(Photo by Kathryn Coffey)

Photo by Kathryn Coffey

A Quarantine Log

Finding Joy in the Little Things: Life in Covid-19-Land 

April 11, 2020

The Decaturian isn’t in your hands on a weekly basis but we’re still here, trying to give a voice to Millikin students. That being said, we’re giving you our stories — how we’re getting along in a new world. This is part assignment, part reporting and part recording the world we live in now.
These first excerpts are from Newswriting students and Decaturian reporters. But we’d love to hear from you as well. Tell us what your life is like. And send a picture of your experience. Send your story to Athena Pajer and Sydney Sinks at [email protected]
Thank you and stay safe.
– The Decaturian Staff

3/14/2020

I want to hug Dad, but I know I can’t. Already this feels so weird.

I just landed back in the States from London. I’m running on adrenaline, and self-quarantine has unofficially started. We drive through McDonald’s. It’s not Portillo’s, but it will do.

I found out I get the bathroom all to myself for the next two weeks. I at least have that going for me.

3/21/2020

Day 7 of self-quarantine: Dad had Infinity War on during dinner. I wish he didn’t.

I wanted to live in blissful ignorance that Loki was still alive. But trust Dad to ruin it.

I finished eating and camped out in my room, scrolling through Facebook. I noticed that I was getting called out about some comments I made a while ago.

One of my old Millikin classmates posted one of those scales, rating 1-5 on how health-conscious you are of people during the pandemic.

I should’ve ignored it.

Now I felt like I had to defend myself. I didn’t want to be paranoid about getting the virus, but I’m not an idiot.

She then told me something along the lines of I was more health-conscious than I’m giving myself credit for and to keep up the good work.

The tears finally came.

3/30/2020:

Oh my Gosh!

Dr. Hawkinson said the choirs will have a hang-out of sorts and sing Carmina Burana on April 18th.

I. CAN’T. WAIT.

I get to sing with my choir pals for one last time (I hope!). I really miss them.

I just remembered how I love Mondays. Before it was the new Top Gear episode. Now, it’s whatever good news I happen to get.

4/4/2020:

I got most of my stuff out of the Woods today. Mom let me walk around campus for the last time before heading back north.

I gave an Our Town soliloquy for every building I passed, but I wish I had time for the River.

Maybe next time.

That’s the thing: next time. That hope’s going to keep me going.

4/5/2020:

I can’t believe this myself, but my family and I are taking a truck ride for ice cream. Specifically, we’re driving down to Orland to get some Oberweis.

I’ve enjoyed their vanilla shakes as a kid, and I loved playing chess while waiting for said shakes.

Of course, I don’t win, but I didn’t care.

Besides, I won’t be able to play chess there anyway.

I just saw a sign at a flower shop that reads: “We fill your Propane 9 to 4.” Guess I couldn’t blame them for branching out, but what flower shop sells propane?!

I still can’t believe it. There’s this Covid-19, making everything pretty much dead. But Oberweis, God bless them, still has ice cream and milk to sell. And Dad’s sweet tooth screamed for ice cream that wasn’t from the family freezer.

We get there, finding a half-a-block-long line waiting. Dad had his stand-up comedian playlist blaring. Michael’s on his phone. Mom comments the oddity of seeing so many trucks in the Home Depot parking lot.

I debated whether to go big or go home. Well, actually we were going home either way. I went with a large shake, even if I was going to cough excessively.

Yes, I don’t get brain-freeze as much as I get mucus build-up. Probably something I should get looked at, but who cares? This milkshake tastes just like old times.

4/6/2020:

I was browsing all the LokixReader fanfics I saved on my Deviantart favorites page. Then I begin to hear a low grumbling sound.

I drop what I was doing, throw open the curtains, and turn off the lights for the greatest show on earth.

I don’t know why, but I like them. I wouldn’t mind chasing one at least once, just to see what it’s like.

I’m not sure what the angels are doing up there.

I just heard thunder that shook the earth, setting someone’s car alarm off. Rain’s really coming down. Must be a day of venting.

But it also could be family bowling night up there.

My fam used to have those every once in a while. Sometimes I go bowling with a few high school friends I still keep in contact.

I really miss those days.

I hope there’s some kind of normalcy somewhere down the line.

4/8/2020:

I finally got around to reading what I should have a couple of days ago, The Hate U Give, for class last night. I got so engrossed in reading it I barely noticed how much time had passed. My phone’s clock read 1:34 am.

I wasn’t tired in the slightest. I could’ve kept going if I wanted to. But I never pulled an all-nighter for anything, not even for a good book.

I’m not sure how I’m still keeping this goal up. Maybe I should’ve cracked by now.

Also, the same class I’m reading this book for is still observing Easter break. It’s honestly the strangest thing I’ve ever seen all week.

It’s hard to believe Easter is still a thing with everything going on. For the past couple of years, it’s like Easter as I’ve known it has disappeared.

It’s not like I can go Holy Thursday church-hopping tomorrow. All the churches will most likely be closed or give online sermons.

Besides, the world’s a little too crummy for celebrating anything in right now.

But Jesus got crucified, died, and resurrected no matter what. So, I guess Easter is still a thing after all.

So why should I be so distraught?

Oh yeah, this feels weirder than last year.

I wasn’t even home to celebrate it with my family, that time. None of my Monday classes were going to cancel, so I had to drive home, but I’ve spent Easter without my family before. That honor belongs to my high school mission trip to Appalachia during my senior year.

No, last year was weird because the Easter bunny skipped my house. No basket full of goodies. Not even a chocolate bunny.

That was weird enough, but at least there wasn’t a pandemic, and I could attend Easter services with my Millikin friends at Renaissance.

I wish Easter can feel normal again.

In fact, I want Easter to be here. I’m serious. I want Easter to sit down with me and my family for dinner, just so I know that it’s still alive and well.

I miss Easter. I hope Easter misses me, too.

4/9/2020:

A bit colder than the last few days. Very windy, too.

Good news is we got Wolf’s bakery doughnuts. I haven’t had their glazed twists in ages.

We grazed the fridge all day. I had enough leftover taco meat covered in cheese to make myself a Naco 2.0. Instead of tortilla chips, I used Frito Scoops, and I added guacamole. Eat your heart out, Ron Stoppable.

Braved the winds to catch some Pokémon outside on my daily government-mandated walk.

Mom boiled Hebrew National hot dogs for dinner. I’ve had a hankering for pancakes for the past few days, but this is just as good as anything.

Mom said they would’ve tasted good with sauerkraut. It gave Dad flashbacks to a day where he had to eat all the sauerkraut on his plate for French fries.

“You know you lived a blessed life when the only traumatic thing to happen to you is being forced to eat all the sauerkraut on your plate,” Mom says.

Never were truer words spoken.

Guess in life, I can always count my blessings. We can’t go church hopping. But we can grow plants. We can chat with friends and family over Zoom. We can go on walks.

Could be better, but then again, it could be worse.

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