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 84 (Words from a COVID Patient)

Monday June 22nd 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 9, 179, 107 

Deaths: 473, 454 

Recovered: 4, 904, 210 

I asked my COVID-19 positive friend to give me some of his thoughts. So here they are: 

“I wasn’t scared or upset for me. I was upset because I wasn’t sure if I had exposed anyone. I wanted to make sure everyone would be okay even if I wasn’t. Quarantine has given me a lot of time to self-reflect and focus on myself, so ive done that. And just worked through my feelings in general.” 

He’s been journaling, drawing, and re-watched Love, Victor three times. His chills have returned so a nurse is going to check on him. Aside from that it seems he’s getting better.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

TV – La Casa de Las Flores 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 83

Sunday June 21st 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 9, 044, 581 (I was almost one of these) 

Deaths: 470, 665 (Probably one of these too) 

Recovered: 4, 837, 952 (Friend will soon be one of these) 

It’s Father’s Day, so we had a lot of families come in to work today. A lot of hot dads oddly enough. How are they so in shape when they’re eating custard? I don’t remember that many hot moms on Mother’s Day. Anyway, I brought my dad a Butter Pecan quart the other day, but my mom and cousins ate it…so I tried ot make one for him today. It didn’t work out well, but he will like it for the pecans. I’m thinking about my grandfather today, since we don’t really celebrate any holidays and my dad doesn’t really make a big deal out of Father’s day. If it weren’t for my Papi HEctor coming to America, my mother never would have met my dad. It’s just a weird chain of events things that go through my head. He was our patriarch, and I’d say he set us up for life in America pretty well.  

I keep seeing a fat white cat in my yard when I come home at night, but I swear my neighbors only own a slim black cat. Is this some kind of sign? Is a fat white cat a sign of good luck the way black cats are bad? I could really use some luck right now, though I guess not having coronavirus is pretty lucky.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Films – The Thing (my mom said she had nightmares from the weird alien head scene. Also, Kurt Russell was such a pretty boy. Great movie. I think Kurt was the alien in the end. This is one of the few horror/sci-fi movies where the black characters live until the end. Commendable. Speaking of, I spoke with an old high school friend about touching her hair when we had first met because I was weird like that and pet people’s heads. I told her I’ve always felt bad since I learned it’s very disrespectful to touch a black woman’s hair. She told me she honestly forgot because she has to ignore microaggressions like that every day. That made me angrier at teen me because I don’t want to be one of those ignorant people she has to traverse every day. She forgave me and we talked about how cute her dog is and how healthy it is to cry. Good talk) 

Quarantine Diaries: Day 79

Wednesday June 17th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 8, 399, 485 

Deaths: 451, 257 

Recovered: 4, 414, 950 

Here’s how the testing went. 

  1. I pulled up to the health department right on time. I parked. Then I moved my car because I was in the wrong place.  
  2. I pulled into the fire lane, but it’s ok because the nurse told me to.  
  3. They swabbed my throat for 4 seconds.  
  4. They said, “bye!” 
  5. 2 hours later I was negative.  

Well there was a mix-up with my phone number because they called someone else. That person’s probably like “I got tested for rona? Good to know”. The hours between testing and results were just anxiety. Pure emotion, masked by false confidence and preparation for the worst. I had already planned what snacks I was going to take with me to quarantine hotel and what shows I’d be watching for the 10 days I was there. In a way, I guess I was disappointed. Obviously, I don’t want a possibly deadly disease that would rip my weak asthmatic lungs to shreds like Omar says his are. I just wanted to stay in a fancy hotel. Is that so wrong?! I’ve been wanting to move out and this would be a good test run despite the viral infection.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

TV – Grand Hotel (I’m trying to finish this show even though it ends on a cliffhanger with no second season. I just want to support Latin-led shows. This other one got cancelled about a Cuban baker, but I don’t like Cuban old people because one time in Miami this con artist worked with the local seniors to tow tourists and have them pay upfront instead of go to the impound. He literally put up the “No Parking” sign in front of us. It was his and the senior’s words against a bunch of Mexican tourists. Then this guy drove by and said “watch out he’s a conman!” So, if y’all ever go to Miami and find this man, do what you must) 

 

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 77

Monday June 15th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 8, 107, 698 

Deaths: 438, 580 

Recovered: 4, 187, 473 

So... funny story. My coworker texted me “What are you doing?” right as I was about to pee. Then he called me. Turns out he has been feeling sick lately and made an appointment to get tested. Symptoms weren’t severe, so it was more of a precaution thing.  

I watched a movie, walked at the park, and saw a turtle. I finished my book too. Then my friend told me he tested positive…welp.  

He took two tests. The nasal swab and the throat swab. The nasal one gives results hours later. The other, more invasive one, takes a couple days. He said the test was a little painful. He presented symptoms on Saturday morning. I worked with him yesterday, but it’s suggested to wait a few days after contact to get tested to avoid a false negative. Tomorrow there is a free testing clinic at the local high school, but I’ll be waiting until Wednesday.  

There was supposed to be a pride parade tomorrow that ended up at work, so tips were about to be amazing. We’ve closed down and made contact with the health department. We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you updated as long as I’m alive. That’s a joke mostly. I’m still in shock, but everyone’s going to come in contact eventually. Cases have been surging lately. It only makes sense that I would have to face it. I’ve had a runny nose and sore throat for a couple days too, but I just thought it was allergies plua fatigue from waking up early and eating sparsely 

Also, some kid scratched Lucas’s forehead and now he looks like Harry Potter.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Film – Buried (I started this a couple days ago but didn’t finish until today. Ryan Reynolds gets buried in a box with a snake that’s on fire all while terrorists threaten to kill him and his lover) 

TV – The Durrells in Corfu (We finally finished it. It’s about time, but there’s also some kind of follow up season about what the characters did afterwards. I have to pay for that though, and I’m not going to. I’m cheap.) 

Books – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Finally finished this too. It felt like a whole trilogy compressed into one stand alone story, but it was still an interesting expansion of the lore) 

Quarantine Diaries: 76

Sunday June 14th 2020 

Coronavirus Cases: 7, 984, 381 

Deaths: 435, 177 

Recovered: 4, 104, 372 

I worked this morning. Turns out I’m good at math so I was able to balance the register fairly easy. I then went to my aunt’s house to watch a movie that somehow lasted the rest of the afternoon and then I went home and that’s it good night. My throat was itching and I had a runny nose, but that went away around midday.  

Also, I’ve pretty much given up on love, but that’s just a random thought.  

Today’s Entertainment: 

Film – The Help (I didn’t realize how many famous women were in this movie. I recognized almost all of them. The only famous guy was Leslie Jordan who has become America’s grandpa during this quarantine. Though this film is old, the messages about race relations have got people watching it again) 

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 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