Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 53

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as possible. I uploaded my first dissertation-related vlog to my channel, graded a bunch of assignments, and got my first dose of the covid vaccine! Daily summaries below!

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Five (3/12/21)

  • Last night, I went onto one of the NYC vaccination appointment websites, just to see what was available. There was an appointment at a time I could make at a location I could make. So I made it. And then the dilemma set in. Quadriplegia isn’t a CDC-listed comorbidity. But the Reeve Foundation has discussed how covid could be deadly to those with SCI. When my doctor said that I was healthy and therefore not immunocompromised, I took it as a sign that I had to wait my turn for this vaccine. Any attempt to get it now meant cutting the line, and I think that people who cut the line are trash (to be clear, this doesn’t mean people who are in a gray area of qualification; I mean people who think that being a teacher means teaching Soulcycle). But my bestie made it clear that even though I’m in a gray area, covid could still be deadly to me. People with SCI are more at-risk to get the flu, so why doesn’t that concern transfer to covid? And an SCI can alter your respiratory system. But if quadriplegia isn’t on the CDC site, then shouldn’t I take them at their word? I mean, they have “neurologic conditions” listed. Isn’t an SCI a neurological issue? After ranting about this dilemma to my family and my bestie, the unanimous decision was to keep the effing appointment.
  • TLDR: I signed up to get a covid vaccine. And I got it today. And now my arm feels like someone punched it really hard ten minutes ago (and as I type this, I got the shot nearly twelve hours ago).
  • Then, later in the day, I asked a friend in med school what they thought, and they were just like (I’m paraphrasing), “Do not regret getting this vaccine at all.”
  • Oh, and I also went to Princeton for a post-op follow up. Looking good!
  • Current level of arm pain is similar to when I got the flu shot. We shall see how I feel tomorrow. Had a headache earlier, but I drank some water and it went away.
  • Total number of times outside: Fifty!
  • Currently feeling: I’d like to think that I know my body better than the CDC does. Like, I’m sorry, how could I not be at a higher level of risk? And maybe in a day or two (after my arm stops feeling like it has a massive bruise on it), I’ll stop feeling guilty.
  • Currently looping: I was introduced to this amazing music video from “Key & Peele,” and I love it as a song by itself. Of course I’m talking about Wendell’s “The Power of Wings.”

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Six (3/13/21)

  • Arm’s still sore, but not as sore as it was yesterday. Still groggy, but I definitely felt way more tired about 7-8 hours post injection.
  • Thought it best not to do the FES cycle today. Time to grade assignments instead!
  • My mother came over! She baked chocolate soufflés!
  • My laptop is doing a strange flickering on the screen. I’ve had it since the summer of 2014, so it might just be getting old.
  • Ordered a new laptop. This one has served me well for the past seven years or so.
  • Currently feeling: Guys, it’s been a whole year since my first blog post. It’s been a year in self-isolation, having only left my apartment fifty times over the past year. Wow. At least now I know I can spend a year with myself and still enjoy my company, so that’s awesome. But also, wow, I wish everyone was more responsible so that we wouldn’t have had to spend over a year in lockdown.
  • Currently looping: Aurora’s “Running With the Wolves,” from the “Wolfwalkers” OST.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven (3/14/21)

  • Happy Pi Day! I consider it a criminal offence that Daylight Savings is on Pi Day. Why would I be robbed of one more hour of this glorious mathematical/dessert-pun holiday?
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • I’m one episode away from finishing “Star Wars: Rebels.”
  • Graded assignments and midterm exams. My father asked if I was going to take a break this week and start my next dissertation chapter next week. I don’t think my father understands how dissertations work (i.e. I can’t start the next chapter if my advisor hasn’t even read over the one I literally just sent him…right?). Also, what break? Grading takes time.
  • FaceTimed my sister and niece briefly!
  • Currently feeling: Fatigue from Daylight Savings.
  • Currently looping: Unleash the Archers’ “Cleanse the Bloodlines.”

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Eight (3/15/21)

  • Watched a fellow early medievalist successfully defend his dissertation! Hooray! Now I and another student are the two most senior advisees of my advisor. Yikes.
  • Musical lesson!
  • Teaching meeting! No precept this week, but there was much discussion about how to grade the midterm.
  • Recorded what I hope will be the first of a new vlog-ish series on my channel.
  • I’m at 150 subscribers! I don’t remember when I got to 100, but still, cool!
  • Currently feeling: Still tired. I blame Daylight Savings.
  • Currently looping: Unleash the Archers’ “Awakening.”

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Nine (3/16/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Got some administrative things done.
  • Started recording some audio for a cover.
  • Started watching “Titans.” An episode and a half in, I’m a fan.
  • Currently feeling: Well, what do you know? I don’t regret getting a vaccine. Because I started thinking about how the CDC probably doesn’t know much about SCI. You know when I got injured, I was told that I wouldn’t recover anything more after two years? Well, that was wrong. So when I think to myself, “Gee, it’s difficult for me to cough, I don’t think I’d handle a respiratory virus well,” I’m probably right. State standards for who qualifies for the vaccine vary quite a bit, so the decisions for who to vaccinate first are based in part in science, but also with some kind of political leaning in mind. TLDR: If I think I’m high risk, I’m probably high risk. And I refuse to take a chance on my health just because state guidelines probably aren’t thinking about the disabled. Let’s not forget this is the same state government that handled assisted living facilities rather disastrously. I have not cut the line.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “Uncharted.”

Day Three Hundred and Seventy (3/17/21)

  • My mother’s here! She brought croissants from a nearby bakery.
  • I figured out how to edit and upload a video for my channel using only my phone. It’s a vlog, so it’s nice to know I can vlog and save space on my laptop.
  • Listened to my audio recording from yesterday. Unsure of whether or not I like it.
  • FaceTimed my sister and niece!
  • Currently feeling: It’s technically spring break, which means I’m supposed to take it easy, so I’m only halfway through the lectures I’m supposed to watch this week. And I should probably email the professor I’m TA-ing for about midterm things. It’ll get done.
  • Currently looping: Unleash the Archers’ “Time Stands Still.”

Day Three Hundred and Seventy-One (3/18/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Listened to a course lecture. Sometimes, you just have to multitask.
  • Uploaded my first ever “Dissertation Diaries” video! This one is about the music I listen to while I work. If there’s any interest, I hope to make it a monthly series. If anyone has any grad-student-themed video ideas, I’m happy to take suggestions!
  • Therapy! Guess who has fifty tasks that all need to get done within a span of very few days? This one!
  • Finished submitting grades for an assignment.
  • So I joined the “Binge Mode” Facebook group (it was only a matter of time). It’s such a nerdy community, I love it.
  • I think I have a muscle knot on the side of my neck. Ouch.
  • Filled out my bracket!
  • If you want to support AAPI in light of the recent violence, this article has some suggestions.
  • Currently feeling: Overwhelmed with work, but that was to be expected, I suppose. I can’t believe this is technically spring break. This is not a break.
  • Currently looping: John Williams’ “Duel of the Fates” from “Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” Why, yes, I did listen to “Binge Mode”’s 1.5-hour-long podcast on the music and sounds of “Star Wars.”

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, wear a mask, and fill out your bracket!

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