Quarantine Diaries: Day 90

Sunday June 28th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 10, 243, 858 

Deaths: 504, 410 

Recovered: 5, 553, 495 

I never realized how uncomfortable I am around cops until today. I was driving home from my aunt’s house and my mom was driving in her car right next to me. I noticed a Sheriff in my rearview and my body tensed up. You might say that’s because I want to be obeying the law, but I think it’s because as a child of immigrants the police have always been this enigmatic all-powerful entity. They can either hurt or protect you, depending on who you are and what you’ve done. Now we’re releasing that sometimes there is no grey area. It is literally black and white. A black woman was burned alive. Trans women gunned down. Black men hanged from trees in public parks. Nothing is being done. Breonna Taylor’s killers are still loose. She did nothing wrong. She was in her own home, and she was still murdered.  

Later three police cars from Laurel Park, an affluent community about 15 minutes away pulled into our empty parking lot after closing and started talking to this homeless man. It’s second nature now to start recording with our phones. We turned down the R&B we were blasting and eyed the police through the windows. Then another car. And another. Five cars for one man, and not one officer knocked on the building with five teens and young adults alone to tell us what was happening. Finally, when it was time to leave. We were kind of frightened. I imagined a shootout would begin or I would be told to get on the ground. I’d obey, but what’s to stop them from killing me anyway? Our resident white boy asked if we could leave and they said there was an incident at the local McDonalds and they were getting eyewitness testimony. A female officer asked my coworker, an Asian woman, if we had been scared by the ruckus. She said yes. We left in a big huddle, while one lone Sheriff sat in his car before pulling out of our parking lot. Our white boy said, “they’re just cops.” But we just looked at each other, because it’s not always that simple. 

Today’s Entertainment: 

We bought tiny chairs for kids to sit in at work. It’s so cute.  

Quarantine Diaries: Day 87

Thursday June 25th 2020

Coronavirus Cases: 9, 698, 301

Deaths: 490, 916

Recovered: 5, 250, 698

I was so bored today that I downloaded almost all of the dating apps with the exclusion of more niche ones like FarmersOnly and ChristianMingle. Everyone’s lonely these days, but we can’t be going out to bars and coffeeshops, so we resort to online dating. It’s the future. Though I still believe these apps are pure vanity. The more open-ended ones I downloaded include:

Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagle, Match, and eHarmony

Some of them were so damn confusing and all of them gave you a limited number of profiles per day. Who is supposed to find love like this? I’m not going to pay money to promote my profile and get more swipes per day. Isn’t that just technological prostitution? I will say that Tinder has the easiest user interface, so good for you, Tinder. Second place goes to Bumble. There’s a new one called S’More  that doesn’t show you the person’s face so you can get to know them through their interests and conversation first. As you get to know them, their profile picure becomes clearer. I hacked the system pretty easily though. I give that third place just on the premise alone, though as expected the people on there were not that pretty. Kidding! And all of the rest of the apps are equally awful and I will be deleting them ASAP. Will be trying Grindr and JDate next. Though I hear both of those are just places for exchanging nudes and hooking up.

Also, at the park today I saw a girl I had a crush on in middle school and it was very uncomfortable so I kept moving. That was the fastest I’ve ever walked. God’s pranking me. I think she’s married now, though. All the cheerleaders became nurses and married boys who not once made honor roll and are now openly racist.

Today’s Entertainment:

Film – Color Out of Space (Nicholas Cage makes weird movies now and I like it)

Quarantine Diaries: Day 86

Wednesday June 24th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 9, 520, 199 

Deaths: 483, 959 

Recovered: 5, 169, 270 

I’ve had a runny nose all day. I took a non-drowsy allergy tablet, but my nostrils poured snot like a faucet. We visited my aunt and cousin. My grandma started roasting us as she does and then zoomed away in her new car with her Mexican music blasting. There was this cute young guy walking by on the phone and my aunt had no idea who he was, but she was trying to convince my cousin to date him. That’s what Mexicans do. They see someone around your age, you better ask them out. “I want grandkids”. She said, “ew no”. They discussed going to Charlotte over this July 4th weekend, but I have to work. I don’t really get days off. Being an essential worker is a gift and a curse, but at least my pay is getting closer to normal.  

It was announced today that the NC Phase 2 is being extended three weeks, and masks will be required. I can’t wait to see people protesting that while they walk around without washing their hands. Some will say “Jesus will protect me”. Do you say that when you’re driving without a seatbelt?  

I heard the story about Elijah McClain who was killed on August 24th 2019 by police as he was walking home wearing a ski mask because he was anemic. He tried pleading with them telling them he doesn’t eat meat and he would never hurt a fly. He was 23. He would play the violin for cats in his free time. They injected him with ketamine to calm him while they held him down. He choked on his own vomit and suffered two heart attacks. He was brain dead 6 days later. The body cameras “fell” and one officer is heard saying to move the camera. The cause of death was undetermined. It makes me sick to read that and I hope we as Americans don’t stop until police involved in murderers like these are held accountable. WE need polcie for the police. That’s why “defund the police” is trending lately. The idea is that the police force will be replaced by counselors, community services, and youth programs to prevent the need for policing in the first place.  

Confederate statues are being taken down around America. The Vance Monument in Asheville is being protected by men with assault rifles. Meanwhile, a “defund the police” street mural has been changed to “fund the police”. Imagine if you were Jewish and someone defended a Nazi statue. Then again, it’s hard for people to put themselves in another’s shoes.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Film – The Lobster (a world in which you get turned into an animal if you don’t fall in love. It’s insane and the dialogue feels like a middle school play) 

 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 80

Thursday June 18th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 8, 576, 707 

Deaths: 456, 262 

Recovered: 4, 513, 309 

I did nothing today except watch TV, finish a movie, and apply to a writing program. That took all day because there were so many questions and I had to revise the script I was sending. A lot of formatting issues. I hate technology I swear…. he said as he types on a laptop with his phone right in front of him and his tv directly ahead all lit by the lamp on the desk. So far all of my coworkers are coming out negative. The positive one is just quarantining at home because they couldn’t get him a hotel room. So, if I had it, I would just be dying alone in my room. So, nothing would be different except I’d be in physical pain as well as emotional.  

I was all in my feels today. Talking about “I’ll never find love” and “I’m ugly” but then I realized I’m a gift to this planet and I’m not going to settle. When someone comes, I’ll embrace it. I’m not going to kill myself searching far and wide across the internet for anyone who shows the slightest interest in me. Maybe that sounds conceited, but that’s just because caring for yourself has become taboo. Everyone is more concerned with looks than lasting relationships. Dating apps are literally based on looks alone. All it takes is someone to pique your interest, but most of the people you match with only want sex or can’t hold a conversation. It’s exhausting. All I will say is, care for yourself. You can’t love anyone until you love you. Sounds stupid, but it’s true. No one, not even your perfect half, will make you whole if your piece is already broken.  

That’s why I’m a psychologist. OK, not technically. I can legally call myself a counselor because they don’t need always need licensure. Wink. 😉 Hire me.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Film – Onward (the newest Pixar movie about two brothers who travel around a modern magic world with their dad’s legs. Someone posted a porn drawing of it so now I’ll never see it as the heartwarming film it was) 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 78

Tuesday June 16th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 8, 251, 064 

Deaths: 445, 185 

Recovered: 4, 299, 206 

All my coworkers found out today. Our boss sent an email. I went to sleep with the help of some night cold medicine, but woke up at 1 AM to messages from everyone trying to figure it out. Patient Zero let them know he was the positive, but no one was angry. In fact, everyone seemed very mature about it despite their age. They all went to a free testing clinic at the high school, which should provide results within 2-3 days. I on the other hand am waiting for my appointment tomorrow at the health department. The tests are faster and more accurate, so I thought I’d just wait and prevent possible spreading by going to the free one today. Some also went to a minute clinic at CVS pharmacy.  

It’s all so confusing. It happened so fast. It just felt like allergies and then boom! We’re trying to track it back. Zero let me know a few days ago that his friend works at a nursing home where there was a breakout. He hung out with her Thursday, two days before he began presenting symptoms, but she didn’t even present symptoms either at the time. Now they are both going to be staying at a fancy hotel in the middle of town.  

I just stayed in bed today, as if I was home sick with the flu or something. I went out to let the rain mist on my face, but I didn’t want to put anyone else in danger. Everyone seems healthy so far, but it would be a weird coincidence for me to get sick the same day as him and it not be related. He’s almost positive it was contracted at work despite our strict regulations. Most of our customers don’t wear masks and don’t know how to respect personal space through our little window. I blame them. 

I haven’t been feeling anything all day. I take preventative Dayquil to make sure I don’t feel sick, but they’re wearing off as I write this. It’s been around 12 hours so they lasted pretty long. I’m going to take some cold meds soon and sleep as much as I can before my appointment at 10 AM. Sleep. Water. Time. Those heal everything. Toss some prayer in there as well.  I’m not going to lie; I’m feeling scared about everything. I have to be brave for everyone though, as to not spread panic. Deep down, I’m worried that my asthma will put me at more risk. I’ll let you know how my test goes. 

Today’s Entertainment: 

Film – But I’m A Cheerleader (a lesbian coming of age film starring Natasha Lyonne form the 90’s. It was ahead of its time and Natasha was hilarious. RuPaul was also in it for some reason. Almost didn’t recognize him) 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 75

Saturday June 13th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 7, 860, 730 

Deaths: 432, 200 

Recovered: 4, 035, 787 

I woke up at 5 AM to the baby crying. It’s fine because I had to wake up early. I worked from 9-11 AM, went home to eat, walked at the park, then went back to work from 4-10 PM. Nothing special. My mom took the baby to a lake with my cousins. People always do fun things without me. It’s like when my parents went to New York and didn’t invite me. They were going for a church trip to Jehovah’s Witness mecca, Bethel, to learn about the magazine production but still it would be nice to be invited. Or when my mom went to eat at Red Lobster with her work friends because they had a buffet and she brought me back a bag of shrimp she snuck out. It was my birthday.  

This video is trending of a white woman telling a brown woman to go back to her country. The white woman grabs her, so she smacks the hell out of her. It was magnificent. Especially because this woman is allegedly Native American or Latina, so technically the US is “her country” and always has been. Speaking of Native Americans, a Seattle Native American health center requested COVID-19 supplies and was sent body bags instead. I sure hope this was some horrendous mix-up, but I wouldn’t be surprised with how things are going here.  

Black trans women are under attack amid BLM protests. 2 were murdered. Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique Fells in Pennsylvania. The “president” has revoked rights to LGBT people by allowing them to be denied healthcare. During Pride month. That’s just America in 2020 for you.  

A black man was found hanging from a park tree in Palmdale California. His name was Robert Fuller. It’s been called a suicide, but his family and everyone knowing what’s happening right now can smell something fishy. His sister says they’ve been hearing conflicting reports. I don’t think this is any different from what’s been happening. Black people are under attack in this country. LGBT people ar under attack. Minorities are being attacked. If you are not a wealthy white man, you aren’t this country’s priority 

It’s been a sad day and I can’t say anything in my personal life has made me feel better.  

PS: Nickelodeon posted a Happy Pride tweet with a trio of gay characters, including Spongebob. So apparently Spongebob is officially part of the LGBT community, though they didn’t say as what. I think he’s asexual. Though do sponges have sexual desires? They must if his parents had him. Even then? They didn’t have sex because sponges reproduce asexually. But one scene showed a fetus Spongebob in his mother’s belly. Why am I looking so deep into a cartoon? An iconic cartoon, but still.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Books – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (the actual Hunger Games part of this Hunger Games prequel is very quick and vague. Would have liked more) 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 71

Monday June 9th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 7, 311, 516 

Deaths: 413, 000 

Recovered: 3, 594, 733 

Bored and lonely today. I walked and listened to the new Hunger Games book. I submitted a query letter to a small independent publisher who contacted me about possibly representing my book. They’ve been very nice so far, but if they try to steal my intellectual property, I have the proof here. That’s a big fear of mine obviously. 

 Work tomorrow…yay. Actually, I’m very thankful to have a job. 

1) for the financial support many don’t have right now.  

2) for something to do so I don’t go insane.  

3) to see my friends and get paid for it.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

TV – Supergirl (I’m trying to finish the fourth season. It’s been a struggle. I’m just not feeling the show anymore. The actors give it their all, but sometimes it just feels very novice. The special effects look like they were made in Minecraft and the stories feel repetitive. I appreciate the intent for a “immigrant rights” storyline, but it’s hard to take seriously when the face of it is a blonde and blue-eyed white girl. One who I have a crush on, but still. I always thought the idea of Superman would be great for telling a story about immigration, and using an actor of color would allow for so much more opportunity. Let’s be real, no one is telling Melissa Benoist or Henry Cavill to “go back to their country/planet”, even though Henry Cavill is British. He’s a hot white guy though, and no one wants to send those away. There was an animated film called “Gods and Monsters” in which Superman was raised Mexican, and I’d love to see that in live action. Also, Batman is a vampire in that story) 

Film – I’m No Longer Here (a movie about a Mexican kid who likes Cumbia music and moves to New York after his gang is murdered. All the magic of Roma with a 2000’s twist) 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 69…don’t say anything

Sunday June 7th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 7, 086, 008 

Deaths: 406, 107 

Recovered: 3, 459, 972 

Today was hot as the devil’s butthole or whatever Southern people say. I walked at the park for a hour and I was already dripping with sweat. I mean, that happens anyway, but I couldn’t get the sweat to stop. At work, it was 81 degrees inside! The AC didn’t cool the place because we needed our side door and take out window open. It was bloody busy all day long. We never got a break. A real one anyway. There’s this new girl at work who is not really making that great of an impression on everyone, but I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt. I took a long time to get good at scooping custard as easy as it sounds. I was terrified of that little scooper.  

Meanwhile, I got my uncle to send me his DNA ancestry test, so I could copare it to mine. That way, I can see which percentages come from my matrilineal side and which come from my dad’s.  

I have primarily: 

Native Mexican (Northern Mexico), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, and Malian. 

Mom’s side specifically: 

Basque, Sardinian, European Jewish, Middle Eastern, Northern African  

Dad’s side specifically: Senegalese, Native American, English, Irish/Scottish, Greek/ Balkan, Southern Bantu, Cameroonian, or Congolese 

I love learning about my history, but there’s not much past my grandparents in terms of records. My mom says record-keeping was never a priority in those small villages my grandparents come from. We just know that my mom’s grandfather might have been from France and had blue eyes. Colored eyes are always a rarity in Latin cultures, so it’s very special when it happens. My dad has green eyes and mine are a dark hazel. I love how widespread my genetic makeup is. Imagine being white and just seeing “100 English”. Boring! No offence British people, but I can say that now because I have some percentage of you inside of me…. worded that weird. Don’t worry I’m not going to go around claiming any of these cultures as my own. It’s just fun to know that my ancestors really got around. Maybe that’s where my sister got the traveling bug. I want to go on one of those shows where they find out about your ancestors like when America Ferrera found out her ancestor was a Honduran general and white celebrities find out their ancestors were slave owners or witches in Salem. It also makes me think about reincarnation. What if I had a pirate ancestor who reincarnated as me? He/she is probably so disappointed in how the mighty have fallen.  

Also, I saw this video where they showed racist people their ethnic composition. All of them discovered they were part Mexican or black. It was hilarious to see their faces drop.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Thinking about those racists’ faces dropping 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 68

Saturday June 6th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 6, 974, 721 

Deaths: 402, 094 

Recovered: 3, 411, 281 

Good news. The protest went well. No one died. Great turnout. No riots. Amazing. My cousin went with a cute handmade sign that said “My Afro Latino kids’ lives matter”. I took a picture with the girls holding the sign. Freaking adorable. Also, the friend that gave my friend intel about the lethal force command was contacted by the police and questioned on how she knew that information. What the hell? Meanwhile the firemen and EMT medics come by Whit’s all the time to get custard. Very wholesome. We found a picture of my sister standing with a BLM protester back in 2018 in Asheville in front of this huge statue commemorating a slave owner. It’s so amazing to see that single woman be constantly committed to her cause, even when no one else was. I hope she’s been to the Asheville ones lately to see how many people are supporting her now. Her name was Dolores. Very nice woman.  

Now on to something completely unrelated and immensely less important. It suddenly dawned on me that people I know in my real life might be reading this live as I post it, because although it might be a history book for you. I’m posting it on a virtual blogging site. My old boss told me he read it. Hi David and Suzy! They said it was really funny. Also, Suzy’s high school friend is Cynthia Erivo’s talent manager and previously managed Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne. Hook me up! I need someone to get me to the top. I’m tired of slumming it with these peasants. JK…. 

But seriously. If you are only reading this because you’re hoping to find some juicy information about myself or hope to see yourself mentioned, you are sorely mistaken. I have a separate and secret blog where I talk shit about everyone who has wronged me. *Evil laugh* I am a writer. I enjoy putting my thoughts on paper. And I have a lot of them. Otherwise I just end up talking to myself and I refuse to go back to therapy. That’s sort of a joke. Mental illness is ok. Anyway, some of you have fake Instagram accounts or” finstas” where you cry to no one at all because no one is going to watch all 50 minutes of your stories, and some of you create playlists with songs you know will make you cry because you want to feel that catharsis. That’s the same with what I’m doing. I post it publicy because I need that accountability. I’m so obsessive that I haven’t missed a day of posting once since the NC quarantine began. One day when I’m old and grey if the world hasn’t fully ended, I will enjoy looking back on this. If I had the journals I made stories in when I was elementary school, you bet your ass I’d love to read them. I’d reboot the stories into full fleshed novels too. Maybe it’s nerdy to people, but I’ve never tried to be cool and I regret the times I did. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to be different. I don’t do the same things other people my age do, and I’m glad for that. YOLO as Drake said, and I want to make that life unique.  

So, if you are interested in life during a pandemic and social movement, continue reading. If you are reading to be a chismosa (gossip), then get a life.  😉 

With all sincerity, Oscar.  

Ew since when did I start having a signoff at the end of these things.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Watching baby Mias eat mashed potatoes 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 67

Friday June 5th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 6, 844, 797 

Deaths: 398, 146 

Recovered: 3, 348, 860 

I worked all day again. Nothing interesting happened except a storm swept through and nearly destroyed our tent. The rainwater collected on the tarp and my coworker tried to remove it. It fell on her, like a pregnant woman’s water breaking. That’s fun, but this same worker told us about her experience at the Asheville protest. Very vocal about what she believes in. Which is fine. I don’t mind hearing people’s political opinions. I just don’t think politics should be used as an excuse to be prejudiced to a group of people. Muslims. Immigrants. Homosexuals. Debate separation of church and state, not basic civil rights. America gives me a headache.  

This coworker even had Black Lives Matter on her car in paint, but the storm washed it off. If that’s not poetic, I don’t know what is. She insists the protesters were peaceful. All they did was march and chant, with armed police following them. The protesters kneeled at the National Guard, and a black man put his arms behind his back reminiscent of George Floyd in his final moments. The police through tear gas cannisters at the peaceful crowd. Because of the curfew, anyone caught out after 8 would be arrested on sight. My friend had a phone number scrawled on her arm. I asked what it was. She replied “a bail bondsman. In case I got arrested.” She showed me video of her marching, wearing goggles on her head for when the tear gas was deployed. She ran for her life, and didn’t get too burned. Though she said it smelled like chemicals all through downtown, so they must have gone off in multiple locations. There were policemen on rooftops with binoculars and cameras, trying to identify the protesters and keep track of them. (Which reminds me, I saw a drone in the air as I was leaving work today. No operator was in sight. Just seemed out of place) 

Fake bricks were laid out as a trap, hoping someone would pick them up and get violent. The same is happening in Hendersonville. Our protest is tomorrow. I probably won’t go, because I only have a few ours free on the weekend and I want to spend them with my family. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m made for the frontlines either. I’m not the type that enjoys going to parades or marches or anything like that. I prefer working behind the scenes. Then again, I’ve never experienced something this big. No one has. There is momentum. If it’s true that the local police have been authorized to use lethal force, I don’t want to know what these officers are capable of. My mom will kill me if I die. This town has already been a safe haven for bigots. I have a bad feeling about it. I hope I’m wrong. Today was Breonna Taylor’s birthday. She would have been 27.  

PS: There’s a cat yowling outside, and it sounds like a baby crying. I hate it so much. My dad just told me it’s probably mating with another cat…I hate it even more. They need to get a room. 

Today’s Entertainment: 

TV – The Challenge and What We Do in the Shadows