Quarantine Log – May 24, 2021 – Bridget Belden
May 25, 2021
Today was a busy day. I finished my French 1 credit tests, I turned in my history project, I started drafting my mini-essay, I was preparing for my math credit test, and I had tennis after school. Throughout all the chaos, though, there was a sense of calmness. I felt satisfied by the fact that I was done with the French test out and I had turned in my history project.
This week would be the week of chaos and completion. I would take my math credit tests on Wednesday and Thursday and my mini-essay should be done by the end of the week. Then all I would have left would be my scientific method project which I had already started this weekend. I was almost done with all the challenging end of year assignments, then it would be sweet relief. Even tennis was almost over, my last practice was tonight and my last set would be on Thursday at West Middle School. But everything was put on pause when I was texting my friend about homework and school. I had just gotten home from tennis practice and almost immediately at 4:45 pm she asked me, “Also you’re not quarantined right??” My first response was no, but then I asked her why she was asking, had she been quarantined? Less than a minute later she responded with, “No Abby”, referring to our mutual friend, Abby Houghton. I felt upset that Abby was quarantined and that she would have to makeup the credit test on a separate date. But then a spike of sharp realization and fear hit my chest, I didn’t actually know if I was quarantined. So I quickly sent a message to my mom, waiting for her to ease my worries and tell me that she hadn’t received anything saying that I was quarantined, but all my fears were confirmed when my mom texted back, “Actually you are.”
That period seemed to end a wonderful sentence and began a new one of anxiety, anger, and frustration. My first instinct was to let my friend know that I was wrong – I was quarantined. It’s not like I haven’t been quarantined before, but no matter how many times it happens it’s always as if a sledgehammer is hitting you in the chest, like everything has been put on pause except your heartbeat. The sharp beating cancelling out all other noises, I felt like I had to do something very important. I ended up telling all of my family and friends, but I still felt this adrenaline in my veins.
What I needed to do was do nothing. I would not be done with the big projects by the end of the week, which meant that I would still have this nervous energy inside of me until I finished. I felt useless. Procrastination was inevitable and I was going to miss out on almost two weeks worth of seeing friends. A very selfish thought slipped through my head, “At least I’m not alone.” But it was gone in almost an instance as I tried to find the silver lining. For one, I could sleep in – if I tried hard enough. Sleeping in would be almost impossible with my four younger brothers bustling around the house as they got ready to go, but if I got up earlier (like I normally would) I could at least walk my dog without getting caught up in my brothers or the other kids (who ride my bus) walking down to the bus stop. I could also pick the order of how I wanted to do assignments. I could binge my favorite movies and I guess that I would have more time to study for the math credit test. But I could only really focus on the fact that for the next ten days I would practically be in total isolation. Sure, I would have my family and brothers, but I wouldn’t get to talk to my friends face-to-face. I wouldn’t get to laugh endlessly. I wouldn’t even get to go to my last tennis game! I wasn’t even going to be able to finish the season with my friends, and I had just begun to like tennis! There are no tennis teams over the summer, or the fall, or the winter – there are only camps. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever been on a tennis team and there were so many cancellations. I wouldn’t be able to attend my last book club meeting face-to-face (maybe I could email Mrs. Baumann to ask if she could set up a Google Meet). My world had collapsed on top of me and the debris had me trapped – no room to move and so much weight on my chest that I could barely breathe. But all that I could do was take a deep breath and give in, there was nothing to do but let the quarantine go by as quickly as possible – I just had to reach June 4th. I had no control over the situation and the helplessness of it was setting in.