By Jade Quinn-McDonald.
On December fourth, California plates were spotted driving down the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. When the car was pulled over for its illegible licence plate, the police officer deduced that the driver was in fact breaking the two-week mandatory quarantine rule placed on international travellers upon their arrival to Canada. The Californian broke his quarantine by two days and faced a $1,000 fine. Previously I would have wondered, why not brave the last 48 hours, but now I know better than to question the actions of the isolated.
The news story got me thinking about my quarantine. Despite having submitted my last midterm in the Vancouver International Arrivals terminal, I expected to have plenty of school work to do. Yet, as days passed in a homogeneous haze, I fell behind in my studies. When the light of day no longer brings with it the opportunity to leave the room you’ve slept in, motivation — and meaning — are nowhere to be found. A nine hour time change gave me an excuse not to attend live classes as I cut myself off from any peers who may be able to me answer for my studies. The disorientation of travel occupied me for the first day or so. The first week was bearable. When day eight came around, I began to waver. My mental health plummeted and Menton slowly vanished from my thoughts. I lost the will that had pushed me to leave Canada this fall. I missed over 20 classes and had no intention of watching the recordings. Over the next week, I decided to drop out. Then I decided to get a masters in environmental policy. Then I decided to drop out again. The workload was overwhelming. The hole I had dug was too deep. I was drowning. Healthline.com claims that an adult drowns in four to six minutes. I would like to contest that claim. It took me 12 days to drown. I guess someone pulled me up out of the depths of my academic induced depression because, when I came to, I could hold myself accountable for my studies. My revitalization could not have come at a better time, final exams looming.
Although I cannot find where my will to try originated, I am grateful it came along when it did. The readjustment after quarantine was a walk in the park compared to the discomfort I experienced over those two weeks of November. I sympathize with the Californian. Two weeks alone would drive the best of us up the wall. I could not imagine doing it over again… I can’t wait for summer break.