Keiran Crying

A celebration of human emotion. An ode to crying in all its forms. Crying over Passion, Poetry, Places and Politics

Surviving Quarantine- 2020 All we’ve lost

Surviving Quarantine 2020

I am quite familiar with being afraid of invisible things. Like ghosts that never care to show their face, or maybe I’ve just not been looking hard enough. With my quilt over my head, the darkness hanging over me like a wobbling chandelier. Always afraid to look in case it crashes down on me. Those anxieties, those invisible things can’t hurt me. As much as I try and tie myself in knots with make believe strings and possibilities. 

But this new phantom is real.

Real enough to crush my chest in more ways than one. 

Real enough to shackle us to our sofas and leech away at the days and our time, as if it was never ours to manage.  

It can seem counterproductive, torturous almost, to barricade myself inside these walls, to protect my physical health, at the detriment of my mental health. Stealing the small victories I had often taken for granted.

The faces of loved ones have become blurred specks on dim screens. Hearing about their day through the crackle of a ZOOM call.  

Lockdown has been sucking away any familiarity or sense of joy from the days. 

Till everywhere I look is grayscale.  An old horror film. 

Where the killer’s shadow looms over me, but I choose not to run.

After all there is nowhere to run.

Waiting - Surviving Quarantine

At first it was quiet. Spending time indoors like I hadeveryday previously. You could almost call it novelty. Being told what to do by the government, like a character from some sci-fi thriller.

But as the weeks ticked on, as naming the days became more difficult than naming a child; I felt the walls shaking, closing in. Squishing me down into the size of a match box. 

Waiting for my time to be set loose. 

Or waiting for my head to be struck aflame with fever. My breath to become clouds of smoke, until I lay spent. All full of soot, smelling like a burning house. All because I crossed the threshold of my front door. 

Now we’re allowed out, things still feel rather alien. Strangers who I’d happily avoid previously, I now watch intently with suspicion. 

I’ve forgotten how to interact with people like a normal human. The staff at my local corner shop stare on at me in confusion, as I stand watching them scan my milk. Failing to catch the small talk, the familiar phrases that are now posed as questions. 

‘How’s family?’

They’re alive if that’s what she means. 

But I just smile. Struggling to find the words, as if I have a breeze block resting on my tongue.  

I am grateful. I know that surviving quarantine has been a mental health struggle for many. But it is important to remember how many people have already lost their lives and how lucky we are to still clutch ours to our chest.

Unprecedented times

Yet here we are, living in unprecedented times, as we all keep hearing. What that truly means I am yet to figure out.

Well, I suppose it means that we don’t know what to do, how to act. We don’t know how to proceed through life without feeling some kind of immense loss. 

COVID-19 has stolen so many lives already, but it is also into petty theft. Stealing away a long-awaited wedding day, the memories that could have been. Stealing months of education from under the noses of millions. Seemingly all for fun. 

My final months of University took place from my bedroom. I found myself foraging for scraps of research, the library and lecturers as untouchable as ever. Me, crying through the tip-tap of my keyboard. Messages of panic and exhaustion. I began to question whether it was worth it, whether after three years of pouring myself into every essay, if I’d finally let myself run dry.  

But of course, I did it, and I was so proud of what I’d achieved- completing my degree despite everything the world threw my way.

Four years ago, I questioned if I’d even make it to University. I wondered whether I’d ever exceed my expiration date. The date I’d labelled myself with years ago. The one I have outlived since then.  

But this huge achievement! Completed and it was finally time to celebrate it. I deserved it, right?


The visions of graduation caps pirouetting through the air on some day in July, soon slipped out of our fingers. The day that every student comes to expect and works towards was taken away. Postponed indefinitely.

Though my peers and I were devastated, there is also an immense guilt loitering over our disappointment. 

Understandably safety is top priority. 

When it comes to surviving quarantine, many people have lost much more than a little photo in a silly gown. But I think we have to allow ourselves a moment to grieve for the opportunities we have missed. The memories that we lost our chance to make. There is so much loss here, more than the eyes can see. But one thing I am sure of, is that we have all lost something. We are all covered in invisible bullet holes, we just have to figure out how to stop the bleeding.


4 thoughts on “Surviving Quarantine- 2020 All we’ve lost

  1. Brilliant post! So true and honest, it’s been such a difficult year and we also should be proud of getting this far. We will get used to things, it’s just a process I guess x

  2. I know how strange it was to work for University from home, as I was in the same situation, with my studies. As you said, not having a celebration is not as important as other things, but, still, it is very important, an achievement for hard work and you should feel a bit disappointed that you can’t enjoy it.

  3. This has been a challenge for so many folks because we need to face our deep, intimately personal fears, to grow through the situation. Good for you to write about it, to clear your fears. This is how to liberate yourself in any situation Keiran.

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