Page 12 - ActsCOVID-19_and_Me
P. 12

                However, for me, they all refer to a string of days, weeks, and months in which my movements in the outside world have been restricted. I have used them all.
At Bayleigh Chase, rules for living through COVID-19 were laid out clearly. Masks and social distancing were required. Some activities could continue if no more than ten people were assembled in the same space at the same time. Eating meals in the dining hall was discontinued, but meals could be either picked up at the dinner hour or delivered to the residence. Residents were free to move about the community and take long walks around the campus. Residents who chose to leave campus or needed to leave because
of a health emergency would be isolated in their homes for the following fourteen days.
Rules, rules, and more rules! Yet, I did not have to worry too much about remembering the rules, because on the first full day of sheltering-in-place I developed an unusual headache that I can only describe as a heavy head. It is easier to tell what a heavy head is not rather than to describe what it is. The heavy head is not a sharp or searing pain, nor is it a prolonged ache of discomfort. No fever or congestion is associated with it.
The heavy head is a baffling slowing down of everything around and about you—what you see, hear, and touch. The spoon of ice cream floats to your waiting lips. The fork falls from your hand and twirls in slow motion. The refrigerator ice maker grinds sluggishly, and the washing machine agitator moves like a snake. You reach
to turn on a light, but you cannot quite get to the switch because it recedes into the distance. It is difficult to keep up with time and the passing of the day.
I spent many hours sleeping on the sofa by day, a book sliding from my lap, and through the night undisturbed until sunrise. However, after three or four days, everything moved a bit faster each day until I felt normal again. As I reflect on this heavy-head period, I have come to believe that having a heavy head may have been my reaction to sheltering-in-place and perhaps a symptom of having a heavy heart.

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