Apr. 23, 2020

How I'm Surviving This Quarantine And Why Did You Have To Go Outside?

By: Tina Dooley


I got up at about 4:00 am. Then had my shower and got dressed for work. I went into the refridgerator and gazed upon a wide array of fruits.

I saw apples, grapes, peaches, pear, melons, pineaples, plums, mangoes and more. 


I took just an apple ,a few slices of melon and an orange. Then drank a cool glass of coconut water and was on my merry way to work. My cellphone at 100% , no missed calls no new messages.


It seemed like I got up too early because I couldn't believe I was the only one on the road driving. No busses, no bikes, no cars honking their horns at pedestrians to get out of the road. 


I arrived at work at a record breaking time of 6:00 am after merely leaving home at around 5:50am.


As I sat and waited on the newspaper to arrive I got bored then tried to surf the internet for news updates on the coronavirus pandemic. Somehow the connection was so slow I just gave up. 


After waiting for four hours, I was still the only one at work. I got curious and tried to call the others but unfortunately there was no dial tone from the landline. My cellphone seemed to have lost signal as well. 



I decided to go for a walk outside for some fresh air and maybe chitchat with  some employees from a building next to mine that was always buzzing. 


To my surprise the call center was empty. Not even the hot dog man, juice vendor  or even security guard was in sight. 


Where is everyone? I started to panic because I then realized  that I was all alone away from home.

I tried to open my car door but somehow my hands felt no energy and my hand kept on sliding off the handle.  I made several attempts to grasp the door handle but to no avail.


I wept bitterly and as I wept I became anxious and worried. I didn't know what to do. I decided to walk to the bus stop or even to the taxi stand. I stood there waiting for a very long time waiting for the bus or taxi to pass by but none came. 


I glanced at my watch to check the time and it was still saying 10:00 am. Unbelievable, how could the time not change? My watch battery just went like that after only three weeks after its purchase?


I had no choice but to walk home because I had absolutely no intention of standing anywhere all by myself until midnight. 

As I walked I reflected on my relationships with people at work. I reflected on how I treated the people I called friends and even reflected on how oxygen was made, ooh my gosh.


I prayed to get home safely as I walked hurriedly along. As I walked my stomach started to make some weird sounds and my mouth felt dry. I stopped at almost five restaurants but they were all closed.

I walked by the gas station but i was closed. I decided to stop by my friend who taught at a school nearby to ask for a lift home.


The school was closed and not even the buzz of a bee could be heard. Then I remembered that there  was a water cooler inside the church yard close to the school. Usually people are inside praying, talking or doing rehersals for church service. 


Noone, noone at all came out to greet me. I went to the cooler and tried to press the button  for the water to flow out and quench my everlasting thirst. I just couldn't do it. I had no energy, I couldn't lift my hand.

I had no choice but to turn and walk away thirsty and miserable.


"Well at least I'll get home in time to get ready for my neighbours' birthday party. Then I can have all the food, drink and water I so desire." I thought to myself.

So I tried once more to call a cab from my cellphone, again no response. I even dialled all emergency numbers I knew. I should have tried calling Alexa or Siri instead or so I thought.


When I got home it was around 10:00. I showered ,got dressed and rushed over to my neighbours. I was at the door calling out for hours. No one answered, no one came out.

No party decorations, no music, no sounds of joy and laughter and most of all no twerking. I found it quite unusual and rather disturbing. 


Out of curiosity I went to check on my other neighbours who were always at the pub around the corner. As soon as I got to the pub I noticed no lights were on, no drunkards fussing and the bar was closed.

I checked my cellphone, not even one whatsapp message or a new instagram follower. Everyone I tried to call was either  unavailable or just not taking my calls.  


I had no choice but to return home. I had been walking for hours before I came to the realization that I was lost. I couldn't find my way home.  I tried screaming for help but the words were coming without sounds and I  thought I was suddenly deaf or mute.

At that very moment my heart started to race like Secretariat the horse ,as if it was getting ready to burst thorough my chest like it was dirt. 


I couldn't handle it. I felt so fatigued with my legs numb from  walking, I just fell asleep on the park bench. No lovers out, no joggers jogging, no stridulating  sounds from crickets chirping to disturb my rest.


I woke up to the sound of voices in the dark. "Why did she have to go outside?" Then a man said, "all she had to do was stay at home." I wondered to myself why? What happened? 

Then a woman said. "Her boyfriend didn't come home so she went to report him missing". 


No, that's not it, a young woman lamented, "she went outside because she wanted to restore her mental energy , improve her short term memory and concentration not for just a smoke".


 Netflix and Chill Vs Quarantine and Chill


Well, while spirits are free to roam and go wherever they wish , my Prime Minister said " Tan A Yuh Yaad" . My favourite song is now called "Inside Inside" by Ding Dong. 

So therefore I am inside.  I don't cook because it's too expensive and the lines at the grocery stores are too long.


Quarantine Activities

I take up my phone and order takeout. If I need toileteries or a few food items there is a small shop next door. Even when I can't pay upfront I still get the goods. Thank God for kind people in this world.


Bills are still unpaid because I have no money. If I had I would do it online or via telephone.


I go to bed at 3:00 am, I am on instagram live at parties and just scrolling and reading comments that are out of this world. The comments make me laugh so much I forget my depression.

Sometimes I tell myself that i'm going to just check a few posts for maybe 10 minutes.


In no time 10 minutes become 4 hours of scrolling and uncontrollable laughter if you follow the right people who got the right stuff to make you forget about anything negative in your life.


I wake up at 12:00 noon, I pray and give God thanks for another day free from that horrid virus. I pray for the  recovery, health and well being of others .

I also pray for those who are working tirelessly to help the sick and wisdom and courage for those who are working to  control the spread of the virus.


So I slept through breakfast, big deal. I'm still in time for lunch and dinner in one. I take vitamin suppliments and drink lots of water. Everyday I google the date just to confirm what day it is.


It's so  hot inside I have to shower three times a day. The fan circulates only  hot air  yet i'm too scared to turn on the air conditioner because I cannot pay the bill.


I started an excercise routine and managed to burn a few calories. I stopped after about two weeks. It is very important to exercise.

I know now because i'm having dificulty concentrating and i'm having short term memory loss. Yep, I also gained weight. But my skin and hair care routine is off the chain.lol.


I dress up , go on the porch or in driveway then take pictures then run inside my house.


I listen to music all day and hide from zoom meetings or online classes because I cannot stay focused. Teacher please send my assignments to my online party if you catch me there.


I am currently working on a study timetable in order to organise my subjects so that I don't get left behind.


I don't have a job now, so automatically i'm a student because it's time for self improvement. 


I search daily for free online courses and  try to get info about how to do things  better than what i've been doing.


I still get headaches when I think about the bills that are due. I just pray to God ,then the anxiety goes away when I remember a bible verse.


I still cry in the shower, I make joyful noises when I think about what I still have . I have decided to stop obsessing about the things i've lost or don't have.


While I am waiting for covid 19, quarantine and curfews to end I am also looking forward to the beginning of great and wonderful things. We have to think positively now people.


Have you recieved your quarantine care packages yet or are you still tracking your stimulus cheques? I'm still here wondering what that feels like. Be cheerful, be greatful, be responsible and most of all be loving and healthy.



I am trying to make the best out of something that I have instead of dwelling on the things it can't or cannot do or what it is or  isn't. I appreciate what it is and what it can do.

Most of all I appreciate all of you. 


 Setineiichi - Join us for tea as we share the benefits of Green tea.