As Christmas came around everyone, rightly so, was filled with happiness and excitement to meet with their loved ones. The streets were litten up with beautiful lights and ornaments; trips, family visits, and gifts were prepared, and people said the last ‘hasta la vista’ until January. Yet, I had to say goodbye to my dreamy vacation since testing positive with covid.

After getting back the results, the reality of a Christmas without my family hadn’t set in due to the crushing pain in my body and the uncontrollable tears that came with it. I quickly found myself thinking back of everyone who had mentioned how light their covid quarantine was and question the reason why I was in so much agony.

When you officially test positive in IE infirmary, within that same hour, they call and explain to you the process. Later on, an email is sent with helpful information (although for me, as it was the holidays, the email was sent after three days of testing positive). Said email included information on receiving supplies without leaving your house.

Quickly after, the ten days of quarantining began, and life became a monotonous routine. Personally, the effects of covid were highly prominent, not being able to sleep and feeling completely drained was an addition. I experienced loss of appetite, body ache, high fever, and many more physical symptoms. The first four days all merged into each other and by the time I noticed, covid had taken over.

After some time, loneliness became the controlling emotion, as being completely alone with no physical contact with the outside world got increasingly harder. However, I reminded myself to see (or try seeing) the best of the situation and decided that after my symptoms had lessened, it was time for me to enjoy this time. This was exactly what I did: I took the time to journal, bake Christmas cookies, even get back into my old hobbies that I was too busy to enjoy during the semester.

During my sixth day I felt like everything was getting better: the migraines and the body aches were still there, yet the sleepless nights weren’t but an old memory. I found myself craving the mental stimulation of everyday life; my home (the small bedroom I lived in) was my only reminder that life still moved on. 

The testing day felt like the finish line I was running towards. However, it sadly didn’t give me the result I was hoping for: after ten days I still tested positive. This meant one thing, that New Year’s eve would be spent by myself, in that same apartment.

As if I was prepared for the news, I quickly planned my whole night, which consisted of good food, and a bunch of great in-door activities. I made gingerbread cookies and my favorite vegetarian food for the night; I picked out some stand-up comedy specials on Netflix and laughed along to Katherine Ryan. 

Maybe it was covid, or being alone for 12 days already, but I was incredibly emotional. I decided to write a letter to each of my 6 closest friends to gift them after quarantine. These were a way of reflecting back on the year and sharing my thoughts and emotions. It was almost midnight when I finished writing and decided to do the countdown, swapping out the traditional Spanish grapes for my gingerbread cookies. I felt at peace, incredibly at peace with life and the new year that came along. That night I realized that quarantine was an opportunity, an exceptional time to enjoy being by myself.

It was on the 3rd of January that I finally tested negative. I took the time to walk around and enjoy the city, my breathing wasn’t good yet and I tired myself out very quickly. When the break finished, my friends joined me back in Segovia and as of now I have a hard time even remembering some details of those two weeks with covid.

If you are currently experiencing the loneliness and boredom that comes with having coronavirus, remember that many of us have been there and therefore are part of this common experience. While the experience does vary from person to person, it is not easy in many aspects; whether your struggle is either physical or mental, take the time to reach out to your loved ones and remember that everything is temporary.

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