Nhu Dang, Times Staff
The first thing I will do once quarantine is over is go to a theatrical performance and find out ways I can join a production.
There are many things I can get myself excited about, but there are few things I do without push. That list would include acting, drawing and ice skating. I have been able to make art, but medical issues have held me back from taking the time to fully relax while I still have the chance to.
I need to get on stage because I realize that I’ve felt most happy in the spotlight, surrounded by my cast and performing for an audience. It leaves me with a certain giddy feeling that I can’t associate with any other enjoyable activity I do.
The first memorable play I’ve acted in was called “The Music Man.” I wasn’t particularly good at singing, but I didn’t need to be. All I had to do was stay true to my role. I was not pressured and was very supported, and that production was the most fun out of all that I’ve been in.
I found that a theatrical cast is one of the most positive learning environments I have ever been in. Everybody is really inclusive and becomes part of my extended family within a few weeks.
I’m craving that sort of energy right now. It has been far too long since I have been in a production, and I figure that’s the first thing I’ll fix once I have the freedom to do so.
After the quarantine is over, I will move to another place. Right now I am living with my uncle’s family, I have lived with them for more than two years. They are very nice. I do not have to pay anything, but sometimes there are arguments between us.
After this semester — my last semester at San Jose City College — I am going to transfer to San Jose State University, and I want a private space to study. I will move with my friend by July, and I hope that the quarantine is over by that time.
I am going to contact and make appointments with counsellors of SJCC and SJSU. I need to make sure that my documents are OK because international students’ paperwork is very complex.
Because of this coronavirus pandemic, I cannot check anything. If something happens to my paperwork, it will be a big problem for me.
I will hang out with my friends. Although we still have to keep a distance when talking, I miss them so much.
The most important thing after this quarantine is moving out. I have to find a room and moving stuff will take time.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre”
This quote will describe me quite accurately after quarantine is done.
Quarantine has made me realize how many things I take for granted. My workplace has been closed down throughout these weeks, my church has not been able to meet and I think the things that I have missed the most are going to coffee shops and exploring new places.
My first day out of quarantine will hopefully include my friends, and going down to Monterey and getting coffee from my favorite coffee shop there. I also want to spend time watching the ocean and doing photoshoots.
Since I am such an extreme extrovert, I will want to spend as much time with people that I have missed. I am looking forward to seeing many people that I used to see at least once a week.
A week ago I got very bored, so I decided to do a photoshoot by myself. I will miss opportunities to rediscover old hobbies, such as baking and cooking, crocheting and taking photos.
Since my dad has returned to California, there is nothing that I am really looking forward to doing after quarantine.
Since we have the privilege of having technology, I have been using Facetime in order to communicate with my friends and other family members.
With that being said, once quarantine is over, the first thing I will do is go to Bath and Body Works and buy candles and body lotions. I am obsessed with everything in that store\; but because they are not offering free shipping, I haven’t been able to buy anything.
My favorite candles from B&BW are “Champagne Toast: and “Rose Water Ivy” so I will probably stock up the most on those.
Since summer is coming, there will be new scents for candles so I will probably venture out and buy new ones, depending on how good they smell.
Not only will I increase my candle inventory, but I will also increase my body lotion collection as well.
Both my mom and I have medium-sized storage containers filled with lotions and sprays from Bath & Body Works. It seems like a lot, but the containers have multiples of one scent. For example, my mom’s favorite lotion scent is “In the Sun” so in her container she has two to three bottles of the lotion and one to two bottles of the spray.
Maybe one day, I’ll calculate how much money my mom and I have spent in that store because I’m sure it exceeds $500. Don’t judge me, lol.
When quarantine is over, the first thing I want to do is hug all my friends and family.
This quarantine has been so hard on me mentally, and I have struggled with being alone. This quarantine is teaching me how to be alone, how to self-reflect and how to communicate better with people.
There was a dark time for me during all of this, and I could not stop worrying and being anxious about the future as I was planning to move to southern California for school.
After awhile, I told myself that I can’t keep falling into this hole. I was able to ground myself and reflect on my feelings, which helped me to decide to be the best that I can right now because that is all we can really do.
Stuck at home, I was able to finally self publish my first collection of poetry which I began to sell online. After a few days, it had sold out.
I can’t wait to celebrate my book release with my family, who have deeply inspired my stories with their stories.
I can’t wait to hold my baby brother who seems to keep growing in every picture my dad sends me. I can’t wait to hug my grandparents whose cooking is way better than the meals I have been making for myself these past months. I just can’t wait to tell them in person how much they all mean to me.
Once the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, the first thing I will do is organize a small get-together with some friends of mine that I haven’t been able to see since early March.
I was used to seeing these individuals three to four times during the week so to have them taken away from me so suddenly has definitely been a difficult transition for me.
I have definitely spent a lot of time missing these people, and the bulk of the discouragement and sadness that I have experienced during this quarantine has stemmed from just missing people that I love very dearly. We enjoy simply being in one another’s company.
Chances are there will be lots of hugs and maybe even some tears of joy the first time we all get to see one another again — and I’m not all that emotional of a guy. I don’t cry that often.
We’ll probably have a game night, enjoying a variety of the games that we all love to compete with one another in. It will probably be a potluck-style event with lots of good food, and we will probably end the night with a bonfire in my backyard, just happy to finally be in one another’s company again.
I look forward to that day, and I do genuinely believe that every day that passes is a day closer that we get to returning to normalcy.
The first thing I will do once the quarantine is over is hang out with my friends and give them a big hug.
When I stayed at home for months, friends gave me more help and encouragement.
I remembered the first week I got a cough, and I was thinking I got coronavirus because many of the symptoms were consistent, such as low fever, breathing difficulties and lack of energy.
I felt so scared and told my friends. Some of them drove to my house and dropped some food and medicine.
They searched for how I can contact an online doctor to ask about my symptoms and told me what I could do in this situation.
Fortunately, after one week I know it was not virus, just a cough, because I got better little by little.
Once the quarantine is over, I would immediately go to visit my friends.
I have kept close contact with each one of them so we are already making plans to see what to do once this is all over.
We have made plans to go visit new places near us and visit the beach and go to the theaters.
Facetiming them and phone calls are what is keeping us connected, but doing stuff together outside is way more fun.
I have been wanting to visit new places as well, exploring and trying new things outside is always fun. Those were plans I made prior to the shutdown\; but once it is lifted, I will be motivated to go outside of my house more.
Also, I would go to visit my favorite restaurants and spots. I used to go to this coffee shop to just do work. I miss it right now since that place motivated me to be productive.
Once this is over, I would like to visit there and do work again.
Another thing I want to do is go explore outside of California. I don’t know where but being in one place is overwhelming so I have been craving to explore a new culture.
I want to find creativity in other places and expand my horizons and learn. I would need
to start planning more in-depth soon.
The first thing that I will do is to go out and buy more clothes. The store is JCPenney at Eastridge Mall.
I think that JCPenney is supposed to be a clothing store. I have been there a few times before. If I go there, then it will be with my mom. The one at Eastridge has two floors. Clothing is available at the first and second floor.
I may just purchase my clothes without trying them in the fitting room. If any clothing does not fit, then I can go return them. The total cost will probably be close to $100. I may buy them using cash or a temporary reloadable prepaid card.
The end of quarantine means the end of my life. As a human.
Fins will sprout from my arms, gills will split into my neck and razor sharp teeth will whet my appetite for fish.
For I am a shark. Many believe that those of Russian heritage have vodka for blood. That we love the cold weather.
That we can smell a drop of alcohol from a mile away. That we use far too many emojis when texting. It is all true. For we are sharks.
Have you ever swum in the freezing ocean and felt the desire to hide among the seaweed and eat a fish raw? For you are a shark.
Humans were genetically engineered by aliens to be able to morph into creatures under the right conditions.
All it takes is knowing what those conditions are. Unbeknownst to the owners of the pool, I have been adding large quantities of salt to it to better mimic the saline environment that sharks require.
During the sweltering heat of day, I trek to the nearest Safeway covered in a mask to hide my sharp teeth and gloves to obscure my sharp claws to buy salt. The blistering glow of the Sun dries my scaly skin.
By night, the soft iridescence of the Moon illuminates my silent path to the pool. It needs more salt. My arms begin to morph into fins under the struggle to carry the weight of the salt, so I consume a vodka-infused elixir given to me by Baba Yaga, a Slavic witch doctor, to control the transformation.
As I gently seep the contents of the bags into the pool, I watch “Finding Nemo,” salivating with an intense lust to tear fish to shreds.
Salty water. The scent of fish. Cold night. Full moon.
“Fish are friends, not food…” rings in my ears.
“Anton! Wake up!” I hear behind me. “It’s time to take out the trash. You forgot to yesterday.”