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The First Few Days

Student

I know that future Claire is looking for an entry on coronavirus, that monumental, historic event, probably the first truly meaningful historic moment of my lifetime. Well, you’ve found that entry.

Here is what coronavirus has been like for me: I live in the age of meme culture, probably ingesting about two hours of tiktok and Instagram meme content per day. The only thing on those accounts right now are jokes about coronavirus, some of them funny, some of them not. When I wake up, my first thought is the death toll. After checking the site that logs all cases, I then spend about half an hour reading on the latest developments that occurred while I was asleep. It’s hard to drag myself out of bed after all that.

Mom spends about an hour a day waiting in line at various grocery stores. We’re always running out of something, costing her another trip. She says it’s very eerie to be walking through Safeway alone, when she finally gets in.

I stay inside all day long. Can’t remember the last time I wore shoes or went outside. But that’s unusual–everyone else takes daily walks. I can’t tell you why I’m hesitant to leave the house, only that I am. It might be my form of grieving.

It is always a struggle to make conversation at the dinner table. On my first night home, we decided that we would not talk politics. Of course, now Dad almost never talks. Mom knows that a lot of what she says annoys Brooke and me, so she’s quiet too.

Brooke and I were chummy the first few days, but now I’m completely sick of her. She spends several hours a day talking loudly on the phone to her friends in the room next to me. Note that these friends are all male, which really gets on my nerves. Two nights ago, she pulled out the guitar at around midnight to start practicing. The girl will not shut up. Everything has to be screamed.

So we don’t really talk anymore.

The bright spot of every day is my analysis class. I drag out office hours as long as possible every time. Compared to my family, most of those people seem pretty sane.

So that is my experience with coronavirus. Compared to most, I’m very lucky. I worry about the people who live alone, or the families that face the threat of domestic violence. I can’t imagine the elderly waiting in the same grocery lines as Mom. It breaks my heart.

Every night, I pray that God would stop the virus in its tracks. But every morning, the death toll is even higher. There is no end in sight.

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