Things that didn't used to feel scary now do. I have been waking up with a little bit of a scratchy throat and stuffy face. This is quite normal for me, but even the slightest signs of illness are terrifying. My chest is the slightest bit heavier, maybe? That is one of the warning signs, so I have to know, but I am probably just over thinking it. Probably. I am not coughing, though. People say the cough is the giveaway symptom. So as long as I don't start coughing I am okay. Plus I feel fine. I'm going on long walks and not winded or anything. But people say it can be very mild. Even if I do get it very mild I will probably be okay. But I could still spread it. Am I doing enough to be socially distant? I'm probably not sick or anything. It's just the stress of it all, that's it.
I drive out to Madison Heights to get more of my things. I'm not sure if I was expecting the roads to be completely empty or look like normal, but neither was true. There were still plenty of cars on the highway, just not as many as normal. Where were all these people going? Were they all essential workers? I mean I wasn't, but I am guessing most of these people are not driving between homes to gather belongings.
My room is just how I left it. My roommate and her boyfriend could have not moved since I was there last week, except that they were sitting on a new couch. Huh. A new couch. I wonder how that got there. Are they being socially distant enough? Can I trust them to be cleaning everything well so I don't catch anything while I am here? Can I trust myself not to be spreading anything while I am here? Should I be wearing gloves? I don't have gloves. I could have asked Max's uncle for gloves. I washed my hands, that should be fine, plus I am only touching my things, and door knobs, but they are my door knobs.
I leave with another four trips to the car worth of things, some of the highlights of which are my humidifier, four of my six plants (sorry Trenton but you are very large and were not doing that well anyways), a collection of cooking items I had come to miss, and the 7 rolls of toilet paper I had stored. I wrap a garbage bag around the base of the plants and carefully place them on the floor of my car. At the first turn one plant immediately falls over. Me too bud, me too.
---------------------- Back in Ann Arbor, I set off on a solitary walk to the neighborhood elementary school. I am struck by how empty the neighborhood feels. I am used to seeing more people out, enjoying the sidewalks and front yards as one of the last things people are allowed to enjoy outside their home. But as I stand in the middle of a five-way intersection at the heart of the neighborhood and slowly turn my body in a full circle, I see not a single person or moving car.
I look in the abandoned elementary school. Emergency lights are still on, classes are still setup, and student work is still hung on the wall. I start to take a closeup video of the perimeter of the school, zooming in on the classrooms that are begging for students to return to them and the plants dying in the beds outside the windows. Some kids come racing into the adjacent playground on their bikes. A family starts playing together on the basketball course. I don't film this specifically, but it is in the background. I turn the corner of the school and a group of adults are playing on a climbing structure, no kids in sight. The sun is setting and the reflection of the hues of twilight are perfectly reflected in the windows of the school. I feel like I have some amazing footage to start our BRIGE film.
Then my phone just shuts off. I try to turn in back on, it shows I have at least 20% battery, I open my camera app, and it shuts off. It is only when I get back home and charge it do I notice that almost none of my footage was saved.
I wish I could say I found something beautifully symbolic about not being able to capture the trance of an empty school and the life that persisted around it. But no. It just kind sucked to lose some good film.