Monday, March 30, 2020
You know that feeling when there’s a notice from the school saying there’s an outbreak of lice? As soon as your eyes gaze upon the word “lice”, your scalp starts to crawl and itch. Well, that’s how this feels. I’ve been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case and am required to self-isolate for two weeks and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms arise then I need to report them to the public health nurse (who checks in with me daily) and arrangements will be made for me to be tested.
Thus, every tickle in my throat and every ache in my body has me like: COVID? Is that you? Are you coming for me? I’m not going to lie, my morale is taking a pretty hard hit today. I think one of my greatest qualities is my ability to stay optimistic. If you tell me something bad, I can usually counter it with something positive. But today, it was difficult to see the bright side of all of this.
I get dirty looks from my family anytime I sneeze or clear my throat within earshot of them. This is how the lepers must have felt! I’m also a bit nervous because I began developing mild symptoms this morning. My throat’s sore. My nose is tingling. My eyes are itchy. My body is stiff. Is this a hangover? Did I hit happy hour a little too early yesterday? Maybe it’s from too much screen time? MAYBE THIS IS IT! OH GOD! DIG MY GRAVE! I’M A GONER! I try my best to hide my symptoms from my family since I’m scared that they’ll toss me on an iceberg and set me out to sea. I can’t believe I’m the first case of COVID-19 in Bathurst! It’s like when you’re really good at dodgeball and have been training your whole life for this very moment … and then you’re the first one knocked out of the game.
In the midst of wallowing in self-pity, it dawns on me. I spent like a solid hour this morning molesting my cellmate … who I’m allergic to! She was giving me the cold shoulder since we had a disagreement last night so I was trying to make amends. She nipped me on the foot so I kicked her out of bed. Oh! By the way! My cellmate is my pet rat, Lulu.
I enjoy her companionship immensely, despite these darn allergies! I sometimes marvel at how this little creature can bring me so much joy yet can make other people cringe in disgust. I watch the way she scurries around the room, careful to stay close to the walls. With every passing day of isolation, she becomes a little more relaxed and at ease with her environment. I sigh as I realize that, I too, have to learn to become more at ease with this new situation.
So, I’ve either just found a cure for COVID or it was, indeed, just my allergies because within 30 minutes of taking a Claritin, I was symptom free. The power of the mind always astonishes me. I once read how repetitive negative thoughts, just thoughts, can significantly contribute to stress and disease of the body. The mind is such an incredible tool; however, if not used properly, it can cause more harm than good. If we exhaust our mind with stress and fear during this pandemic, our body will quickly follow. We need to remain smart and optimistic in order to maintain our mental resilience in overcoming this new challenge that we’re forced to live with. We can’t entirely control this situation but we can control the way we react to it!
Stay positive, stay home, and stay safe!