The Quarantine Diaries

Collected from the Estate of Robert [Middle Name Redacted} Macke in the year of the Quarantine 2020

Day One
I suppose this is my first day of official social distancing. My job decided to close its doors for a week and then reevaluate reopening on a weekly basis. The earliest I could return is March 23rd. The latest would be April 3rd. Not to be too blasé about our situation, but I’ve been looking forward to some time off. A week away could be good for me. I have an apartment in shambles. Dirty laundry to be washed, clean laundry to be hung, dishes in the sink, and a slew of other tidying that I can accomplish. I’m trying to look at this positively.
I read somewhere that one should keep a journal during this time. I remember having to ask my grandmother what the Great Depression was like for a school assignment once. One day, this will be like that. An offspring of mine will learn about The Incident and be tasked to interview an octogenarian in their family about it. Unlike my grandma, however, I will have a written account and won’t say unhelpful things like, “I wasn’t born until 1943.”

Day Three
I attempted to complete the chores that I set out to do; however, living with two roommates has made that a tad difficult. It’s nothing deliberate or malicious on their part; it’s just the science of three people spending all of their time together in one apartment. The sink is only ever empty for so long before a wave of dishes fills it up and we play a silent game of chicken to decide who’s turn it is to unload and then reload the dishwasher. Our table and countertops get increasingly cluttered as we all collectively set things down and forget about them. At least, I will be the only one wearing my freshly clean and hung clothing.
Fortunately, I’ll be back to work in a week and it will make tidying a less Sisyphusian task for us all. Right?
Until then, it is Saint Patrick’s Day. We thought we’d capture some pseudo-normality by delving into some debauchery. What consequences are there for drinking on a Tuesday night?

Day Four
I was almost disappointed that I didn’t wake up with a hangover. A hangover would have been a good excuse to lie in bed for an extra four hours this morning. I have nothing else to be exhausted by. No demanding 9 to 5 to tucker me out. No excessive workouts at the Y. Nothing. I was just tired, and laid in bed awake scrolling through YouTube videos that I had already watched. And I couldn’t even blame it on a hangover.
My days have grown stagnant. I mostly play Pokemon Sword and Shield for hours on end . (For the offspring that asked me to share this journal with them for their distant future school assignment, let me just take a moment to describe my affinity for Pokemon ala How I Met Your Mother. Though, I may also have to describe How I Met Your Mother now, and that’s not worth it.) But now even my favorite game series has grown stale.
Ash Ketchum wept, for he had no more Pokemon to conquer.

Day Five
I have taken on a somewhat “camp counselor” position in my building. I included the tenants above and below me in our building to a group chat and began alerting everyone to decent weather. At first, there was nothing but grey skies and brisk temperatures. Like, I get it, but isn’t glum weather during the apocalypse a little too on the nose? But yesterday? It was around sixty degrees and slightly sunny for the first time since the start of this ordeal. Sure, it started to rain like an hour later, but it was nice to sit on the porch with my one upstairs neighbor. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be seeing decent weather until next Wednesday.

Day Six
Staff was just informed that we may now be closed until April 3rd. I can’t say I was looking forward to going back to work considering everything on the news, but I was looking forward to getting out of the house.
I had a coworker tag me in a Facebook status. She had been posing questions to engage her friends--almost water cooler sort of questions. “What did you eat last night?” I couldn’t help but feel a little judgemental over this grasp at regularity. This forced office chatter that felt even more so over social media. But, can we blame anyone for wanting a sense of community and opening discussion with people that have been abruptly separated from you? “Fortunately I had another week of [redacted meal delivery service]. I made beef ragu.”
I typed that as I was making a repeat of last night’s dinner: packaged ramen that I bought on sale.