DISPATCHES: My Life Under Quarantine


EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve asked Phawker contributors to send in dispatches describing their lives under quarantine. Our first one is from our intern, who, like all of our interns, is a student at Temple.

Rachel Teson copyBY RACHEL TESON It started with cleaning. I went into work where I am a hostess, and they gave me a red bucket and gloves. Since the restaurant is a high volume one by City Hall, our bosses wanted to try to combat the spread by cleaning as much as possible. I had to wipe down the revolving door and the hostess stand every half hour, and had to clean and disinfect both bathrooms every hour. All of this was told to me after being called out two days in a row due to low volume of customers. By the next week the restaurant closed.

I also work at Temple’s Library. There wasn’t much we could do there besides avoid contact with each other. They shut down last week. I’ve filed for unemployment, but to be completely honest, I have no idea if I’ll get it, how long it’ll take, how much I’ll get, etc. So I’m really hoping this quarantine doesn’t outlast my savings account.

All of my classes are online now, including my scuba diving class (do not ask me how that is going to work because my professor still has not found an answer). I was supposed to graduate in May but all commencement ceremonies were just cancelled a few days ago.

Day 2 started out with a puzzle. My living room does not have windows so it can be very disorientating during the day with no sunlight — needless to say this quarantine has been hitting us pretty hard. My roommates completed the puzzle over the course of three days, in between sporadic naps, unhealthy eating patterns, and an absurd amount of binging. Seven apartments a couple blocks down got broken into because the majority of the students went back home. We’ve been double checking all locks.

Day 5 I got so bored I deep cleaned the living room and my own room. I was hoping it would kill a couple hours. It took less than one. One thing that has been hitting me hard is the lack of alcohol accessibility. Before we went on quarantine, my roommates and I stocked up on Bud Light and Teakegs because we couldn’t find any open liquor stores. The wine-y in me has not had a glass of any white wine in over a week and it’s really hurting my soul.

On the good news front, Honey, my six year old pitbull, is living her best life. Cuddles all the time, more walks because her mom can’t stand being in her windowless living room, not to mention all the roommates being around more to give her food she does not need. I’ve gotten my roommates, and their boyfriends, to watch Gilmore Girls — there is a lot of debate about whether or not Jess deserves all the hate he gets. One of the BFs is a cook at the Union League, so starved from lack of creating hundred dollar salads, he made homemade tortellinis with a sweet potato filling sauteed in brussels sprouts and onions. Healthiest thing I had eaten in days.

I’m trying to get myself to stick to a schedule so I do not get depressed and gain weight. Some days are better than others, but my regularity is getting better as the quarantine goes on. I’m doing some yoga (I took a class last semester), taking Honey for more walks, and actually reading the books I should have been reading for my classes.

I don’t know how long this quarantine will last, but what I do is that I’ve been yelling “SOCIAL DISTANCING” out my window to the people who just can’t seem to take the hint. As it goes with most storms, it is most likely going to get worse before it gets better, but it definitely won’t get any better soon if people are still going on Spring Break and having “darties” (day-parties) on campus. Which they are. I honestly don’t know how long we’ll last if/when the WIFI goes away.