Fear, Loathing, Life and Love in a Time of Coronavirus

*the following is a written assignment for a college course*

One week into quarantine, I came across a certain post from a high school friend on Instagram. The photo was of her and her family on her wedding day with the caption expressing her vulnerability and how staying at home for a longer period has taken a toll. This was one week.

More than 3 months have passed, and I can hardly imagine how she’s doing. I wonder if things have worsened despite her famous optimism, or if she managed to gain a mental second wind and managed to conquer those inner demons.

As I said in prior posts, I am an introvert who reluctantly goes out for things that are deemed important: gyms, libraries, coffee shops (to get work done away from home). These places are still either closed or operate under strict social restrictions to financially subsist. The change of routine, big or small, is enough of a monkey wrench to damage one’s sanity. I am currently no exception.

Despite making admirable adjustments mentioned in earlier pieces, there is still a ton to be desired. My bedroom has no windows, which might sound appealing to the angsty teenager of years’ past. However, this adult’s morning routine is almost always dampened when the nearest light source is a phone screen. No matter how great a night of sleep I had, being met with blinding sunlight when I step out of the room put in an all-nighter like haze.

That haze inevitably set the tone for the day, a grogginess that made itself routine. Even making eggs queued up a long, restless yawn. As I try to be as productive as possible, I feel a cloud of exhaustion hanging above me despite the perpetual Texas sun.

Oddly enough, such tiredness and mental purgatory can lead to a breakthrough. With my parents now working, I have the house to myself for the day. Alone time, restless or not, is an incredibly underappreciated virtue of life. To be at peace with one’s self, to be calm within the inner recesses of the mind is a victory I hope to achieve.

Amidst the mental insanity one goes through while in pandemic house arrest, one finds comfort in said insanity. Knowing that these times are indeed dour is freeing because you are aware that this is not normal.

Knowing is half the battle, so we just need to play with the hand we’re dealt. There’s strength in calling a spade a spade, not finding comfort in the warmth provided by the world being on fire. I hope my friend knows that.

*featured image from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)*

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