Behind Bars

Being in quarantine as part of a low-income family can sometimes feel like prison. It was one of those days where people were still panic shopping. As I looked to my left I saw my mother in the middle of a line that wrapped around the building of the supermarket waiting to get inside. As I looked back I saw disappointment in my little sister's eyes yarning for me to explain why she couldn't go inside the supermarket like she usually does, why we could no longer shop as a family. Some days were better than others but all days are bad. It is absolutely frustrating to watch as your funds go low and feeling yourself slowly descending into a dark pit of depression because you know you do not have the ability to access more funds. There is a global pandemic. Hiring is rare, but your family needs resources. A pandemic doesn't stop hunger, A pandemic doesn't stop a little child from asking for a candy bar or a toy. A pandemic doesn't prevent disconnection of electricity nor does it prevent eviction. As the cases grew my mother grew afraid. She forbid me to leave the house. I watched as my landlord, who lives in the apartment in front of ours, continuously break the social distancing and quarantine rules by throwing gatherings week after week. I felt trapped. the voice in my head like a child taunted me β€œhe can throw parties but you cant even leave the house.” It was still day but my mind was busy. The day brain turned against body and I snapped. That afternoon, I argued, pleaded with and cried to my mother for her to just let me visit a friend. Her argument was valid, my immune system was in the compromised due to my sickle cell condition However I no longer cared about Physical health as my mental health had already deteriorated. Despite her I instructed the car to pick me as the white car parked outside my apartment heart fluttered with excitement and a second later it broke with disappointment. The gate was locked and the key was hidden. I could not the bear to be behind the fence one more second. I could no longer bear the slow Internet. I could no longer bear the small apartment. I could not repeat distressing daily routine of sitting around doing nothing for another minute! I climbed over the fence. Mt neighbors gathered to watch my desperation in disgust as my landlord yelled. I left. My mother called to say that I could not return home until quarantine was over since I had exposed myself. A few days later I received a voicemail of my little sister wailing, the virus has claimed the life of one of her teachers. I was not there to comfort her. I was no longer there for supermarket trips, afternoon board games or dance challenges. I was, stuck in another house. I felt like a traitor to my family. Things had gotten tough and I got going.

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