Nobody tells you about the fun part of quarantine. People are pretty quick to focus on the negatives: you’re probably sick or you’re dealing with perpetual boredom.
The anticipated test results containing your fate feel so close yet so far.
Testing probably wasn’t that pleasant either. Nothing says ‘cozy autumn’ like a stranger in a hazmat suit shoving a Q-tip up your nose and the existential burden of possible contagion. #JustPandemicThings. And then there’s the waiting. And the waiting. And the waiting. So much waiting. But, if you’re anything like me and my roommates, you’ll discover there’s more to quarantine than meets the eye.
It struck Monday night. Corinne, my sweet roommate and long-time friend, was the first to feel a headache and malaise coming on. We were walking home from our friends’ apartment after a night of Five Guys and the card game Wackee Six.
“Oh no,” I’d grimaced. “Does this mean what I think it means?”
Oh, naive pre-quarantine JJ. It does mean what you think you means.
“Maybe you’re just tired,” I offered. “Let’s get you to bed and see how you feel in the morning.”
Perfect. Awesome. Wonderful, even. We would turn off the lights, fall deeply asleep and wake up eight hours later and she would be feeling fine, I just knew it.
As I’m sure you’ve concluded we had no such luck. In fact, to our horror, not only was Corinne feeling worse, but I had also been struck down. Specifically, with a runny nose and cough.
To think— the simple desire of a quarantine free life, crushed by mild cold symptoms. We discussed this in the living room, at which point our other roommate Kiana joined us and explained she too was showing symptoms.
Wow. Who would have seen that one coming?
Being the upstanding citizens we are, we decided to get tested. Clad in masks, sweatpants, and in Kiana’s case, earbuds, since the class grind never stops. We made our way to our valiant steed — Corinne’s 2013 Honda Accord — and together we journeyed to the mystical landmark known as the Student Health Center.
We all agreed testing went far better than anticipated, and with that returned home sorrowfully to start a quarantine of indefinite length: if the tests were negative, we could go back to business as usual once we felt better, and if they were positive, we had a long ten days ahead of us.
The three of us were feeling pretty bad for ourselves when the first quarantine gift came. A loaf of homemade bread from our FHE brothers.
Hot, fresh, crisp on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside, we were pleased to discover Jordan’s mother taught him a masterful skill— he’s single, ladies. Like a sisterhood of ravenous vultures, we destroyed it in a matter of minutes.
And, like any infected household, we acquired necessary supplies: medicine from a neighbor by hanging a basket attached to string out the window and pulling it back up. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
We then retired to bed to begin anew.
The following day was remarkably uneventful, which contributed to the stir-craziness. We made our FHE brothers bring us Papa Murphy’s for dinner, though. Sometimes you just need pizza to quell the bitter pain of isolation and loneliness, especially as an extrovert.
Over our fine dinner, we talked about how Rexburg is a hotspot for the virus.
And then honestly, the days started to blur together.
There were some consistencies, like Cafe Rio chips and queso. We probably would have died without them. Our neighbor Ashley would often stand outside the window with a dry erase marker and we would play Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe and practice our backward spelling.
Saturday marked the fifth day of quarantine. My roommate Kiana and I are Canadian, so it was Thanksgiving for us. Being totally honest, it was probably one of the most depressing Thanksgivings I’ve ever had.
A drumstick from a Walmart rotisserie chicken, StoveTop boxed stuffing, microwave instant potatoes and canned gravy, all while we were unable to spend it with family or friends.
By Sunday we were filthy and starving and starting to wonder if we would ever see the light of day again.
More like we needed to do laundry, we wanted to go grocery shopping and we missed our friends. Then, a light at the end of the tunnel. After six days, on Saturday, I got my test back, and it was negative.
We weren’t in the clear just yet — my roommates were waiting on theirs and they didn’t come for another two days. But they finally came back negative.
The same day my boyfriend’s test came back positive. Which means three more days of quarantine, a helpful lab employee explained.
However, I’m pleased to report we made it that three more days as of Thursday, October 16th. That’s right folks, Kiana, Corinne and I survived 10 full days of isolation, making us regular quarantine-queens. Quaran-queens, if you will.
Queens take care of their people and communities. Join us. Stay home when you’re sick and prevent the spread.