Getting COVID, making demands, and not washing my hair

So what’s been up with me you might ask?

Well my RA friends and I have been organizing and making demands from our school’s administration for fairer working conditions. It was never much of a secret that some of my fellow RAs and I were dissatisfied with our workload and pay, but also our treatment as a group. So, we have decided to start sticking it to the man by delivering a list of demands to our Dean of Studies and wait for the ball to be back in our court. We’ve taken to social media with our pleas and have been so fortunate as to receive the respect and approval of our peers, who support our efforts in bringing about change. Our work has been steadily improving through various escalation tactics, and we are optimistic that we can bring about change. 

It was right smack in the middle of these efforts that I had a terrible sore throat and went to my school’s health and wellness center to get tested. Drumroll… I tested positive for COVID-19, again, and strep throat, at the same time. The nurse practitioner was shocked but no one could have been more shocked than I was. 

I am vaxxed, boosted, always masked, and I’ve previously had COVID. I also haven’t been around very many people and no one I knew was sick, and yet somehow I got COVID and strep. It was sort of like an infection and a magic trick all at once. I was then moved into a shoebox in a different building that was so boiling hot that if I ever had a fever I didn’t know it. It only took a couple of hours for me to become convinced that there was a ghost in the dorm room. It was also around that time that I realized that I was definitely the only person in the building…aside from the ghost. The whole thing felt like a nice, relaxing stay at the Overlook Hotel. I was then tasked with informing everyone who I had contact with, which was beginning to feel like everyone I’d ever met. I felt like Typhoid Mary. 

I told you it was hot

I was very limited in what I could bring and it wasn’t until after I had handed over the keys to my dorm room and my student ID card that I realized that I had forgotten to bring shampoo, conditioner, or a hair brush, but cleverly remembered to bring my nail file. Whatever. There was no one to impress and no one who was going to see my bio-hazard hair. My meals were left for me at my door after I ordered them through an app so that I would have zero human contact, so in other words, I’ve been living my best life in 2022. 

My throat was so sore that I sounded like I smoked three packs a day and made Oscar the Grouch sound exuberant and upbeat. I spent my time reading, updating my resume, and writing my novel, taking advantage of having a room of one’s own since that’s what Viginia Woolf swears by. I did all of this while listening to campus tours go by during what appeared to be gorgeous days outside. I burned my leg at one point on my radiator by leaning too closely towards the window to see what was going out there. It was all part of the quarantine experience. Fortunately, my leg has since healed and my sore throat also ebbed after a stint on antibiotics. 

At least I had a pretty sweet view

There were no COVID symptoms to nurse away, just the strep that I have been susceptible to my whole life, which made me suspect that perhaps I’d scored a false positive on my COVID test. My insanity was only furthered when I learned that everyone I had contact with got tested and not a single one came back positive, leading me to believe once and for all that I did not, in fact, have COVID this time around. So if you’re keeping score, I spent five days in quarantine for an illness that I probably didn’t have and forced everybody who knew me to panic and get tested. Let me just add though, that I’m not really bitter about my having to stay in quarantine. It was a nice vacation from my life. 

A picture right before disaster struck my hair

Now I’m back in action, being able to rejoin my cause, and, more importantly, having washed my hair. 

The Tragic Queen,

Raquel

P.S.: If you want to support the Sarah Lawrence RA Alliance, follow us on social media:

Twitter: slcra_alliance

Instagram: slcra_alliance

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