I travelled to meet my biological sister in Florida for the very first time last weekend. We had a blast. But it wasn’t a “real” vacation involving relaxation and forgetting about work while catching up on 30+ years gone by. I punished my immune system with travel and low sleep and beer. Her (now my) family recovered from COVID a month ago, so I wasn’t worried about them. And of course, I wore a mask everywhere I went. I was cautious but not fearful. For what it’s worth, I did my part.
On my second day back to work I began to feel a deep fatigue. My mind became foggy and I started to get chills periodically. I started to panic. These are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus but they also can signal that you’re exhausted or have a cold or any other number of ailments. Hell, it could’ve been rabid paranoia manifesting these subtle and common indications of poor health. I went home early that night and took zinc, vitamin D and C and got plenty of rest. In the morning, I felt great but decided to stay home just in case. Tonight I took the test. And now I wait…
I didn’t expect to be in such a precarious position only a few weeks into my supervisor role. My anxiety level is similar to that of waking up to ten missed calls from a family member you don’t talk to all that often. Something feels wrong, tense, discombobulating. But these things happen. And sometimes we don’t know what is next.
I don’t like the limbo I am forced to occupy as I wait for my test results. My work is saying I will need to take ten days off no matter the result. But it doesn’t seem like a firm answer and I’m holding on to hope. I’m told I will get paid for my time. But I don’t want to be at home. I want to work because I need to get my new role down before the holidays hit. And now I wait…
About an hour ago I received my phone call informing me that my results came back negative for COVID. I called my work and they told me what I suspected: I would need to stay home regardless.
10 Days Later:
I thought about writing down what I did everyday of quarantine but it didnt play out as productive as I would’ve liked. I spent a good amount of the time hanging out with friends and having cocktails. My life on the grocery line has prevented visiting with friends as often as I should. I love seeing some old faces. But there still isn’t that much to do in the city and many people have 9-5 gigs which make it difficult to find time to see each other.
The first few days were spent in a haze of annoyance and semi-self pity. It was a waste of my energy and time but I did it anyway. I drank whiskey with friends and relaxed my days away. I enjoyed time with friends and the warm buzz of whiskey. But the consistency and discipline of my action plan evaporated to nothing during this stretch. I spent an absorbent amount of time on Twitter where I became wrapped up in the world of political theatre and everything frustrating about the state of humanity. It’s here that I saw the virus manifesting in real time. The toxic nature of that phone app is astounding and addicting.
Bearing witness to the circus in real time motivated me to vote. I urged me out of my complacency about my circumstance. My ballot never came in the mail so I had to pick up a new one. I did my research and filled it out accordingly. Within a couple of hours my participation trophy in our representative democracy was in a drop box.
After a couple of days of wallowing in generally unproductive things, voting made me move to action. I was able to sit down and work on my Life On The Grocery Line novel. The story flowed out of my fingertips and I made strides in the work I needed to do. I also finished content creation that was needed for my Patreon page. But it got me wondering why I constantly battle with myself to get shit done? Why does it take an outside force to push me to change my actions? I should be doing this every day with consistency and discipline. I guess I still have work to do.
My quarantine has come to an end. I didn’t have symptoms for the entire time and I’ve actually enjoyed myself, but I’m also ready to get back to work. Rumors of possible riots and civil unrest are everywhere, COVID is still a thing and winter is coming but I must go back to my life on the grocery line. It grounds me and keeps me focused. I’m blessed with additional family members to get to know. I have a novel to finish. The people must be fed. Stories must be told. And I have a life to live.