Some say COVID-19 could be the end of life as we know it. Perhaps, this contagious virus is a wakeup call for the sinners of the world to reflect on their actions and leave bad habits behind. Maybe it’s a sign that we’ve become too selfish as a society and our greed has blinded us from appreciating our blessings and taking care of each other.
When the mandatory quarantine was discussed my first thought was that Dwight’s wish came true. He said we needed a new plague and it’s happening, the coronavirus is attacking the lungs of people and people are dying left and right. It’s like we’re living in an alternate universe where Trump is the permanent president of the U.S and we’re in the middle of an apocalypse. An apocalypse where everyone has to fend for themselves by shielding themselves with masks and gloves against an invisible enemy. Never have I been more afraid germs, bacteria, and tiny particles in the air. Particles that I’ve never spent one-minute thinking until now. There’s a glitch in the matrix and the only way we can stop this deadly virus from spreading is to stay home.
As an unemployed homebody, I am home quite often. When I’m not working on freelance projects, juggling deadlines, or running errands I put on a face mask, grab something to eat, and find something to watch on Netflix. I have days where I can set aside all my anxieties and make myself busy instead of procrastinating. By the end of the day, I feel satisfied and reward myself by watching Jim torment Dwight all over again. Of course, I have days where my anxieties and thoughts control my day. I end up binge-watching tv to help quite down my thoughts and feel like a waste of space as the sun sets.
During the constant battle of trying to be productive and feeling useless, I look on social media and wonder if I should be spending more time out socializing. I see people going out on the weekends (pre-quarantine) and having a good time (or at least they look they are) and I wonder if it’s normal for me to feel so comfortable spending so much time at home. I do like going out with my friends but I seem to only be able to handle maybe two social outings every two weeks. I started to notice that I was developing social anxiety because I spent to much time in my bubble at home. I already find people confusing and can be an awkward human being at times, I don’t need additional anxiety. That’s when I knew I had force myself to be in social settings.
Fast forward to being on quarantine, and I feel empty. At this point, I can’t tell you how many days I’ve been home. I’m still everything I usually do pre-quarantine but this time looking at everyone’s Instagram stories and seeing everyone’s group video calls and Netflix parties, and feel alone. I don’t why, maybe because I’m worried about my best friends who live all across North America.
Yes, I am a homebody who cringes at the idea of putting jeans on, but I would like the option of having no choice to put my jeans on. Although I am staying connected with my friends with the help of the internet and my phone, I need actual human interaction. Even if it’s spelling my name three times to the Starbucks barista or asking Lin my manicurist how her vacation was. I even miss the uneasy squeamish feeling whenever a perv sits next to me on the bus.
I can’t help but wonder what this quarantine would be like if we didn’t have internet because even before this fiasco we were disconnected from reality. Life has become about the likes, sliding into people’s DM, tweeting, creating tik toks, and everyone thinks they’re an influencer. We’ve never been more dependant on online shopping. Our lives are completely virtual with online classes, meetings, and appointments. Although I’m grateful for the internet because it definitely has it’s benefits, all I know is that this quarantine has taught me I don’t want to live a life through a screen. I thought being a homebody would make being in quarantine easy but it’s hard not to break down thinking the current state of the world. It’s effected all our lives and although being inside will hopefully help decrease the spread of disease you can’t help but stress about what you’re going to after the quarantine is over.
If COVID-19 doesn’t prove to people that life is to short, and we can’t take it for granted then I don’t know what will. People are dying and it’s scary. We’re living in paranoia and anxiety because we’ve had to stop everything we’re doing to stay safe.