Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 4

Greetings, Internet! The self-isolation continues, although now I have a ukulele YouTube channel! Go like and subscribe if that’s the sort of thing you’d be interested in. And yes, I will continue to shamelessly plug this channel for the remainder of my quarantine posts. You have been warned. Also, I should seriously invest in a microphone or something, because I legit had a twenty-minute anxiety pause earlier today when I thought that the content I posted didn’t sound good enough. Ha. Feelings of inadequacy don’t take a break during lockdowns.

Anyway, daily summaries below!

Day Twenty-Two (4/3/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Watched “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
  • Am practicing more ukulele. Have gotten way too excited about the fact that the calluses are forming on my fingertips and I can practice for longer than half an hour a day.
  • Well, this article is all of my current fears in one. I generally try to stay out of the hospital (as do most humans), but this is all of the extra motivation I never knew I needed. And there are people with disabilities out there who are even more terrified than I am.
  • Currently feeling: Is today Friday? It does not feel like a Friday. I contemplated throwing a fire extinguisher out my window today, because then I could get some fresh air. Can I open windows on my own? Sort of, but I can’t close them. So I might as well break one open. This is a terrible idea on so many levels, not least because I’m pretty sure that given the opportunity, a pigeon would just fly right in. I’d like to avoid that scenario.
  • Currently looping: BTS’ “Mic Drop [Remix]” because there is no escaping K-Pop.


Day Twenty-Three (4/4/20)

  • Learned that Zoom actually works on my computer. Had a long overdue catch-up.
  • Had a work-Skype with a friend who is also getting through a PhD. Work-Skypes are really underrated.
  • Had a FaceTime-and-Wine session with my sister. Long live FaceTime-and-Wine sessions. Then placed a drunk Instacart order for a grocery store that is literally three blocks away.
  • Currently feeling: I should really write these before my FaceTime-and-Wine sessions because boy, am I drunk right now. Wheeeeeee. Resisting the urge to drunk-text my friends. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Currently looping: Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph.” Am I thinking of singing this on a ukulele? You bet. I’m not even going to be sheepish about it. I love me a sad love song.


Day Twenty-Four (4/5/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Had a Zoom chat with a couple of friends. Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am for technology and WiFi?
  • My parents are learning more about grocery delivery services. There are ethical dilemmas when it comes to ordering groceries, because it implies a certain amount of privilege, and it puts the grocery delivery people/grocery workers at risk of contracting COVID. But also there’s the concern about the livelihood of those who work these jobs. No matter what, I feel as though I’m making the wrong ethical choice. But I’m considered “at risk” and I need groceries, so I guess I have to order groceries. There are others out there who have articulated this fear with far more eloquence than I just did.
  • Did a virtual work hangout with another friend. Something about peer pressure really gets work done.
  • Did a writing workshop with another friend. I miss non-academic writing.
  • Currently feeling: I kept forgetting the date today. I imagine I am not the only one.
  • Currently looping: Taylor Swift’s “Dear John.” It’s a throwback, I know.


Day Twenty-Five (4/6/20)

  • Posted my cover of Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die.” Contemplating having a fully dedicated ukulele cover YouTube channel, but also concerned that I would then have to invest in a legit camera and microphone. I did get my first subscriber today though!
  • A friend asked me if I was taking ukulele requests. I suppose I am? I can’t play that many songs at the moment (and I still have a struggle with the E chord), but sure.
  • Got in the standing frame with every intention to do dissertation work, but then ended up getting distracted. It’s really easy to get distracted.
  • Learned that I do not care for any frozen meals marked “low sodium.” Just give me the sodium. I’ll drink the appropriate amount of water to counteract the effects.
  • Currently feeling: I signed a petition along with a bunch of people in my program to ask Princeton to basically provide us with another year of support, because we can’t do our research. I mean, I kind of can, but like, I had applied to present a conference paper in Vienna in June. That’s definitely not happening (and if it is, I’d opt out, because if someone so much as coughs on the plane, I will freak the hell out). Kalamazoo got cancelled this year, too (for the uninitiated, it’s a huge medieval conference). Grad students who are teaching have had to learn Zoom on the fly, and all that extra time devoted to teaching has most certainly sapped their time from their dissertations. Apparently other programs have done something to support grad students in this way? I don’t know. We’ll see what Princeton does.
  • Currently looping: Billie Eilish’s “everything i wanted.” Her voice is really soothing, okay?


Day Twenty-Six (4/7/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Flour Bakery (in Boston) is doing this awesome thing where you can order breakfast, lunch, or lunch and a snack for medical workers at MGH and one other hospital whose name escapes me. You support a local business (i.e. the place that makes my favorite Boston Cream Pie) and feed people. Win-win.
  • Did a work-hangout with a friend. Was productive-ish. She predicted that I would start a YouTube ukulele channel and eventually write original songs. Well, I appear to have a YouTube ukulele channel, so, feel free to subscribe!
  • Made a grilled cheese and tomato. This is the time of comfort food, everyone.
  • Did a virtual movie night and watched “Moonstruck.” I could hear the movie coming out of another computer’s speakers, so I muted my television and put on the subtitles. It worked pretty well!
  • Currently feeling: My bedtime is seriously and repeatedly getting away from me. I need to get that on track.
  • Currently looping: Regina Spektor’s “Fidelity.” You’ll learn why soon enough.


Day Twenty-Seven (4/8/20)

  • Called my Dad to wish him a happy birthday. Probably should have sent a card, but then I would have had to leave my apartment to mail it. Alas.
  • Posted my cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” It’s such a fun song to sing, I feel like I had to.
  • Currently feeling: I’m terrified of going to a hospital. I mean, I’ve always been terrified of going to a hospital. But being a member of the disability community, particularly at this time, means that there is so much implicit bias that works against me if I ever get admitted. The NYTimes recently reported on COVID in homes for the disabled. There has been other reporting that discusses ventilator rationing. In a shortage, the disabled are less likely to receive a ventilator. The rationalization is that the ventilator should be given to the person most likely to survive with the assistance of a ventilator. But the disabled see it as yet another reminder that we are second-class citizens. I worry that there are those who still believe in the “better dead than disabled” narrative, and that they would see the deaths of people like me as an upgrade. I worry that these people work in hospitals. “At least they’re free from their disability,” they’d say (hey, remember all that reporting on Stephen Hawking’s death?). Except we wouldn’t be free from anything except life. I’m not leaving this apartment for a long time. I can’t trust the hospitals.
  • Currently looping: Yellowcard’s “Miles Apart.” Sometimes you just need a middle school throwback.


Day Twenty-Eight (4/9/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My mother came to visit to make sure I haven’t gone too stir crazy. Also she brought apple oat squares and other noms. Homemade noms FTW.
  • Currently feeling: Well, it’s been 28 days indoors and not leaving my building. I miss fresh air, but again, I’ve spent five months inpatient before. This beats the hospital by a mile.
  • Currently looping: No Doubt’s “Running.” More throwbacks!

Not posting ukulele videos on the blog anymore. Go visit my channel!

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