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Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 11

Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 11

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 11

Click here if you missed Day 10, or start from the beginning at Day 1.

Day 11

I haven’t tasted anything in 50 years. Society as we once knew it has collapsed. Children of the world pass their days baking bread. Nobody knows how to read.

I have become one with the house. We are inseparable; one cannot exist without the other. I’m like Jennifer Lawrence in that movie Mother where the walls shake when she’s angry. Did you see that film? I saw it on an insufferable date that led to an exhausting relationship, which ended with me watching the man sail away into the ocean on Snapchat Maps.

These days I am content in my four-walled homestead and cannot conceive of a reason to leave it. I no longer require food and subsist only on concepts and memories. The Outside frightens me, and if I were to touch the front door knob it would scald my hand – though I would never touch it because that would mean I was leaving and leaving is something I do not do. Something I will never do.

What is there to miss beyond the threshold of this lodging? People flossing their teeth on the Subway? Families paying to run marathons? Friends with matching tattoos? Swiping your debit card and having it tell you to try inserting it, and then trying to insert it and having it tell you to swipe? No. We must all #stayinside where it is safe. Forever.

I cannot remember what socks are for. My shoes have become small individual homes for mice. I am their landlady and live in fear that they will call a rent strike. Every night at 7pm they join in the ‘Nightly Gratitude’. Nobody can remember why we clap, but it is the only way to mark the passing of days. Time: the greatest ‘TikTok’ of all.

I remember shops and parties and airplanes and schools. Cafes and playgrounds and hospitals and parks. I think back to childhood visits to Western Springs, where every New Zealander’s trust issues can be traced back to one troubling childhood incident with an overzealous swan. 

Once, in the Before, I dreamed of going to Central Park Zoo and releasing the animals upon the city. Now that we are all in a zoo, I see that a cage is a privilege. By the way, Joe Exotic from Tiger King is President of the United States.

Some days, as I sit in my shelter, I picture the Mona Lisa in her gallery. A shy face who for two centuries had crowds of curious strangers staring at her, trying to figure out her secret. Now she stares out at nothing, nobody. Silence. Her eyes flicker shut in peace. 

Her secret was that The Big Bang Theory was her favourite show.

Read Day 12 of Simone’s coronavirus diary here.

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