Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 2

Greetings, Internet! How’s everyone doing? I’m still in the process of feeling like this is grad student life, even though I know for sure that this is not the life of a typical grad student. I can’t stop watching the news, even though the news is bleak (or, I guess, especially because the news is bleak and this is happening literally in my city). I love New York. I hate to see it hurting like this. I want to give the city a hug, but then I’ll get sick, and that helps no one.

Day-to-day descriptions below, followed by my cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Marching Bands of Manhattan.” Any song requests? I guess the audio quality doesn’t show it, but I am actually getting better at ukulele and would like to try out more tunes.

Day Eight (3/20)

  • My jaw appears to not hurt nearly as much as it did last week, so yay for that! On the less bright side, I keep blowing my nose.
  • Did the FES cycle. Talked to my parents on the phone. Attempted to convince my mother (although I do not think I was successful) that she did not need to wipe down the doorknobs in her house with rubbing alcohol, because she and my dad are the only two people who live there and neither one is exhibiting symptoms. Unless I’m totally wrong. Should people be wiping down the doorknobs inside of a house if both are not leaving the house regularly?
  • An Asian woman was attacked recently near the park next to my building, so I’m really freaking scared for my mom’s safety when she comes here. I mean, I can’t stop her from coming here because I do need her help. My apartment, while set up pretty well for me, is not perfect. After this is over, I’m modifying my apartment so that I can live here 100% independently.
  • Glad I stocked up on hand/body lotion back in the fall (there was a sale, okay?). Everyone was running for the sanitizer (which I, by nature of my life, already had a bunch of before this even started), but that stuff really dries out your hands. As does frequent handwashing (which I, by nature of my life, was already doing, because anything that’s on the ground gets on my wheels, which gets on my hands). Gotta love those unexpected perks/prophetic purchasing that come with using your hands for everything.
  • Currently feeling: Being a graduate student, I’ve had a lot of practice with alone time. Prior to my injury, I went running nearly everyday, and I loved the solitariness of a run. Working alone in my apartment is kind of a typical Friday for me. I know that lots of people feel cooped up, and this might be new for a lot of you, especially people who are more extroverted than I am (i.e. most of you). Everyone’s got a different cooped up situation, and I can’t relate to most of them in the same way that most can’t relate to mine. Heck, earlier today while videochatting my sister, she said something to the effect of, “It’s like your lifestyle has become socially acceptable.” I’m sure some of you might think I’m lying when I say that I was in a pretty chipper mood today (when I wasn’t watching the news). I did some PT, got some work done, and listened to Ben Gibbard’s livestream (there were a lot of deep cuts that I did not recognize tonight, but it’s all good). I’m just doing my part to flatten the curve, which is what everyone else is doing, and what’s needed most now.
  • Currently looping: Rachael Price and Taylor Ashton’s cover of “Time After Time


Day Nine (3/21/20)

  • This was truly a day of skyping. So much Skype. So much catching up with friends in the afternoon, and then at night. Got to chat with a friend until midnight, and then wish him a happy birthday.
  • Currently feeling: Thank goodness for Skype.
  • Currently looping: Regina Spektor’s “Black and White


Day Ten (3/22/20)

  • A family friend was kind enough to bring over groceries from Trader Joe’s. I now have enough clementines (and other much needed produce) to last for another couple of weeks.
  • Did a Google Hangout with the blockmates. One blockmate is well-versed in the art of astrology from a pre-Ptolemaic perspective. Apparently, I will have a tumultuous marriage and no children, which is for the best, because I refuse to bring children into a tumultuous marriage.
  • Watched “Outlander” while I ate dinner. Thank goodness for some normalcy in these quarantine times.
  • Currently feeling: This day flew by quickly! I am not looking forward to the realization that this upcoming Thursday (3/26) will not be the start of the baseball season. Sigh.
  • Currently looping: The Pretty Reckless’ “Living in the Storm


Day Eleven (3/23/20)

  • The weather is miserable, and so I will tell myself to be thankful that I do not have to go outside today.
  • Spent an hour on the phone with Ticketmaster to get a refund for a show I was originally going to attend with my sister. The date they rescheduled the show for is not one my sister and I can make. One hour later, found out I had to call the theater specifically, on account of my purchasing the tickets through their disability services. Tried calling disability services and was told to call back later.
  • Called again. Line was busy. Sent an email.
  • A response! Huzzah! Oh, the little things in life.
  • Currently feeling: I watched part of a replay of a baseball game from last season last night. It’s funny. I can handle being indoors for long periods of time. I can handle the lack of fresh air, the downturn in human interaction, the overall shift in structure, and the impending sense of doom as it pertains to the world. But goshdarnit, baseball is one of the things that brings me comfort. I had an subscription for years, and it got me through three years of graduate school. It could definitely get me (and probably lots of other people) through a pandemic, except that it’s not around for the pandemic. Sigh.
  • Currently looping: Amy Lee’s “Lockdown” (maybe too close to home)


Day Twelve (3/24/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Found out that Push to Walk is now closed indefinitely. <sobs>
  • There is no new “Legends of Tomorrow” tonight. <more sobs>
  • But! The sun is shining outside and the sky is a delightful shade of blue.
  • Currently feeling: I am so distracted by my ukulele. I want to learn so many things, play them, and post them, even though maybe two people will watch them total. I guess I could also post them to Facebook. There’s this urge to share things that bring me joy, and I can’t do the whole “post a dog” trend on Instagram or any of that. But “Live from Home” sounds like something I’d like to be a part of, even though I am not a professional musician (although I guess the “Live from Home” people didn’t say you had to be a pro to participate, right?).
  • Currently looping: Not to keep bringing this back to Ben Gibbard’s daily livestreams, but he did a bunch of songs from “Plans” today and my heart is so very full of feels.


Day Thirteen (3/25/20)

  • Practiced ukulele. Will have a video at the bottom of this post (one person asked for it, and that person shall have it!).
  • Had a work Skype date with a friend. We sat for two hours working on our respective things, looking up every now and then to chat or complain about work, and then got right back to work. These have been delightfully productive.
  • Continued to practice ukulele. Those calluses don’t appear by themselves!
  • Talked to my parents to figure out how to get groceries delivered to them. Upon realizing how difficult it is to book a delivery slot, my 67-year-old mother decided that she would brave Whole Foods. Thank goodness they’ve set aside that one-hour window for senior citizens to shop first.
  • Currently feeling: I know how I can get myself to go to bed earlier, but I just never do it. I get distracted by things I’d like to do around the apartment (e.g. tidy up), online shopping/retail therapy (just you wait for my Burdick haul), and heck, sometimes I just hear a song I love and stop everything I’m doing so I can sing and dance along. I’ll get better about going to bed earlier. Someday.
  • Currently looping: Speaking of ukulele goals, I want to learn Cristin Milioti’s cover of “La Vie en Rose,” so of course I’m playing it constantly


Day Fourteen (3/26/20)

  • Happy “day that would’ve been the start of the baseball season if we lived in an alternate universe where social distancing wasn’t necessary.” Am I trying to get drunk while wearing my Mets hoodie and thinking of happier times? I don’t know, I’m not telling you. <sobs quietly>
  • Did the FES cycle. Listened to lots of music and sang along. I can’t hear my neighbors, so I shall assume for the time being that they cannot hear me.
  • Read an article that is justifying all of my online shopping (provided that I shop at places that have few locations and that are relatively local – also places with chocolate and marshmallows; those are a priority). But also, I want to funnel some of that online shopping energy into giving to nonprofits and fundraisers, which is really the only way I can help at this point besides, you know, staying the eff home. My gym is closed indefinitely and could use all the help they can get, and there’s also a GoFundMe page for Mount Sinai residents who need PPE. I’ve given to both (and also I bought a really cute sweater, because balance).
  • A friend sent me a video she recorded singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in an effort to lift my spirits. I haven’t wanted to give someone a hug this much in weeks.
  • I kind of love seeing what the homes of newspeople look like. Although I’m losing a bit of respect for journalists who have their bookcases arranged by color. Seriously? Ew. (Sorry, today’s a bit sad on account of no baseball, please let me be judgey just for a moment). Also, I’m kind of digging former Senator Claire McCaskill’s kitchen.
  • Currently feeling: Whoo, two weeks of social isolation! What a milestone, I guess. I don’t know how long it’ll take for cabin fever to set in. I know that it would have already if I was still in my Princeton apartment. I still hear buses going down the street outside my building, and so I still feel some connection to the city. I am thankful AF that Skype/Zoom/FaceTime exist, and that there are so many ways to keep in touch with friends and family. I am also grateful that I have no roommates, because they probably would hate me by now with all of my incessant singing and ukulele playing.
  • Currently looping: Taylor Swift’s acoustic performance of “The Archer.” I like most of the songs on the new album. I should probably watch the documentary.

And, because one person asked for it, “Marching Bands of Manhattan”!

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!