This may end up being a series of pandemic quarantine tales from across the world, You may recall I recently wrote about the pandemic and one person’s experiences in the United Kingdom. That was a result of many of my mailing list subscribers responding to my question about quarantine stories they may have.
This is yet another such story written in her own words. The author wishes to remain anonymous so I have edited out certain identifiers.
I haven’t been able to write anything for you yet. This quarantine is making me have panic attacks, seizures, falls, stomach pains, and nightmares. I’ve been dreaming of those coronavirus symbols floating in the air and suffocating me.
Last night, I dreamed that a man in a sleigh (like Santa’s) pulled up in front of our house and stared at me. I told him that I was not going with him, but the next instant, I was sitting in the sleigh while he drove it through the sky. I think there were reindeer, can’t be sure. He was extremely handsome. The flight was quick and he brought me back home. I have not had vivid dreams for years. This was like a movie. I know why I pictured the man as very handsome because lately, I’ve been looking at paintings online of mythological characters, princes and princesses, fables and so on. I haven’t been interested in such things since I was a teenager. So now I must be reverting to a teen. Maybe I’ll write a historical romance or fantasy romance if I can get the energy.
I made a list of reasons to give up writing. The next day, I wrote a book review. I’m a very emphathetic person so the death statistics really get me down. My home city has about 30 or more people die every night. I am worried about the world. Is it the end of the world? In our town, it’s eerie. Where I now live is not quiet, so the absence of kids yelling and only a few cars is strange. They closed our town to outsiders. Isn’t that the plot of some science fiction novel?
The airport is closed, churches closed, and I haven’t heard the city bus in weeks. Our neighbor, the one we call the guitar man because he stands on his roof and plays classic rock and country music songs, hasn’t been up there for a few months. Where is the man who comes to our gate and asks for a quarter every day? Where are the two young guys, the glue-sniffers, who stop and my husband gives them ice water? They haven’t been around lately. The young man across the street who lives on the second floor in the front, doesn’t sit out on his balcony and smoke. Not many people come to eat hamburgers at the corner stand. I haven’t seen the woman on the other corner who sells toys for a long time. Where is the man who pushes his cart at night around 8:00 pm with hot sweet potatoes? He rings a bell and you know he’s in the neighborhood. Not for weeks have I heard that bell.
The street in front is cleaner. Not many people walk now so they aren’t dropping candy wrappers in front of our house. I haven’t seen an older person for months. This country is full of old ladies. Where are they? There’s a new baby in the family but we can’t see her because we might bring the virus to her. Where are X, Y, J, S, Z, J2, S2 and the other little nieces and nephews? They used to come over every day.
At least my husband’s list is getting shorter. It’s a list of things I want him to do around the house. We spent a day repairing dolls, knick-knacks and statues and crosses. Jesus was missing his hand. He still is because I swore I brought it from the States, but it’s nowhere around. We found a head to a statue. I thought it was of Jesus, but my husband said it was St. Jude. Someone else said it’s St. Anthony, but that can’t be right. St. Anthony has that friar’s hair with the fringe and bald head. This statue’s head has hair. We can’t find the body now, and I feel bad throwing a part of a religious item in the trash.
Two marble elephants had their tusks glued back on and a statue of Mario (from the video game) had his leg repaired. The most important repair was the blue donkey. He had his ear knocked off when one of the kids ran through the yard. I didn’t want to plant flowers in him until he was fixed. It’s a flowerpot shaped like a donkey.
I went to the laboratory today to get rechecked for the infection I had. When we opened the gate, I glanced at our Virgin of Guadalupe statue. I always do that and tell myself that I need to repaint her. Today when I looked at her, I noticed that her eyes were different. More open. The pupils were darker. I always thought I’d paint her eyes blue. Who painted Mary’s eyes? I don’t know but I’m going back out there to look again.
The old man who asks for a quarter always makes the sign of the cross to Mary. Sometimes he doesn’t knock on the gate, he just says a prayer. I can see him mumbling. I’m going to find my brushes and paint Mary’s dress tomorrow.
I find those words not only vivid but also a fantastic internal reflection on the surreal effects of lockdown on one person’s life. Overall, it made me sad despite some humour which I’m sure wasn’t intended.
There will soon be more in the series of pandemic quarantine tales from around the world.
Please stay safe! #StayAtHome
For updates on news and any facts about the pandemic, I suggest you check out the BBC website.
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