Casey’s COVID-cation: Blog One

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Published November 9, 2020
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The Montclarion
I took a selfie in my "Cozy" to show how I relax in style. Casey Masterson | The Montclarion

I have the coronavirus (COVID-19). I am asymptomatic, which is a stroke of luck on my part; I am usually very unlucky, so we will see how that progresses.

I suppose I should start from the beginning. On Halloween, I was indirectly exposed to the virus while attending an on-campus event with Team Rocky, which I am also a part of. As a precaution, I decided to get tested on Thursday, Nov 5.

My positive test result came back on Nov. 8; that was when the guilt set in.

I had to think back to every interaction, no matter how small, that I had in the days prior. I remembered having worked at the library and having gone to campus for my in-person class, but that does not mean that I am irresponsible. I would not have gone to these places if I knew that I was sick. My class was on Tuesday and my last day of work was on Wednesday.

In addition, I did not know that I was infected until Thursday. Even though there was no way that I could have known, I still feel incredibly guilty.

I was in contact with Montclair State University about my exposure, as soon as I was informed. One of my roommates tested negative, which I took as a good sign. I gave this information to a woman named Jan, who was very nice and understanding.

I was in contact again, this time with many different people, when I found out I tested positive. I spoke with Jason Smith, the community director of Hawks Crossings, who was kind enough to talk me through the process and answer any questions that I had.

He then procured an apartment in Hawks Crossings for me; it is just above my old apartment. This made it very easy to move my belongings, as I only had to carry them upstairs.

I took about a weeks’ worth of clothes, food, books and school notebooks with me into isolation. I also took my emotional support guinea pig, Wicket.

Wicket, although nervous about his new home, is there for me when I need him most. Casey Masterson | The Montclarion

Wicket, although nervous about his new home, is here for me when I need him most.
Casey Masterson | The Montclarion

When I got settled, I spoke with Patricia Ruiz, who is the director of the University Health Center. She asked me about how I was adjusting, how I was feeling physically and where I was on campus between exposure and diagnosis.

I also heard that she got into contact with my roommates, who will now have to quarantine, regardless of whether they tested negative or not. One will be staying at home, another with his girlfriend and the last is staying in our dorm by himself.

That is one of my biggest guilt factors: I could have made my friends sick. Not only that, but they had to cancel their film sets because of this. Safety first, I know, but I still feel horrible about it.

My first night alone was lonely. I do not know how to make that sound better than it is.

I sat alone, in a makeshift couch setup that I made by pushing the arm chairs together. This is where I do my homework and watch Netflix.

I moved some furniture to make my living room more cozy. Casey Masterson | The Montclarion

I moved some furniture to make my living room more cozy.
Casey Masterson | The Montclarion

I have never handled change well, so I was far too nervous to get a good night’s sleep. Sound travels fast in an almost empty apartment; every small noise that I heard made me think that someone else was in the apartment too.

The locked door next to mine did not help with this fear either, even though I know that this fear was only a part of my anxious state.

I never thought I would be so happy to have class; it gives me something to do in order to break up the monotony. Unfortunately, I cannot go to work until I am cleared, so this evening will be filled with Netflix, some reading and homework.

I hope to make the best of it. In fact, I can take this as a sort of writer’s retreat; I have always wanted to go on one of those.

I do hope to get some creative writing done, but I also see this as a great opportunity to give you all an insider’s look into my “COVID-cation.” Not everyone will be unlucky enough to experience what isolation on campus is like. Fortunately, you have me to live out the situation for you.

I will be providing pictures for you, but bear in mind, they will probably be terrible. I am not a great photographer.

I also hope you get some enjoyment out of my isolated thoughts. Hopefully, I do not go all Jack Torrance up here from being trapped for so long.

If by any chance I do, at least you would gave gotten an insider’s view into my slow descent into insanity.

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