Guest writer: Laura from Bedford, Virginia
I think that that the world needs more acceptance. That, and critical thinkers.
I started my quarantine ten days ago as soon as I pulled into the driveway after completing my drive home from Colorado. I crawled into my bed and essentially remained there for three days until I went to get tested for the coronavirus.
They shoved a bunch of shit up my nose and down my throat to make sure I didn’t have mono, strep, or the flu. When those tests all came back negative, the man in the hazmat suit shoved some more stuff up my nose and then ordered me to quarantine until I got the results back in three to five days.
I strictly quarantined myself. I didn’t leave the house at all and didn’t touch anything. If I got within a ten-foot radius of Pops he’d say, “You better be socially distancing so I don’t get the ‘rona!”
Endless jokes were made about me being patient zero in Bedford county and how everybody would know that “Laura done got it.”
The five days that passed between when I was tested and when I got my negative results were full of poppin Tylenol’s, an interview, and practicing my watercolors. One day, my cousin Sarah came and sat about fifteen feet from me on a blanket in the yard and we painted together.
When I got my negative results back, I let myself relax and touch things in the house. I immediately got in the kitchen and made bagels and strawberry cream pies.
Today, Momma and I drove to the cabin so I’m currently quarantined in Craig, Virginia. I’m sitting on the small screened in porch with Ma and Pops just listening to them work on a cross-word puzzle. They’re only a few feet away, but I can barely hear them over the running of the creek.
I’ll probably sit in this chair for many hours over the next few days while I read my novel, work on my embroidery, color, or just sit.
I know I have algorithms to do, but I figure it can wait a while. After all, who needs to know about Ford-Fulkerson when there’s a pandemic happening?
I feel bad saying it, but the pandemic has been a blessing to me.
The past semester, I have been feeling keenly alone at school. I had had a friend attempt suicide, and it hit me hard. I had just wanted to be home for months after it happened. When I got the news that classes were moving online, I called my mom and paced back and forth through the Visual Arts Center and told her that I was coming home. I was so excited that I couldn’t keep the smile from my face or the laugh from escaping my lips, and people were looking at me like I was a lunatic.
Leaving school, I realized how surrounded I was by people who cared for me there. One of them even gave me a huge bag of popcorn because he, “wasn’t sure how much food I had for the road.” It was a small act, but it almost brought tears to my eyes. Another offered to help me pack my car, but he prefaced it with an “as much as I don’t want you to go…”
Coming home, I realized how blessed I was that I had a family eagerly awaiting my arrival. When I pulled in the drive, I realized that the Weeping Cherry tree was blooming. I had told myself I probably wouldn’t see that again for many years, as I was always going to be at school when the blooms came and went.
Here I was though, in Virginia when the Cherry tree was blooming.
The pandemic has allowed me to be at home and to have time spent with family that I didn’t think I would have. I cherish these extra moments, because I know that I am blessed to have a mom and dad who don’t drive me up the wall and who I can laugh and talk with for hours. Ten days into quarantine with them and I’m still not done talking to ol Franz and Kathryn.