s worst jokes. I may sound like I am being over dramatic, and maybe I am, but I genuinely hate being in here.
Wear your mask, wash your hands and social distance; I will call you out if you’re not.