Shocked I wake up, like I missed my alarm to get up to catch the plane, realizing it is mission impossible. I look around me, and the reality is different, I am still in my room, and I don’t have to catch any plane today, nor taxi, bus, or subway. I Just have to stay in my room, like a lab rat. My phone shows that it is already 8.30am. I sigh, and realize that I forgot to set the alarm yesterday. I did not sleep too well, probably because the Hikikomori story from yesterday was still spooking in my head. The story probably needed to be digested well before I could find enough rest in my body to sleep.
Following my standard pattern, I want to pick up the breakfast, but instead of getting out of bed, I move myself to the end of the bed, and open the door while still sitting on it. I peek through the small door opening, and look to the red cupboard. It is again the breakfast from the Western style breakfast shop. I didn’t have to guess what it was. Disappointed, I get out of bed, grab the packages and put them on the table like it is going to be my last meal. Remove the rubber bands and open the small carton box. My stomach shouts: No, don’t eat it. But my mind says: Come on, it is important to eat at least something from breakfast. I just eat the scrambled egg, and transfer the potatoes, chicken nuggets and two small buns directly to the garbage. It feels wrong to do that, to throw away food, but I am afraid when I eat it, it will probably come out within the next hour anyway, and then it will end up in my toilet and sewer afterwards. I think the first option, to trash it, is the best option for this moment. Luckily, the order also included half kiwi that I try to enjoy. Then, I feel like I do not have any energy, too tired. Too tired to start my daily sport exercises. I even don’t have enough power to switch on a good-feel movie.
With my head downwards, I move slowly back to my bed, and feel that I am defeated by the quarantine, that I cannot continue anymore staying here in this room. I hope some sleep might change my point of view. I crawl into my bed, and pull the bed sheets on me. Now, only my face and hair are not covered by the white bed sheets. I close my eyes and try to sleep. I fall into a light sleep.
About 15 minutes later, suddenly, the phone rings, and almost in panic I pick up the phone. The lady on the other side of the phone says: “Sir, I need you body temperature for the Home Quarantine Record.” I tell her that I will provide the information as soon as possible to the System and hang up. I put the thermometer under my left armpit, wait for the beep and read the value. 35.8 degrees Celsius. Perfect value. I submit the value to the System, and feel that my heart rate is slowing back down to normal. I pull again the sheets over me, and try to catch some more sleep.
Around 10 am, I wake up, I feel better, at least, I feel that I have enough energy to get out of bed. Not enough to start jumping rope, but I force myself to start. I feel all the hard working muscles needed for jumping are soared. Especially my calves and feet. After a short while, I stopped, it feels not good to continue. I check my smart watch, and I just passed only 1000 jumps. Not even close to my daily target. Despite this lousy exercise, I turn on the water tap from the shower. Maybe a long shower might get me out of this negative mode. I use my home brought French shower gel, but I can’t transfer myself today in my mind to France, I AM in quarantine hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. After the shower, I feel a small shot of energy kicking in, and while I am grinding my coffee I look outside the window. The office building on the other side of the street is almost empty today, I only see 3 people working. Today is the day before the so-called ‘Double-Ten-Day’ National Holiday. I understood, that because this year, Double-Ten-Day is on Saturday, the employees get a day off the day before Double-Ten-Day, so they still can enjoy a long weekend. A long weekend some where in Taiwan, as a weekend city trip to Japan for example is still not possible due to the current quarantine rules. So probably most of the Taiwanese, if they are leaving the house, will enjoy some leisure time in one of the million options on the main island, or even travel to another island by boat or airplane, such as the much smaller Green Island or the Penghu islands. Taiwan has amazing sceneries, and I especially like to enjoy the mountain areas, but this long weekend I still have to stay inside. Thinking of all of the great travelling options in Taiwan makes me feel better, soon, soon, I will be released. I need to stay strong, should not give up in this quarantine. Other people can also complete the 14 days locked up in hotel room.
I continue the brewing process of the coffee, and again hear the satisfying sound of the freshly brewed coffee dripping in the mug. Slowly, I feel again more energy flowing through my body, to my brain. I am not sure, whether it is my own strength that released that positivity, or whether it is the mixture of chemicals present in the coffee. At this moment I don’t care, I just enjoy the moment, the moment of happiness. I open up my laptop, and start working.
Dinner is being served on time. Roasted duck, rice, soft boiled eggs and vegetables. Again, surprisingly delicious for a ‘take away meal’! From that point of view, I feel blessed that I am in Taiwan during this quarantine, as the food quality standard are very, very high! After the dinner, I had some phone calls, while slowly feeling a relapse coming. A relapse to this low energy level from this morning. I try to beat it, but can’t resist it. I prepare for my daily live stream, but I even think I want to cancel it. Just before going live, I feel a spark of energy in me, that help me to start the broadcast. Afterwards, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and moved back to my bed, and closed my eyes.
Around 11pm, I wake up, and realize that I slept for about 2 hours. I convince myself that sleeping is good, good for the body and mind and that I need to continue sleeping. I pick-up my phone from the small wooden nightstand next to me and want to open up apps having a red dot in the upper corner. I know, why the are there and why they are red. They trigger the mind, there is some information available and waiting for us, so it shouts ‘Please click on me, I give you some satisfaction’. I open up Instagram, and like a brainless person go through the stories. Ah, that feels good, I want more, and open up LinkedIn, same thing it feels so satisfactory to read all messages and knowing by closing the app, the right dot is gone, for a moment. I repeat the steps with other red dotted apps, and feel better and better, but at the same time so guilty so guilty. Then, I want to open my most addictive and toxic app, the light blue bird looks to me, like it want to say: Open me, open me quickly, I have a special tailor-made package ready for you. I try to resist, but feel that my finger is already pressing the button. Next, I press on the top blue bird, to directly go to the latest news. Neurotically, and like a zombie on steroids, I browse and read as fast as I can. I click on some links, read some articles, go back, click on another link, watch some short movies. It feels so good, it feels soo good!! My happy hormones levels are going through the roof! Suddenly, I see myself from the ceiling, lying in my bed, using my phone like an addict, it feel my phone and me became one, and I can’t stop my addiction now. I check the time on my phone, I spend more than 90 minutes on this mobile trip. I feel guilty, I feel so guilty. Why o why couldn’t I resist, why couldn’t I just leave the phone on the bedside table? I felt depressed and down, and felt really needed this trip, I was too weak.
I remove my phone from the charger, throw it away on the carpet, out of my hand reach, so the barrier to pick it up again will be significantly higher than next to my pillow or nightstand.
I convince myself and think “Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow have to be a better day”. Suddenly, I realize that I forgot to set my alarm, I shout: Hey Google, Set the Alarm at 7.30 am. And she answers like a soldier receiving an instruction by its superior, “Done, your alarm is set at 7.30 am”.