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Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 10

Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 10

Simone Nathan, a Kiwi living in New York, documents life in quarantine as she battles symptoms of COVID-19.

Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 10

Click here if you missed Day 9, or start from the beginning at Day 1.

Day 10

At this point, the people are clamouring to know: how were things going with the at-home laser hair removal machine? The simple answer was – I didn’t know yet. I’d had one session where I’d shaved my legs and zapped their full circumference, and was now awaiting the results. The manual told me to start with a low zap and wait a week before trying the higher one. Naturally I went full zappity-doo-dah on my first go. And it hurt! For sure. But in a ‘hurt so good’ kind of way, like drawing an X in a mozzie bite, using a foam roller, or eating Captain Crunch – the cereal that hates you.

After this I spent a long time doing my laundry in the bathtub like a medieval maid. New York apartments rarely have in-unit washer/dryers, sometimes have in-building laundries, but most– in the East Village – boast neither. All nearby laundromats had closed due to the pandemic, and although I was well experienced at washing my own clothes, I missed chatting to the little girl who worked the till at the place across the street, who translated for her parents. It’s not just that I wholeheartedly supported child labour; I also loved seeing their gorgeous family unit every time I went in and worried how they were getting through these tough times. 

I wondered what Auckland’s CBD looked like right now. At least it wasn’t Christmas time: the thought of the giant Santa creepily beckoning out at a ghost town was too much to handle at this moment.

According to the CDC website’s recommendations, in four days I would be fit to be released back into society. Although I would obviously still remain sheltered in place, I looked forward to no longer feeling like a ticking time bomb and to easing up on my various helpful thoughts, like how many people I would infect if a fire alarm went off and we all had to exit the building?

When I was a child I went to weekly drama classes at a local church. The teacher, who looked like a mean Julie Andrews, did not conduct your typical drama class but instead had us participate in immersive ‘improvisations’ where she would create a setting and have us all perform within its bounds for the hour. All settings quickly fell away except for one: it was the Plague and we kids played villagers while scary Mary Poppins took on the role of the Black Death. We would hide in our homes before she would come screaming in, marking us with an ‘X’ and killing us. Everybody would then go to ‘sleep’ and when we awoke, the deceased characters could come back as somebody new. One day we came to class and our teacher wasn’t there. There was only a note informing us that classes had been cancelled indefinitely. We waited the hour for our parents to return and never saw her again. 

This memory no doubt answers why I am the way I am, but it also comes back to me at this time as we all sit, boxed in our homes, and join the unfortunate tradition of mandated isolation that so many throughout history have experienced before us. Despite all our leaps in technologies – here I was brewing my own laundry soup and trying to find ways to streamline my beauty routine like a bored housewife in the ‘20s. I knew this wasn’t a fantastically hot take, but although times were correctly being described the world over as ‘unprecedented’, there was something about them that did at times feel a little…precedented!

I was thankful however that we all had the ripe carrot of a vaccine ahead of us in the future and slept easier knowing that a fully-grown adult woman pretending to be the Black Death wasn’t going to come knocking on my door the next day or the day after that, so long as I stayed inside.

Read Day 11 of Simone’s coronavirus diary here.

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