It was March 26, a day after my birthday. I woke up and found myself a little under the weather. My body felt sick and heavy headed. I went up to my parent’s room to check my temperature. It was 101!
And from there, I wore a mask and started quarantining myself. It’s the COVID period after all, you can never be too sure. I didn’t go to office that day, and for the next 7 days that followed.
Life changes quite a bit when your view and perspective changes. For one week, I was occupied in my own thoughts, talking just to myself (mostly internally), and internalizing the feeling of me being COVID positive. I realized that I had stopped talking (almost), and hearing my voice out loud felt different. The view from my bedroom door also revealed a different side of the house. I observed mom preparing the meals every morning, I saw dad coming back from the evening walk, and I could see the hustle and chatter in the house from a distance. To be participatory, I opened my room door and kept my chair right next to the door. Sometimes, I just stood at the door, watching over everything.
The strange bit was that I did not have any symptom after the 26th - not even fever. A test had shown that my body had some antibodies, and that I had to refrain from spreading them. So, I continued to act strange around the house.
There is a lot of stigma associated with being COVID positive, or having the symptoms of COVID. “Social Distancing” is a norm now. I saw that extensively when I was in NY during the first wave of COVID. With that background, I felt strange to the idea of touch. For a week, I did not hug/touch my parents. Because of that, I felt unnatural to hug them (I still do). I had the same feeling when I had returned from NY. For at least 2 weeks (when I was quarantined), I did not interact with anyone in-person.
I don’t know what this is, and how this seems like a reasonable lifestyle, but I do know that life is different like that. Humans are social beings, and in the absence of the human connect, you start feeling incomplete. I have a piano in my room, tons of games to play, VR headsets to experience, a vast library of books, magazines, and shows to watch and read, and unlimited other resources. I still felt the need for something more. It feels incomplete to observe the world through your door without interacting with it.
Luckily, I’m out of quarantine now, and have resumed my personal and professional interactions. The first day out of my room, I felt odd talking to people. But I gradually became accustomed to it, and felt whole again.
This tiny one-week run with myself has made me realize the importance of companionship. It’s nice to have someone to talk to. And, it’s nice to realize that you would never be alone again. The hunt for the right person who can make me feel that way is ongoing. Let’s see where that goes.
Until next time, go out and be social, how much ever you can.