Coronavirus Chronicles

Editor in Chief Claire Powell documents family’s COVID exposure throughout quarantine


Claire Powell, Editor-in-Chief

Friday, Jan. 29, 2:54 p.m.

This morning I woke up to find out that my dad might have COVID and since then I have cried about…five times. 

I have been working on the underclassmen musical since December and have taken on running crew recently and the show is in about a week. If my dad has COVID, I can’t go. I’m pissed.

I worked so hard on this show, and now it feels like a waste. People are telling me not to worry — that others will step up, but that’s part of the reason I’ve been crying — I’m replaceable. 

You see, I put in so many hours into the theatre department and part of it was for my own selfish reasons. I like to be needed. Now with everything happening, I’ve realized that anyone can just step in and take over. I know I wrote the running crew list, but so many people can do that, not just me. 

Secretly, I hope it goes terribly today and everyone wishes I was at the school right now. God, I sound like a prick. I don’t even feel bad that my dad might have COVID. I feel anxious because of my own personal reasons. That’s so messed up. I’m messed up, aren’t I?

I know I say I don’t give a shit about what people think of me, but I always like when people know I work hard. I like when people feel they can depend on me, regardless of how much they dislike me. It’s stupid, I know, but I just can’t shake it out of my head.

I know this may sound pretentious, but I wish I wasn’t always so introspective of myself. Sometimes I wish I could feel sad and not try and search for the reason why. It makes things so much worse because then the onion peels and peels and peels until I feel overwhelmed by all the new information about myself that I’ve unlocked. It’s like I have this compulsive need to psychoanalyze myself.


I don’t think my mom understands 

my frustration with this whole COVID situation. It seems like she thinks I’m overreacting. Maybe I am. I was being snappy to her so that’s probably why she isn’t as open to listening to what I’m trying to say. It’s hard to remain calm though when I have 50 things to rearrange though.

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 4:56 p.m.

So my dad does have COVID. I knew last week but I was too busy crying to write anything. I got tested on Monday, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

I thought it was going to be like the flu test and the Q-tip was going to touch my brain but it didn’t. Not to brag, but I did it all by myself. Jilian got tested later that day.

On Tuesday we got our results back. I was negative. My sister, Jilian was positive. She had been having symptoms but it was originally assumed that it was just her sinuses. 

As soon as I found out I ran out of my mom’s room and hid in my own. I didn’t want to get COVID after I just received a PDF file of my freedom. I get to go to school tomorrow.

Because Jilian is attached at the hip with my mom, she got tested too — positive. 

Then my brother, Ry got tested — positive.

So, I’ve been quarantining in my room. Ry will sometimes open my door, and I have to yell at him to get out. I feel horrible. He did nothing wrong, but I can’t get sick. 

Though I don’t have the coronavirus, my physical health has declined quite a lot. Because of the Adderall, I’ve had a terrible headache every day, and I barely eat or drink anything. I just had two bites of mac n’ cheese, my first meal of the day and I’m full.

It doesn’t help that I’m sleeping terribly, have a shit-ton of work to do and am terrified of going downstairs. I’ve lost five pounds. I feel anxious constantly.

It’s just crazy to me that my Republican f

ather is handling COVID better than the entirety of my family. He never leaves his office and the door is always closed. Anytime he goes to the bathroom or gets food, he’s wearing his mask and sanitizes EVERYTHING afterward.

I just need to go back to school. 

I’m stressed out of my mind, and I can’t focus. I did write an entire essay today though. Turned it in 10 minutes before it was due. It actually wasn’t that bad. However, I didn’t do my quiz today, and I have so much newspaper and theatre stuff to do. 

After this, I need to take a break. I feel gross. I want to cry but I don’t want to be sad right now. It’s like my brain is always on — thinking about what the next project is before I even start the first one. 

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, my mental and physical state will improve soon.

11:12 p.m.

Currently, I am laying in my bed crying while listening to “Space Song.” 

I want to eat so bad. I’m so hungry. But I feel like if I eat anything I’ll barf. My stomach is killing me. I’ve only had two meals the past three days. I feel weak and helpless. My whole body is destroying itself. I almost wonder if it’s COVID. Should I get tested again? I don’t think I’m positive. 

I texted my mom — telling her I’m stressed and that I haven’t been eating. 

All I want to do right now is hug her, but I can’t. I want to cry on her shoulder. I want her to tell me everything will be OK — hell, even just stand next to her, but, again, I can’t. 

This is what she just texted me back: “Sorry to hear that you are stressed. I guess we will need to talk about all this. Keep typing in what you want to say but choose not to tonight. I’ll leave you alone, but let me know if you want to chat or need me.”

Please let this nightmare be over. I didn’t realize I would miss my family this much. I can’t even be near Ry.

Screw COVID.

Thursday, Feb. 4, 4:14 p.m.

I took the test — positive. My entire body is killing me. I have a fever, chills, headache, and a sore throat. Even my ass is aching. 

I’m no longer a living person — I’m a zombie. 

I haven’t been able to sleep for the past two days. I tried to nap today, but my body won’t let me. I cry constantly. 

My dad feels bad. I have the worst symptoms in the household, and I have to miss all my extracurriculars. 

I think the musical will be fine without me; it just sucks that I have been working tirelessly since December on this show, and I can’t even be there for the end result. 

I texted the group chat that I won’t be available to work on the show anymore. I don’t have the energy to.

I can’t even force myself to eat or drink water for that matter. I want to throw-up so bad but all I’ve had is a hamburger at like 11:00 in the morning. 

This feels like when I got a terrible case of the flu on my 11th birthday, except instead of watching my twin sister open presents and eat cake, it’s seeing everyone hang out with their friends and party. 

Why are we still doing that? We know parties are super spreader events. We know over 400,000 people have died from the coronavirus. 

We know all of this, and yet we ignore it. I’ve literally been around no one without a mask for about a month. I’ve taken COVID so seriously, but I’m the one who gets it? 

My special needs brother, who literally depends on in-person learning, has had to quarantine twice this school year.

And I get this is “unprecedented times” and “anyone can get COVID from anywhere,” but if you’re out partying, you’re a catalyst to the problem. Stop hiding behind your phrases and show that you actually care. 

I’m tired of it. I feel like shit, and I have 13 more days to go.

Friday Feb. 19, 12:36 a.m.

In a couple of hours, I will step into BVHS for the first time since 22 days ago. When I came back to this journal, I thought I had written more. It surprised me when I realized my last entry was at the beginning of the month. 

COVID was… terrible. 

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I assumed I was going to be asymptomatic when I got the coronavirus. I genuinely didn’t realize how much it sucks to have COVID until I actually got it. I felt and feared that I was going to die. 

My body was like the equivalent of Voldemort’s little frail body in that white train scene from the last Harry Potter film — just curled up and helpless. Luckily I didn’t die, and I did start feeling better about a week or so later. I still carried the stench of illness wherever I roamed in my house, but at least I could start eating again.

I will say another thing that shocked with COVID was how hard it is to go back to a schedule. I didn’t go to my Zooms and haven’t done any of my homework. 

My excuse used to be that I literally contracted a worldwide virus, but then when I got better again, I’ve failed to get back on track. 

I officially was out of quarantine on the 14th, and I have yet to catch up on any of my work. We had a bunch of snow days and instead of trying to turn things in, I laid in my room binging The Great British Baking Show (also Rahul will forever be my all-time favorite contestant). 

I search for motivation but it feels almost impossible. The best way I could describe it is like this: having a bubble of water around you and the only way you could move is if you swam fast enough. You want to move around, but sometimes you also just want to get out of the water bubble because you can’t breathe.

I will email my teachers tomorrow and tell them what I’ve recently been experiencing. I don’t want them to think I don’t care about school; in fact, I have to care if I want to keep my scholarship. At the same time, I don’t want to just give out excuses for my actions, or I guess lack thereof. 

I wish there was a “Getting the Coronavirus for Dummies” book.

As my last days of quarantine neared, I thought about what I would do after. Would I continue to keep my inner circle of like two friends or would I try to isolate myself completely? 

Due to the deterioration of my mental health, I will keep to an inner circle, but I will try to be more careful of the coronavirus. I will continue to not attend parties and social distance when possible.

Having COVID is so surreal. I am part of a statistic that my school district, mayor, governor, president and literally almost everyone in America is watching. 

This virus has been the topic of news and current issues for nearly a year, and I actually contracted it.

COVID-19 has affected so many people in various ways and degrees. While my family and I survived this virus, almost 500,000 loved ones didn’t. 

Life is so precious, and the people around you are salient. We need to recognize how lucky we are — especially in Johnson County. 

Luckily, my dad works on a yearly wage, and we can all work from home. However there are families whose income is based on hourly wage — when they get COVID, they’re screwed. 

I really don’t think the school should have fully in-person school. It makes no sense, and there are too many students that go to parties on the weekends and then wear their masks wrong on the weekdays. I fear if we go back in March with every student in attendance, cases will rise and we will go back to virtual learning. 

If it was my birthday right now, I would blow out the candles and wish for everyone to follow the correct COVID safety guidelines…or maybe just to get rid of the coronavirus.

Both are unrealistic wishes.