A Brief Moment During COVID-19 Isolation


April 12, 2020

(3 min read)

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It’s just another regular night during the COVID-19 social isolation period in Los Angeles where I have been staying by myself for almost a month now. I walk out to my backyard, a place so familiar yet so strange at the same time due to my lack of outings, to go to the laundry room that can only be accessed by going around the house outside. Looking up to the astonishingly bright moon clearer and more reflective than a fresh, white dinner plate, I feel something different.

When people ask me how I’m dealing with being alone, I tell them that I am surprisingly enjoying it. In a sense, the sudden decrease in my obligation to socialize in-person gives me comfort and security. Reflecting upon myself, an act that I have more mental space to attempt now, I have realized that staying at home is actually my preferred state for relaxation. For almost all of my vacations prior, I had no strong urges to travel, perhaps because of my frequent travels before, but instead I longed to simply lie on my couch and do what’s most enjoyable in each precious moment at home. Now is the time that suits my mode of comfort the best, where everyone is staying at home and I get to be the “homebody” that I want to be for a commonly accepted reason. To clarify, I still enjoy others’ company through different uses of technology, but I have discovered that I also had no strong desire to move about… that is until the moment under tonight’s glaring moon.

The clouds are moving fast, causing the moon to almost be in motion before my eyes. I can’t help but keep looking at this beauty, admiring its role as a lantern in the dark, a lighthouse for those who may be lost or may have lost hope. Then my head turns itself to downtown Los Angeles. In this especially quiet neighborhood with only noises from the highway a couple of miles away, the skyscrapers still shine bright, displaying business logos and one of which showing colors of blue and red that begin to mesmerize me. Ever since I got used to this current state of living and being, I have not felt such an urge to move, to move anywhere, to escape the limits set by my physical self. It’s in this breath and feeling that I have truly experienced and comprehended one of the basic human conditions— that comparison invokes desire.

I am back in my temporary house, with four walls enclosed on me and tinted windows to protect my privacy but also unintentionally block my vision to the outside. I look around what has become my world and the entirety of my immediate senses. When I am in this state, where everything within my reach is just walls and windows and the occasional pictures, without the noises, parties, and distractions, I am now at ease with here again. That brief moment came and went quickly, but the thought and experience it left me still lingers, prompting me to ponder on…