The Sentry: Volume 06, Issue 14

B E S T P L A C E T O G E T C O V I D - 1 9 WHERE TO GO TO GET COVID Satire by Jeremiah Blackman ET CETERA



A pandemic provides more opportunities to contract illness than an anti-vaxer playdate, and yet decisions still must be made on the best way to go about getting infected. Should one hang within spitting distance of restaurants, bars, or gyms? Will a mask stop airborne virus droplets from getting in your mouth, or will it catch them like a fly in a spider’s web? Will infrequent hand-washing really increase chances of getting COVID, or will it instead increase falling ill to something else? Everyone will get COVID-19 at some point, better to get it over with and emerge out the other side with a sense of invincibility, like Iron Man with armor made of antibodies. The question still remains: is there a bullet-proof way to get infected? Simply, no, there’s not. But there are ways to increase the odds of infec- tion, and the good news is these strategies don’t take much effort at all. The probability of contracting COVID increases based on the amount of people gathered in one

A s Denver nears a new lock- down, I think back to the first one and how that went for me. I started with playing Animal Crossing , doing drawing for fun, watching copious amounts of Netflix, and that was the majori- ty of my lockdown experience. My job was closed for two weeks and then reopened, my dad moved houses during that time. It was a wild time. I really was just trying to find something that would keep me sane during that time. It ended up being a lot of school work, trying to figure out how to manage do- ing a thesis course during a lock- down, and all of that fun stuff. So over time I drew a lot. I stayed up until 3 a.m., slept in until noon, went to work after it opened up again and all was well and good. There were people that were get- ting sick, dorms were shutting down. But the dorm that I was in didn’t shut down. People moved of their own volition. I researched the different types of things that I could do to make food from a mi- crowave, a toaster, a coffee maker, and a fridge. I ended up decorat- ing the walls of my dorm with a bunch of art and other things to look at just to have something more homely about it. I bought fake plants for a photography as- signment and now they sit on top of my air conditioner unit. I think the weirdest thing about it was that I got a girlfriend during quarantine and it started out as just somebody to hang out with; and we quickly fell in love. She definitely has kept me sane through that middle time of the summer where I didn’t have any school. Now we’ve been dating for seven months and everyday is amazing. It was uncommon, there were people who were “set- tling down” if that is the phrase it could be called. People found their quarantine buddy, and I fell into that category as well. Managing Adulting Lockdown (In)sanity

Photo: Tael ar Pol lman · The Sent ry


place in close proximity to one another, and so there’s no better place to be than an anti-mask rally, of which there are plenty. The theme of the rally doesn’t have to be anti-mask, but rather the behavior does. Hang around one of these long enough, full of people with colorful signs and loud, spittle-coated chants, and chances are very good for a positive COVID result. Can’t find an anti-mask rally or the drive too far?

Consider a masked rally or protest. The downside with these events is more people are masked, but within frenzy they stir up, as many as three out of four people can be found either without a mask or improperly wearing one. These odds combined with the amount of yelling, shouting, chanting, and general noise-making create an almost ideal place to contract COVID. If either the anti-mask ral- lies or masked protests don’t work,

that means that one has prob- ably already had COVID and didn’t know it. In that case, stride into the world with confidence, and wait for everyone else to get on with it already.

T H E H UMA N C O N D I T I O N , Q U A R A N T I N E E D .


T he presumption and illu- sion of control over people’s lives reign strongest when life is going well. The less there is challenging decisions and actions, the less likely the mind is to feel imprisoned by its surroundings. But when suddenly that incarcera- tion becomes quite literal, confined to only being at home, eventually, what even deep introverts consid- ered heaven became an incubus of antsy irresolution—with practically no place to put it. The mind was given a new challenge. One in four older adults have experienced anxiety or depression amidst the pandemic, and TheWash- ington Post shared a study saying, “A

Photo cour tesy of BBC. com


federal emergency hotline for peo- ple in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year.” Whether it be job loss, the worry of eviction, or a fear of the virus itself, everyone was put into their own spirals of anxiety and powerlessness. Powerlessness—at the root of it all—the unchangeable motions deconstructing our social, eco- nomic, and mortal lives now inescapably a part of reality. But if there’s one thing humans love to do, it’s to try and escape reality. For the

lucky households across the world in no immediate financial danger, attempts of self-subterfuge came in a variety of flavors—often alcoholic and paired with a new TV show. But for those less fortunate… well, often the same… only accompanied by a few hundred failed phone calls to the Unemployment service-line. But locked down for weeks, the quarantine began to put the 21st-century edition of the human condition under a light, exposing an entirely different pandemic infect- ing the world. There is a pace of life plaguing

us, an abundance of expectations, materials, and distractions coming at a relentless speed. How many people can sit with problems, fears, and sufferings without look- ing for the next diversion? But in quarantine, as these distractions grew depleted and redundant, the option faded away. And whether the findings were dark, inspiring, or both (as they often can be), the 2020 lockdown taught and for many people—introduced how to actually be alone.

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