I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a hypochondriac and I don’t get sick. During the 2020 quarantine period, you bet your a– I masked up and vaxxed up. Not once did I feel under the weather. I felt ready to brag to everyone about never getting Covid. Now in 2022, the world seemingly holds a better grasp on Covid and I let myself relax. Obviously, I still take my vitamins every day. I’m not a heathen. But tell me why after all my efforts to stay healthy and safe, I end up with Covid anyways? Hands down, summer will always nab first place for the worst time to get sick. The audacity of that virus to get me during the summer drives me up a wall.
Here I am, in the final few weeks of summer before school, ready to go on vacation to Delevan Lake with my family.
Dan and Sam (my roommates) and I just finished moving into our new apartment. Everything looked disorganized but it felt like home already. During our move out our other roommate, Maddie, felt a little under the weather but we didn’t think anything of it.
A few days after we moved in Dan told us that Maddie got hella sick and couldn’t even leave her apartment. At this point I needed to remind myself to not freak out just yet. The next day Dan and Sam felt like absolute s–t. Yet, I’m feeling just dandy with no symptoms. The next day rolls around and now both of them can barely leave their rooms. Yet, once again, I’m fine. Right about now I feel super confident that I can still make my family trip. I take a rapid test a few days before for my sanity and sure enough it came up negative. I went to bed feeling invincible and 100 percent certain that biting my nails provided me with a rock sloid immune system.
The Next day, I panic. My throat feels… off. Like you know that feeling you get when you’re about to be sick… but you’re not sick yet? Yeah, that feeling. I take another rapid test: negative. I calm down and think maybe I’d feel fine tomorrow. The next morning, I woke up filled with mucus. I could barely muster out a “hi” to my roommates. It sounded as if I smoked 10 years’ worth of cigarettes overnight. So, I took another rapid test: negative. That result I didn’t trust. I went for some saliva tests and ran them to a lab. The wait agonized me. Finally, I get an email. I took a breath, clicked and my stomach dropped. I tested positive. F–k my life.
My phone felt like a brick when I needed to call and tell my mom.
Ashamed, I tell her everything that tormented me for the last day and a half. She gets upset, not in an angry way, in a sad mom way where she can’t believe she won’t get to hang out with me. She tried to think of every way under the sun to spin this into an upbeat situation or get me to come on vacation still. I love my mom, but in no way could we get this to work.
I accepted my fate and thought “you know what? At least I already called off work for the week anyways.” What could be worse than no vacation? Spending 5 days stuck in my tiny apartment room. I refused to let this time go to waste (mostly because if I did nothing, I’d go insane). My plans: drink hella Bodyarmor, watch Markiplier’s Resident Evil: Village play through, read If We Were Villians and grind on Genshin Impact.
I did, in fact, binge Markiplier’s entire playthrough and am a simp for lady Dimitrescu. Then I proceeded to play Genshin Impact for five hours just so I could get a limited time character outfit. I’m not proud of it. Honestly, I’m not proud of how I spent my whole day, but I can’t change it now. Oh, and I can’t forget, I sneezed every 30 seconds and blew my nose raw. I also received several pictures in my family group chat reminding me of everything that I’m missing out on. I let myself wallow in self-pity for a bit before slathering Aquaphor all over my nose and going to bed.
To start the off day, my goals include finishing If We Were Villains and trying to relax even though I hate getting sick. I tried finishing my book but ended up taking one too many naps in between chapters so it didn’t happen. By the time I decided to get out of bed the clock struck six p.m. Time for dinner. I made egg noodle soup (fancy way of saying ramen with an egg) and paired it with the movie Words Bubble Like Soda Pop. The insanely cute and lighthearted movie made me tear up at the ending because I’m sensitive. After my meal and entertainment, I lit a candle and decided to try reading on my bed without falling asleep (a dangerous game). I squished my body pillow in the corner against the wall and when sat and leaned back it swallowed me whole. It felt like getting a really tight hug that makes you forget all your problems. I immediately fell asleep trying to read. On the plus side you can’t sneeze all day if you sleep all day.
I texted my mom happy birthday as soon as I woke up (she’s a Leo). Then in true control freak fashion, I created a weekly cleaning schedule (Monday: bathroom, Tuesday: hallway, Wednesday: my room and laundry, Thursday: living room, Friday: kitchen). Which means today I cleaned the bathroom. Since we just moved in nothing looked that dirty yet so yay for me. I also opted to not clean the shower and just put a scrubber in there. So, the next time I take a shower I can clean it too. I know, I’m so smart.
I then tried decorating our living room with paintings that don’t really coexist. I ended up assembling the paintings in every possible combination before narrowing it down to two. I couldn’t fully commit to one after consulting my boyfriend and best friend, so I went on a walk. It felt nice to feel the warm sunlight on my skin and call my grandma too. Once I got back, I spoiled my book by reading the discussion questions on the back page then proceeded to finish it. What a masterpiece, I’m devastated and you need to read it. As another day of sneezing all day drew to a close, the slathering of Aquaphor on my nose commenced and I went to bed.
Today I forced myself to take a shower and actually get ready for some sense of normalcy. Today’s cleaning area: the hallway. I vacuumed and then sprayed Lysol on all the door handles and lights switches and let that marinate until it airs dried. Now that everything got disinfected, time for some sun. I slathered on some sun bum sunscreen that smells like banana pez and propped up on our outside stairs that I like to call a balcony. My set up included a bar chair with a pillow (for ultimate back comfort and slouching), a stool to prop my feet on and a Diet Coke. I know I’m 22 and it makes me look like a 50-year-old high school English teacher, but I can’t help it. Per usual, my nighttime Aquaphor persists as my only solace.
Today my bed felt extra comfy, but I couldn’t let myself spend my last day of quarantine in bed. So, I sat down at the desk right next to my bed and put on Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE album. My consensus: you will feel like that b—h. I even made myself a proper breakfast: a siracha, egg and ham sandwich with cherries. Today I’ll do laundry and clean my bedroom. Cleaning your room ends up feeling so worth it. Taking the time to take care of your space feels like using a rake to make lines in a zen garden. As a celebration for less sneezing, I elected to watch my comfort show, Gilmore Girls, in bed. Nothing else compares to falling asleep to a show with problems that can get solved by simple communication.
I’m free. I’m free. I’m free. I’m incredibly lucky that I never got any extreme symptoms (other than FOMO). I learned that comfy pajamas need more hype, the sun heals everything, If We Were Villains embraces my soul, I’m old and I miss my mom. Covid sucks and forced me to change my plans, but at least I already took that week off work and got to let my inner clean freak fly. Take it from a hypochondriac— Covid isn’t the end of the world, but it will end all your plans for the week.