Day 3/14: The test results

Day three begins like the others; wake up and lay in bed, spacing out while looking at the blank wall ahead. Mentally, I have to take note of the symptoms and get readings on different vitals to note how I am feeling; I get to venture outside the bubble today.

At 9:30 a.m. I have to drive myself to campus, wearing proper protective equipment of course, for my COVID test. The whole process of leaving my room and walking through the house is eerie, as though it was straight out of a prototypical horror movie. Arriving on campus was even worse.

Though I know I have to walk to the Health Center, there is a grinding fear that I am a walking facilitator of a disease that has already shut down the country once. I had to eye passersby to watch for their movement, countering to make sure they didn’t move too close. Luckily, I was able to keep my distance as I got the test done, preventing any kind of spread.

I return home following the same protocols, every surface I touch is instantly sanitized and wiped down as I am rushed back into lockdown.

The afternoon becomes an allocation of time that I have to fill until class at 5:30 p.m., taken up with phone calls, Zoom meetings, and social media browsing. Just because the symptoms press on doesn’t mean I get a pass from the normal responsibilities of schoolwork. The primary symptom that challenges me today is a blistering pain behind my eyes, causing me to keep my gaze forward to avoid the discomfort.

Just after class, a Connecticut phone number gives me a call.

“Hi, is this Tyler Wells? I just wanted to notify you of your test results from this morning,” the voice said, “you are COVID positive.” The voice was a cold confirmation of the worries that I already knew to be true.

The realization of being another addition to the COVID statistics is surreal. There was a welcomed ignorance of not truly knowing that covered reality; this temporary veil came crashing down upon answering that call. It’s a lot to sleep on.

Three days in quarantine has gone by in the blink of an eye, but with the speed of a snail.