A typical week living under coronavirus or COVID-19. I see it like a mathematical equation. X plus Y equals M.
X being the constant. For me these constants are things like living with HIV, recovering from depression, being a single male. Sex-less. Living in housing commission. Being over 60 years old.
Y being the variable. The things that happen in the presence of the constant. The big one of course is possibly contracting COVID-19. The NSW Government regulations that impact our lives. Social distancing. That bloody irritating fire alarm that rings in my building.
To me, M would be mental stability.
Monday – didn’t sleep well.
I keep dozing off in the morning. I wonder, how to change this pattern. Hard. Don’t want to take drugs to go to sleep. I already took my HIV pill this morning.
11am. Still can’t get out of bed. If so, what for? With social distancing in place, I struggle to find a reason to face the day.
No volunteering. No creative writing classes. No cooking classes. So, I stay in bed.
At last I get up to make coffee. The cheap old stuff. Nescafe Blend 43. I’m not into the fancy stuff. This is an echo of my upbringing in a socialist country. Coffee beans aplenty in the local market. I pour it black. No sugar. I’ve run out of condensed milk.
Going back to bed.
12.30 still can’t get up. Must eat before feeling sick. Don’t want to throw up.
1.30. Managed to get out of bed. Brushed my teeth with sea salt as doctor recommended. Old remedy. Checked to see if there’s blood in my spit. Plenty of rinsing.
I want to wake up more. Splashing cold water in my face.
Looking for something to eat. There’s only one egg left and some left-over rice. So, rice it is. Didn’t taste too bad. Maybe I was hungry.
I’m going to go back to sleep.
I know I’m oversleeping but I’m bored. So off I go, sleeping again.
Slept pretty bad, because I slept too long yesterday. So tired. Tried to sleep last night, but I couldn’t. I feel like I need some sleep before I go into ACON to pick up the takeaway food they provide. At least I’ll meet some people there.
Think about COVID-19 out on the street. I guess I’ll take some tissues. I don’t really like face masks. And I don’t really care if I catch the virus. I’ve already got one.
Maybe it’s easier for me to get COVID-19 because I’m living with HIV. Hope there’s not too many street people around on the street. Perhaps, like me, social distancing will keep them at home. How does that work for people who are homeless?
They’re just like me I guess. We’re all alone as well.
Back home after collecting the takeaway. Nothing to do but stay in bed.
I think, might as well do a bit of online gambling. I don’t really want to go there, but I’m bored. Started eating some of the takeaway food.
Not sure how other people are doing. Perhaps I have a boredom-streak in me.
No TV. No amusement. The pre-paid telly is costing me a lot. $10 for 2 GB. Gosh. Got to watch that. My data is going fast. Got to watch that, instead of watching a show.
There goes my budget. Some of that stimulus money is gonna go on my phone.
I’m feeling a bit anxious and restless. I’ve got to get it in my head to go slow.
Feel like sleeping. So I lay down. Social distancing – it’s just so so so f@%#.
Hope I don’t get addicted again. Out of control again. My psychologist will ring me tomorrow. I don’t want to go back to my past.
Might as well sleep.
Woke up again at 4am. WTF?! Can I please be normal?
Another cuppa coffee. BLEND 43. What happened to Blend 44? They all taste the same. Lucky I’m not addicted to the fancy stuff.
Got my caffeine fix. I wonder if I’m becoming bipolar or schizo, or am I just bored?
What shall I do today?
Eat I guess.
Then I’ll just sleep.
I do miss the pubs. That’s how I distract myself and with volunteering, which is not there anymore.
Trying to kill my boredom so I thought I might as well make cookies. Trouble with isolation, my thoughts spin too much. I can’t stop. What’s life all about?
Everyone’s trying to live it. I’ve gone through that in the 1980s when I caught HIV. COVID-19 is nothing new to me. Probably the people out there have never had a virus before in their lives, so now they’re in a panic.
Gotta sleep again. Another day of isolation.
I’m tired of looking at COVID-19 info. Just too much. Too many pieces of information bombarding me on the Internet.
I see politicians blaming each other. All part of getting public votes I suppose. Here I go – very negative. Gotta think positive.
Let’s go shopping.
Gotta go shopping with whatever money left. Is toilet paper really essential? Maybe I could do the French style – bidet. I’m not desperate for it.
The Internet tells me again about the regulations – remember social distancing.
WTF?!? No toilet paper?! This is getting ridiculous.
Oh well. At least I’ve got newspaper like the socialist countries.
Gotta get back in time to talk to my psychologist – can’t miss that.
Got nothing else to do, but bake some more cookies. My flour is going to run out. I know they’re going to taste bad.
In a way it’s kinda nice not having anyone around. There won’t be any friction. Then again, maybe I’d just irritate them. It’s easily done.
Trying to read this book from my book club – The Velvet Rage. I just can’t relate to this book. I think a psychologist wrote it. I think it’s just another kind of therapy that I don’t get or connect with.
Nothing to do on Friday. Again.
So just sleep.
2am wake up again. Same old, same old. That’s how it was before COVID-19 anyway.
I keep on sleeping. Maybe I’m Sleeping Beauty.
So, where’s my charming prince?
The majority of us are alone. I never knew that until I did volunteering. A lot of us are dealing with whatever addictions we have – we’re pretty much alone. The main thing is the isolation.
I’ve gotta think positive. For a positive person.
I will survive.
Published for Talkabout Online #194 – June 2020