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Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 2

Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 2

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 2

If you missed Day 1, read it here.

Day 2:

I woke up with a thunderclap headache and took an Advil. I sniffed a used sock –it smelled suspiciously unfooty. Another day of ‘can’t smell’ life.

The buzzer went off – someone was here to see me! A suitor? Papa? It turned out, as things so often do, to be an Amazon delivery guy. My new headphones had arrived. They looked like a headband but had little internal speakers built into them, designed for watching things while lying down without the indignity of a headphone penetrating one’s ear drum. I set them charging and anxiously awaited their first use. These could change everything.

I watched an Instagram Live of an alt New York comedian cutting her boyfriend’s hair with fabric scissors. It ended in chaos as she cut a section way too short near the front, dooming the rest of the haircut to a buzz cut. I went on Twitter and cried while reading a poem. I hate poetry. 

I tried ringing my boyfriend who lives in New Zealand. That’s right, I’m in a long distance relationship because I’m addicted to being lonely. With every ring I began to suspect he was asleep: a cutting personal attack. Perhaps it was because it was 3am there. Well in my world, it was time for work. This incidentally was the reason I didn’t return home. I’d have to get on daily calls at dawn like some kind of nocturnal freak; like the bat who invented coronavirus himself, who I for one want as little in common with as possible. Cancel him! Cancel that bat.

I broke the news of my condition to my coworkers. My boss said not to take any ibuprofen as they’d been rumoured to worsen symptoms of the virus. I checked the bottle of pills I’d been taking: they were ibuprofen. Live, laugh, love. 

Interestingly I began to discover my complete loss of taste did not stop me taking a great deal of time to fastidiously prepare each meal, salting and seasoning and exquisitely plating it – even though everything tasted like hot plastic. Now instead of enjoying the flavours of my food I simply had to settle for the joy of thinking ‘I bet this is yum’ as I chewed mouthful after mouthful of flavourless sustenance so I didn’t die.

That night, as I put on my new headphones and connected my phone by Bluetooth, a disembodied robot woman inside them said ‘Power On’. I was completely floored. Was this a statement about her battery status, or a choice word of encouragement towards me? My headphones were telling me to power on. Kia kaha, she said, in her own computerised way. My headphones and I were now in a de facto relationship. We could get through anything together. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone. 

I watched hours of ASMR: those weird internet videos where people tap on things and whisper to you, until I fell into a restful slumber – my cat purring next to me. She knew nothing of the quarantine and was just happy to have her only friend home with her all the time.

Read Day 3 of Simone’s coronavirus diary here.

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