Day 1–March 18

My name is Shinead Orotal and I am a student at Sheridan College studying journalism. I really like this idea of doing diary entries about the pandemic for our final grades in this class. I’m also pretty excited to read other people’s work. 

Today is technically my fourth day in isolation. Unfortunately, I got laid off yesterday from work which made me cry for a while. I guess I didn’t understand the severity of it all. The virus, I mean. Classes have also stopped for the time being. I worried about how this would affect my marks. I sat with my sister, Mikaela, and also cried for a bit today. I think that everything is just happening at once, and it’s shocking. However, one thing I find interesting is this tweet someone posted about how we are currently living through something that will one day be in a textbook. History. Even though it’s scary, it’s also kind of cool to think about the fact that you get to see it all happen. 

I keep on thinking that when I wake up the headline in the news will be “new vaccine found for COVID-19.” But nothing comes up other than briefings. 

I look at my mom and dad and it makes me want to cry. My dad had heart surgery last year and has trouble breathing sometimes. He’s pretty up there in age. He also is still working which worries me more. My mother has an autoimmune disorder also. I always tell her she’s not allowed to leave the house. She’s very stubborn though. She doesn’t seem too worried about everything happening. 

I always wanted to stay home and just have a lazy week to myself. Catch up on television shows I haven’t been able to watch. Paint my nails. Dance around the room secretly while watching “Mamma Mia.” However, these circumstances make it different. It gives me anxiety if anything. 

Let’s just hope for the best. 

Day 2–March 19

I think Tik Tok might be my new best friend. It never fails to make me laugh. I think I have enough Tik Tok drafts to last me the whole year.  After trying to be funny and make videos for it, I realized that I’m not funny whatsoever. I’m also not a good dancer. So, I lay in bed again, this time wondering “What am I good at?” 

On a plus side, I spent my morning watching an Instagram live video by Chloe Wilde from Etalk on her Healthy is Hot Instagram page. She talked about positivity, how to deal with anxiety and home workouts she has coming up for viewers. Suddenly, I feel like jogging. If you know me, you would know this is SERIOUSLY out of character. Seeing as how I no longer can go to bars, or go out for pizza, maybe starting healthy habits would be a good idea. 

Oh, I also watched Justin Trudeau’s briefing today. I have to say, he’s doing a pretty good job. People may not like him too much, but I think he’s doing his best. 

I applied for EI benefits also, and it was such a painful process. Took me a while to finish. If you are reading this, and you are thinking of applying… Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands to do it. Or if you happen to be reading this at a later time in life when all of this is resolved, and you didn’t have to apply… Just know I wish I was you. 

Day 3–March 20

Today I feel like my anxiety was at an all-time high. My best friends’ parents wouldn’t even let her go for a walk with me, and my boyfriend’s parents wouldn’t let him leave the house to drive to mine. People are talking about arenas of morgues being built in Ontario. I haven’t heard anything about that happening. 

I never thought I would say this, but I really wish I was at school listening to a lecture right now. I wish I was going for a walk with my best friend rather than sitting inside watching clouds pass by my window. As of right now, I’d do anything for everything to just be normal. It’s taking a lot to hold back tears that just want to stream out of me right now. 

Six days in isolation… 

Day 4-March 21 

What a day. 

I think I’ve done four face masks today… not too sure that was a healthy thing to do to my skin. I swept my room twice. I FaceTimed my other half. I read a book.

I saw this post on instagram talking about all the positives so far from this pandemic. 

It gave me a little hope, so I thought I’d share. 

Today I also made breakfast which was a small victory for me since I’ve been letting my mom and dad do all the cooking. 

I made toast, hash browns, eggs, and spinach with a little mayo on the toast. A few years ago when I attended Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, I had two roommates: Brianne and Taylor. For breakfast Taylor made us all an egg sandwich with mayo, cucumbers, and spinach. I really liked it. I’ve always carried that with me ever since as my go to breakfast. In fact, I made it for my siblings today also and they happened to like it as well. Of course, since I did the cooking I told them they had to do the dishes. Despite the agreement, I ended up doing it anyways because I was bored. Not much else to do during isolation. 

I also ordered an embroidery set from Amazon to learn how to stitch. Figured now would be the time to learn a new hobby without the excuse of me saying I have school or work. Before I forget, I decided to get back into yoga! I reached out to a girl who was my yoga instructor before. She asked me how my anxiety was, and if it’s gotten any better. I was surprised she remembered seeing how I havent seen her in two years. But anyways, I think I’m gonna start online classes with her. 

I’ll keep you updated!

Day 5-March 22

I spent the majority of my day reading. I forgot how much I loved reading until now. I opened up a big box in my room from when I moved to my house over the summer. My parents agreed that we needed a bigger space. I never got around to unpacking my boxes of books. 

So far I’ve finished two books. Kind of sad I did, because they were really good and I wish the author wrote more. The books are part of a series called “The Selection” by Kiera Cass. I think I re-read them at least 20 thousand times in high school.

Today I FaceTimed my other half (and our fur baby, Moon) and felt extra sad about his lack of presence for the past couple days. Obviously, it was no one’s fault. We were being careful and trying to look at what’s best for our parents since they’re older. 

I also spoke to his mother on the phone today. I called her to see how she was holding up and she told me about facemasks she was sewing to donate. A lot of old-age home nurses are in need of facemasks, and she was even sewing some for her family. I admired my boyfriend’s mother, she really doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. 

My mother is probably sick and tired of me by now. She has not been happy about anyone leaving dishes in the sink. The stubborn part of me constantly thinks, “We are literally stuck home with nowhere to go, obviously they’ll get done.” But I know since I was young that the only thing that really irritates my mom is dirty dishes. She couldn’t care less if we left our stuff all around the living room or if our rooms were messy. But a messy kitchen drives her insane. 

Speaking of which, I forgot a pan I used and a  plate in the sink upstairs. Before she sees it, I should probably go clean it… 

P.S. I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over. 

Day 6-March 23

I spent my entire day reading. I’m already on the third book of this series. My other half told me my eyes will probably fall out of my head. They did feel tired after reading for nine hours straight. 

I also had a virtual class this morning. I hid myself the entire time from the camera because I had joined the class right when I woke up. It’s not very appealing to see myself in the morning with my hair sticking out  in a thousand different directions. 

Today I thought about my best friend, Gala (right), a little extra. Her and I had gotten into a disagreement before this whole isolation thing started and I felt bad I haven’t seen her for us to straighten things out. I thought about last summer when she and I went away to a cottage with friends and how simple life felt. 

I feel like we won’t be able to enjoy the summer beyond the limits of our back yard and that made me sad. I swore since this was my last school year that I wanted to go to Vancouver and L.A. Travelling will definitely be off the table for at least another year. 

Secretly, I also had an interview for an internship last week. We’re supposed to hear back about whether or not we got the internship on Wednesday. I haven’t told anyone about it because I didn’t want to jinx it. Especially with everything happening, I was really hoping that they would not cancel the internship program. Two more days till I find out! I’ll be sure to keep you updated. 

Wish me luck! 

Day 7-March 24

One more day until I find out about my internship. 

Also today I decided to work out. I did my usual workout that mainly targets my legs and stomach area. 

After my workout, I went to the shower and thought about what my life was like before the pandemic. I came to the unfortunate conclusion that I really have not done anything interesting with my life. I wish I volunteered more. I wish I travelled more. I thought about all the pay cheques I’ve had that could have been saved and I was mad at myself for not saving them and travelling sooner (when it was safe to travel). 

I promise myself that I will do more fun things after all of this blows over. 

I really hope that’s soon. 

Signing off for now… 

P.S. This is me dying on the floor after doing sit ups. 

Day 8-March 25


I heard back from the internship… and I got it!

We thought the internship programs around Ontario would be closed because of the virus, but turns out they’re just postponing it for a while. 

Today I watched one of my favourite movies from when I was younger.  Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. Ugh, I thought it was so amazing when I was younger. Even my little brother sat through two movies of it with me. We’re going to watch the third one tomorrow. The only reason why we didn’t today was because my parents said he has to go to bed. The life of being a twelve year-old, I guess. 

Tomorrow I also plan to have a game night with my boyfriend, and a couple of our friends! Hopefully, if everyone’s available we’ll play at night. 

Oh! Before I forget, I went grocery shopping today and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. As my sister and I walked around the grocery store, we wondered why no one else had on rubber gloves or a mask like us. Walking through the grocery store, you could see clear evidence that people really were panic buying. I even tried to get Kraft dinner and all they had was this gross mac and cheese I tried once when I moved away for school in London. Even in the most desperate times of needing groceries, I never ever ate the rest of the pack my mom bought. 

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos. I didn’t want to bring my phone with me to have germs on it, so I left it at home. 

The moment I got back I threw out the gloves and packed the groceries. After I finished packing them I washed my hands for thirty seconds and then went to take a shower. After I showered I sanitized the whole bathroom. I even threw the clothes and jacket I wore into the wash. 

If you’re reading this after the pandemic and you’re young, yes, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. But I wasn’t taking any chances. 

Anyways, I’m off to bed now. 

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more exciting with game night! 

I also vowed to do some online shopping for business casual clothes for my internship. 

Nighty night. 

Day 9-March 26

Today I decided to be productive. I got up and worked out for a bit. 

However, I think I ruined the point of sit ups because right after I ate potato chips and Doritos. I also made spinach rolls and then had chips and salsa. 

Tonight, I got to have a web chat with my friends and it made me realize how much I’ve missed human interaction. We all talked about what we would do if there was an apocalypse. Then we talked about all the crazy people buying out toilet paper, and people still not self isolating. It’s honestly crazy how many  people have been going against self isolating. At this point, I think the government really needs to enforce it a little harder on citizens. 

The faster we self isolate, the slower the spread, and the faster we can all leave our homes. 

Why is this so hard to understand? 

On a plus side, I think my relationship with my sister has drastically improved. We haven’t been fighting. Which is honestly such a big load of stress off my shoulders. We had a hard time getting along before. But lately, we’ve been cooking together and actually talking about life. It feels nice. 

But anyways, before I go to bed I wanted to do a facemask since I’ve been breaking out badly today. 

See you guys tomorrow!

(Well I guess not see you… You get what I mean)

Day 10-March 27th 

Oh. My. Goodness. 

I cannot believe this is day ten of only journaling. I’ve actually been in isolation for 13 days. Yes, those extra days DO make a difference. 

Today I opened my door for fresh air. It was sunny, and honestly so nice out. I felt upset with my parents for going outside for a walk with my brother. 

A million things run through my mind. With the isolation happening right now, people are being fined up to $1000 for being outside and not practicing social distancing. Would they? Would someone go near them and make them get sick? Especially my mother who has the autoimmune disorder. Maybe I was being dramatic. They were only taking a walk around the block and no one would be there. But could you blame me for worrying? 

Financially, I think the isolation has helped me not to overspend like I did before. Although, I spend a lot of time looking at clothes online. I can proudly say, I didn’t order ANY. If you know me, you’d know how much I love to online shop. I think on the whole, not shopping online won’t last very long though. For my internship, I realized where I’ll be is a place where I have to dress nicely. I don’t have a lot of clothes appropriate for work. Especially when it’s a place that focuses on fashion also, I’ll need to step my game up a little more. 

Oh! Before I forget, has anyone seen Tiger King? 

My boyfriend has been telling me for the past three days that I should watch it. I finally did today, and they are nuts! Every single person. That Carole girl is creepy. Something about her is very cringey. But so is every other person featured on it. 

I was honestly blown away that so many people in Oklahoma own tigers and other exotic animals and talk about it being their “right.” What about animal rights? I think they would rather be roaming free where they originally came from than being kept in captivity. Joe Exotic thinks that people who followed in Carole’s steps of animals needing to be free were “brainwashed.” Little did he know, it was an ethical thing. Apart from that, two people had multiple husbands and wives and that blew my mind even more. Maybe I’m old school, but I believe in marriage being between two people who share a common love for one another. 

An even more cringey moment is when an old worker of a guy who had four fives said he had some sort of magical power within his sexual capabilities to make women do whatever he wanted them to do. Ew. 

Before I spoil anymore of the documentary, I’ll just end this journal entry here. 

But trust me, you should watch it. 

Anyways, sweet dreams! 

Day 11-March 28


I think I’m starting to go crazy now. 

Today I was extra irritated with being inside and decided to stay in bed and avoid everyone for the sake of not taking my personal frustrations out on everyone else. I watched videos, read a book, and even attempted to wax my legs with a new hard-wax melting machine that I got before the pandemic. 

But there was no feeling of satisfaction. 

I video chatted with my boyfriend twice today, and also video chatted with my best friend afterwards. Even though I love them and miss them, that didn’t even feel like enough to conquer what I’m feeling. 

I can’t even describe the feeling. All of a sudden I just want to be playing soccer outside, and be on a swing in a park with all of my friends. I want to be out shopping at a mall and buy clothes, and then wear them an hour later to go out with my friends. It’s like an itch that you can’t reach and IT IS FRUSTRATING. 

I keep looking at my makeup palettes thinking that maybe doing my makeup will make me feel better. Give myself something different to focus on, but I don’t even want to leave my bed. I feel like there is no comfy spot on my bed anymore. 

When I video chatted with my boyfriend, he showed me our cat. I almost wanted to yell at him. But I know that that’s crazy and that everything I’m feeling is a personal thing and that I definitely need to get it together. But boy oh boy do I miss my fur baby. He even sent me a photo which I think put me in an even more sour puss mood. 

Just look at how cute! 


I know I mentioned this before. But when you’re stuck in your room with nothing but your thoughts, it hits you how much you haven’t done with your life. It’s kind of sad to think about everything I’ve always wanted to get involved in but never did. 

I swear that when this is over… I will do everything I’ve always wanted to do. Infact, I’ll start my list tonight and tell you guys about it tomorrow!

Day 12-March 29

I saw this tweet and felt better that I wasn’t the only person having weird dreams. 

I also saw tweets all over my timeline about everyone wanting this to be over.

Today, the U.S announced they will be extending their isolation period until April 30th. Keep in mind…e have already been in isolation for fifteen days. Imagine another four weeks on top of this with no guarantee of that even being the date people can leave their homes. 

I read on The Guardian that scientists have been testing on animals but will start to test on humans soon. I really hope the trials go well. I’m not sure how much longer people can handle this. 

Also, the last time I checked the total of Canadians that have applied for employment insurance was 500,000. We are now at 1.6 million according to CBC. That is how many Canadians need financial help right now.

I personally have not heard back about my EI application. I received my code about 4 days ago, and completed the application online. I think it takes a week to be processed. Let me tell you, it was not a fun process. It took me at least 50 minutes to complete. 

On another note, to pass the time I have started to watch embroidery videos for techniques on how to do designs. I’ve decided to pick up some new hobbies like embroidery, and drawing. Unfortunately, I have to wait until April 30th to receive the embroidery package from Amazon because it’s not considered a necessity. No deliveries right now are being made in a rush, other than necessities. 

As of now, this is my last entry for the Pandemic Diaries. I hope to those of you who read this, know that you are not alone with how you feel. 

I hope at the end of this pandemic we learn to be kinder to the Earth. There have been multiple articles about the earth ‘healing.’ This is extremely important as countries have been experiencing unusual weather trends.

I hope it shows us to be kinder to one another also. A lot of people have been price gouging in grocery stores and that has caused panic in the community. Some people have charged thirty dollars for Lysol wipes that are usually priced at six dollars. Some have even gone as far as to sell single packs of toilet paper roll for five dollars. Senior citizens have struggled with buying groceries because of the panic buying. Ontario has now implemented a website that will be used to people to report grocery stores that price gouge. 

It’s important to realize this is not a single experience. It is an experience we are all going through. This should be the time we stand hand in hand and support each other, especially those who are senior citizens or those who experience mental health issues. 

Good luck to you all with the next couple weeks of isolation. It’s not easy, but we’ll get through it together. Just remember to be kind and think smart when buying groceries and necessities. 

Goodbye for now!

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