isolation insights

I miss mundane things. Like grocery shopping or going to the cinema. I miss our sleepovers at my nana’s who hasn’t had...

Written by reshma uddin · 3 min read >

I miss mundane things. Like grocery shopping or going to the cinema. I miss our sleepovers at my nana’s who hasn’t had contact with the outside world in over 2 months. However, I have a fear of going back to school- waking up early to get ready and travel and having to catch up all the work I have yet to do. I haven’t seen my school bag in weeks or my white shirts and black slacks. I have no routine and I need it. I don’t want to see their faces again or hear their voices- too many unnecessary problems. But I strangely want to be in that focused atmosphere of a level education. My few genuine friends and I discuss the news when we get the chance and chat about the media. These talks just make me feel lonelier in my own home. On rare occasions, when my house is silent, I like to acknowledge my blessings. I have a garden where I can enjoy fresh air and sunlight without putting others at risk. I have multiple rooms and only live with three other people so I have breathing room and space. My family can buy enough food to last without waiting for their wages. I have entertainment in the form of Netflix, social media (countless tiktok songs echo in my head at this very minute) as well as endless hours to pursue art, reading thick books I’ve put off and to write. On the other hand, spending this much time with the same people is affecting my mental being. My younger sibling behaves like a neanderthal and for some reason I find it funny. My mother- as well as being my number one sidekick- is constantly nagging and harassing me. Although we have been in close vicinities for a while, I haven’t seen much of my dad. I suspect he sits in the car to get 5 mins of peace. The government is driving me mad and I envy the countries with a more dominant Labour party. On one hand, this crisis is urging me to grow up and work in the NHS and directly help those in need. And on the other, I want to join the government and give a voice for those who share my opinions. Part of me- although i don’t want to admit it- wants to hide in cowardice and move to another country. While writing this, i have taken multiple breaks for no less than twenty seconds because the words are flowing through my brain and onto the page. Eid is coming up which I’m conflicted about. I would rather buy a new set of pyjamas to wear rather than clothes to wear when this lockdown- if you could even call it that- is over. But what if i lose weight and they don’t fit? I’ve been putting off exercise to concentrate on my exams at the end of the month. Once we realised we were going to be spending all our time in this house, we started looking after it even more. It’s had its quarantine glow up but I’m still waiting for mine. I thought Ramadan would be harder without school distracting me from hunger but it’s helped me preserve my energy. I want to leave. I need drama. There are those who aren’t social distancing at all and putting the lives of the innocent and hardworking in grave danger. Unlike them, I have my priorities in order. I’ve been reading spin offs of my favourite book series Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus and there’s an underlying disgust and shame when i don’t recognise the inside jokes or the old plot lines enough to appreciate the new character development. I’ve become an outsider to the world I spent my childhood praying to be a part of. Still I retell memories to my sister about how I waited up on my birthdays for a Hogwarts acceptance letter- a small but negligible part of me still believes that the universe exists. The sun goes up and comes down like I’m stuck reliving the same day. Countless times I hear my voice recite the relevant lyrics of JLS: every minutes likes an hour, every hours like a day, everyday lasts forever. Some periods I feel anxious, claustrophobic, paranoid and I don’t even want to order food in case we track something in the house and compromise this safe, hygienic environment we’ve built so diligently. Other times i just want to give up, let the virus consume me while my immune system passively watches the chaos. I wouldn’t have to deal with the countless pressures of society: revise twenty five hours a day for exams that have no significance to me; get married and spend my entire life with someone i’ll get sick of in less than a year; to repress my desire of leaving my entire life here and moving to a country i feel comfortable in. Seven weeks ago all eyes would be on the bay window the second we spotted someone walk by. It was a rare occasion. There was an unappreciated beauty to feeling like an exhibit in a Natural History museum. Now people have been celebrating like it’s New Years Eve. but surely there’s nothing to be celebrating. I have noticed that we spend hours thinking and preparing a meal when we are deprived of food all day and it’s our only meal of the day. But when we snack throughout the day, we can eat the same curry and rice for the rest of the year. And the foods we crave when we can’t order like we used to- without lifting a finger. There are different types of people: those who just order the food, those who try to make it themselves and lastly, those who can live without. We can live without salons and schools and retailers and cars but, not without convenience stores. It takes a pandemic to reveal people’s true character and intentions. I wake up to the clear sounds of bird songs and sleep under visible stars.

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