This is the 7th day I spend at the quarantine facility. I asked the medical staff who came to visit the room and measured the oxygen saturation level and it seems that people usually get tested in the morning. The first step to going home is getting retested, so I was looking forward to that today. I don’t know how it works, but I suspect those who will get tested will be informed and gathered in a focused space downstairs? Of course, it’s only a guess, and they may as well go room by room, which means it simply is not my turn yet. I am kinda frustrated at this point because the medical staff mentioned that it usually takes 8 days before I can get re-tested. This means that I may have to be here for at least another 3 days, taking into account the 2 days it takes for the result to get back.
At 10 AM, the medical staff finally come and get me retested. So it means that they go door to door to collect samples instead of gathering everyone up downstairs. It’s lucky that I considered such a possibility and didn’t get overly frustrated. This is considered a win of the week since it means that I am getting closer to going home. Of course, there’s always the possibility that my covid situation is still contagious, but it’s very unlikely. The reason is that I know I’m fully recovered, empirically speaking. For comparison, every breath I took last week was difficult and I could not really yawn at all because it hurt so badly. Now, I can breathe deeply and can yawn without any trouble. I don’t exhibit any symptoms of Covid anymore, so unless the lab makes a mistake, or that there’s a procedure that involves multiple tests, I’m almost guaranteed to go home in the next few days. From listening to an old lady who went home on my second day, I know that they will call your phone to inform that you’re ready to go home, so I know what to expect.
Thinking about risks
To be completely honest, my biggest worry right now is the lab messing up the results. I do not want to be here for another week just because of someone else’s mistakes. I do however realize that’s a rather pessimistic way to look at things. [[People tend to overestimate risks and underestimate opportunities]], but this is a situation where there’s hardly any opportunity to be gained, so it makes sense to think about the risks first. If someone says that I should take this opportunity to re-evaluate my life or read new books, I’d smack that person in the head so badly that they will go right back into their moms’ wombs. But anyway, I’ll try to not be obsessed about that possibility, but I’m sure that thinking about it ahead of time would definitely reduce my frustrations if it were to actually happen. Not that I wish it that it would.
A crisis at work contained
Another good news is that one of the crises yesterday has been contained. After checking the extension this morning, I realize that the latest version is still in draft, which means it’s not published yet. I went ahead and published it, and several minutes later the long-time user emailed me to say that she could successfully load the test suites and the situation is resolved. One crisis contained, yay!
A nice doctor
For several days a woman has been calling me to check up on my health. She’s part of the program called “Companion Doctors” which is supposed to provide emotional and medical support to Covid patients. It seems that she’s tasked with aiding me in my recovery. She has a soothing voice and a nice demeanor that you’d expect from a doctor. The conversations with her were very pleasant.
A good friend
Today I also talked with a friend who checked in on me. I very much enjoyed our conversation, partly because I got to rant about many things, partly because human connections are nice. It feels good to know that someone thinks about you and therefore checks in on you. Even though our conversation was normal, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll check in on her more frequently when I leave here.
I wonder what hope is. If you think about it, the statement “I hope …” expresses a desirable future. One way to think about hope is just laziness and entitlement. We often say we “hope that everything is going to be okay”, to ourselves or to others, without actually doing anything. Even though I don’t do anything, I feel entitled to a future in which things go according to my will. That’s laziness and entitlement. Or perhaps these people think that all the other good deeds they have done up to that point in their lives should accumulate to make their desired future a reality, despite the fact that in this particular situation they have done nothing. Or perhaps, they think they can’t affect the situation in any meaningful way? That would be my guess. I think I’m the same too, in that I do hope for a happy ending (from time to time before I try to squash it) without being able to directly affect my covid situation. I certainly got better, but the procedure that this facility and the government enforces is outside of my control. Am I lazy and entitled to have such hope? I guess, in a sense, yeah.
Of course, not everyone is like this, which leads to another way to think about hope. It’s an expression of humility. If we have tried everything in our power to resolve a situation, we can only hope for the best. The humility here is in admitting that there are things that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try.
Those who did nothing and those who did everything can both have hope, but only one group can be rightfully hopeful. So what is hope? hope is an expression of the idea that your desired future may not be within your control. Without hope, people are in despair or deluded. But hope alone is not sufficient either since it can also be used as an excuse by lazy and entitled people (like me?).
Those who do not have hope are either in despair or deluded. They are in despair because, without hope, they do not believe that the desired future is possible, and hence anything they do or don’t is rendered irrelevant. The only other way they don’t have or need hope is because they believe that their actions will undoubtedly bring about the desired future. In reality, no such guarantee is possible. This is pretending to be god, and so the person who pretends to be a god is deluded. On the other hand, those who do have hope can either be lazy entitled assholes that do nothing to contribute to the situation, or they can be humble people who have tried everything in their power yet admit that the key that brings about their desired future may not be in their hands. Only such people can be rightfully hopeful.