Hey y’all! My name is Evan Sooklal, and I am a third year Astrophysics (technically Astronomy-Physics) major here at the UVA College of Arts & Crafts! So, hear me out… I came down with the sickness one day and I decided to go make an appointment to go down to Student Health to get tested just in case. Lo and behold, I came back positive for COVID-19 the next day! Everyone that I came in contact with over the past couple of days tested negative, so I believe that there is only one possible culprit: the local McDonald’s. You see, my roommate and I went out for lunch (and to collect some Pokémon cards from the Happy Meals) and decided it would make more sense for me to get my order inside while he went through the drive through, but that would end up being my most vital mistake. Anyway, my parents drove up here to help me out and house me in a hotel room until I was safe to come out. They stayed in a room next to me until they had to go back home, but I still have a couple more days here by myself. I had a nice chat with an employee from the Virginia Department of Health, who said I should stay here for 10 days, and at that time I could be released, with the additional conditions that my symptoms were improving, and it was 24 hours since I had last taken a fever-reducing medication. At the beginning of my quarantine, I started off by having a fever, runny nose, head and body aches, chills, and a cough. As I am writing this, all I have left is a mild cough, which seems to be alleviating by the day. If all goes well, I should feel back to normal by the time I can return to my apartment.
As you might expect, most of my days blend together, but it’s not all that different from just normally having all online classes. I start off by waking up every day slightly surprised that I’m in a hotel room, but I’m starting to get used to that part. My family would drop off my meals and any medicine or toiletries I would need. Plus, calling them would count for 80% of my social interaction for that day. (Some of) my friends message me and check on how my symptoms are, and we usually talk about homework or exchange the usual handful of memes as we always do. I log onto class and am even less inclined to turn on my camera than normal, because I’m paranoid that people would notice the change in scenery to a hotel room and start to ask some questions, y’know? Funnily enough, I am way more inclined to get my work done while I’m not distracted by the noisy parties coming from the apartments below me, the train that runs directly behind my apartment, or my roommates constantly asking, “to have a conversation” or “if they can borrow scissors”. My breakfast will usually be some cereal and fruit, while my lunch ranges from soup cans to goldfish crackers, which are coincidentally the only things smiling back at me nowadays. After classes are done around noon or so, I’ll either do some work, spend a while watching YouTube videos and anime, or disassociate, but more often than not it’s a combination of all three. Around dinner time, 5-7, my parents would drop me off something local, or I microwave something, and I’d eat and vibe until I get tired at around 11 or 12, and luckily, I get some great sleep while I’m stationed here.
Here is a snapshot of the exciting life that I’m leading during these trying times, and I can only hope that I can amaze my kids one day when I show them that I caught the disease and survived, so they shouldn’t be making any excuses for not doing their Algebra II homework: my quarantine hotel room.
I’ve been trying some things while I’m here to keep me occupied, like: starting a new show, starting a new video game, styling my hair in different ways (who’s gonna see it?), being a little more focused while doing work, listening to old music, watching longer YouTube videos I’ve been meaning to, being grateful for all the times I could go out into the world, calling up some friends, cleaning out my computer, finding good new Twitter accounts, scrolling through TikToks (God forbid I make any), and coming to terms with the fact that I have, believe it or not, become a statistic. I am very fortunate to have contracted a mild case, and lots of friends and family to check on and take care of me, and I know I’ve taken a more humorous approach to having COVID, but I know that some people may not be as fortunate. My heart goes out to you all, and I can only hope my article brought you some joy in these trying times. I hope you guys never catch it, and if you do, that you get well as soon as possible! Lots of love from ya boy, Evan 😀