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Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 12

Diary of a coronavirus-positive Kiwi in NYC: Day 12

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 12

Click here if you missed Day 11, or start from the beginning at Day 1.

Day 12

Sorry about yesterday, I drank some old milk.

Today was my cat Toots’ birthday. We stayed up ’til midnight and celebrated by playing her favourite game, where I twirled popular internet toy ‘da bird’ and she leapt around trying to grab it, acting nonchalant whenever she failed in order to retain her feline dignity. As she plays, Toots is extremely emotionally available and always focuses completely on the task in front of her. The further we get into quarantine the more I find myself doing the same.

Yet beneath everything, people are always tacitly gearing towards the future. My at-home laser hair removal sessions may seem inane, and they are, but they also suggest an inner belief that one day my legs will be seen again by another, and in that sense they are actually a radical act of hope. In Chris Parker’s Instagram felting sessions – mandatory viewing for all – he often speaks of his intention to put his animal creations on a large hat. In this way, Chris is implicitly preparing for a time when we will have a need for hats – whether it be for going to the shops, the beach or to an evening soiree.

No doubt we are fortunate during this time to have the ability to virtually escape our homes by way of the World Wide Web. Just today I watched a toucan trying seltzer for the first time (he liked it). During the bubonic plague all people could do was sit and pop their oozing pustulant sores, and that can only keep you engaged for so long. But the drawbacks should also be acknowledged. The Internet allows an unearned sense of familiarity between people, blurring the lines of traditional communication between friends, acquaintances or strangers. Someone you made eye contact with once on a Party Bus back in 2011 can slither into your DMs, unsolicited, to offer you advice on why they think your makeup looks chalky. There’s a reason it is called the ‘Net’ or ‘Web’: because it can trap you in a lattice of communities, some of which were perhaps better left in your past. Don’t look it up. That’s definitely why.

As we know, 10 – 15% of all people you know will at some point in their lives turn to yoga, and 5% of these people may also be affected by reiki. Since going public with my COVID status, I have been amazed how many people have reached out offering to meditate with me over Facebook’s Messenger App, despite me never hinting in any way that this is a practice I’m affiliated with. Even more so, I’ve been shocked how many of these offers I have accepted and even thoroughly enjoyed. Well: one. 

A friend offered to connect me with her boyfriend, an energy healer. Naturally, as I had a daily diary to fill out and less than nothing to do – I accepted. Over a voice call, he told me to fetch a glass of water and sit cross-legged, the drink on my right knee and my left hand open. We sat in silence for 15 minutes. I had never sat in silence in my life. It was cool! 10/10 would try again. Afterwards he asked me if I’d felt any buzzing in my open hand, to which I supposed I probably had. He then told me to drink half the water and pour the rest over myself. I was not dressed for this, why would I be? Yet before I could overthink it, I poured the glass over my head. He asked how I felt. “…Wet,” I said. We both laughed. 

He then told me to let him know how I felt the next day. I thanked him for the meditation. “Meditation?” he repeated, and then told me the buzzing I felt in my hand was actually him healing me from Bali. Unsure what to make of this and miraculously starting to feel better, I spent the rest of the day unravelling into a spiritual chaos.

As somebody raised by Larry David-level cynics who would get me prescribed antibiotics for a splinter, an experience like this is always going to be met with some reservations. And yet, I think it’s lovely that people have found practices that work for them and wish to share them with others. Somebody I don’t know, on the other side of the world, read that I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to help out. And he may have literally cured coronavirus with his mind! He also may not have and that’s okay. 

Regardless, if nothing else, it forced me to have a little bath and at times like these – that is always a win.

Read Day 13 of Simone’s coronavirus diary here.

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