Thoughts from Quarantine

Well, it’s been a rather strange time for everyone recently.

I’m certainly not loving this – it’s rather challenging to focus on anything in this state of chaos. It feels strange to log onto an online class when the world around me is in so much distress. How do we pretend like we aren’t forcing normalcy? I certainly don’t know.

It’s hard being away from everyone I love. I’m so incredibly thankful for my housemates who keep my home in chapel hill full of energy and smiles. I’m thankful for the video calls with my a cappella group and my film friends. I’m thankful for the guitar in the corner of my room. I’m thankful for the books on my shelf that I finally have time to read. I’m thankful that I’m healthy – that this pandemic will likely have a rather small impact on my life, but I can’t help feeling helpless.

I am far too much of an extrovert to be cooped up. I thrive on community – stories from the strangers who sit next to me – smiles from friends-of-friends – the arts community as a whole. I thrive when I’m sitting in a coffee shop, perfectly alone with a world buzzing around me.

It’s been sad – visiting Open Eye, one of my favorite local coffee shops, and seeing the always-packed space completely empty, all the chairs stacked on tables, the couches roped off. It’s hard. It’s really really really hard and I don’t think we should pretend like it isn’t.

I think it’s okay to be struggling right now, in fact, I’d be concerned if people weren’t. We weren’t meant to live in squares with minimal trips outside. Hell, I’ve always seen my house as a place to sleep and occasionally eat a bowl of oatmeal! Now I wake up at noon, eat oatmeal, and go back to sleep. The world feels dull without my friends around me.

A video call will suffice for now, but I’ve never realized how much I value physical touch. Hugs, fist bumps, jokingly nudging my friends during rehearsal. I really miss hugs. How strange is that? I am not a touchy person, I’m not! Physical touch always ranks last out of my love languages, and I never thought that ‘words of affirmation’ wouldn’t be enough for me.

I miss coffee dates and real human eye contact: seeing someone’s world, sensing someone’s tangibility and fragileness. My eyes hurt from staring at screens (even though I am enjoying rewatching Sherlock for the fifth time).

I miss all the humans in my life, miss them so so so dearly. I miss the boy with glasses who always held the door for me as I walked to my playwriting class every Tuesday and Thursday – I served him at Carolina Coffee Shop once. I don’t know his name; I know nothing about him other than the fact that he always has one headphone in with his music faintly audible.

I’m mad at myself for all the times I complained about being too busy…because man oh man was I busy this semester. Filming and rehearsing and performing and hardly ever having time to do my work or get a proper night’s sleep. And now here I am – nothing to do but work and sleep. So mad at myself for all I’ve taken for granted.

I’m hoping and praying so hard that everything will go back to normal soon, that I’ll be in a house with Tar Heel Voices giving the biggest hugs of a lifetime and reveling in the echoes of real human voices.

One thought on “Thoughts from Quarantine

  1. Richard Thomas Campbell says:

    Lizzy – You’ve said what so many are feeling. It’s not life or business as usual. Routines are broken and the small connections with community throughout the day (communities known and unknown) leave a huge void. But if this new normal means a child gets to spend more time with their grandparents. That those with underlying health underlying health conditions don’t have to fight for for healthcare angels if and when they are infected, then I’m okay with isolation…as I know you are too! Let’s FaceTime/Skype/Zoom more and know that distance is just a thing… Love breaks down all barriers. I love you most… Dad


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