March 13, 2020: the stretcher
I got up at 6:00 am, got ready, jumped on the streetcar, and went to campus. It all happened very quickly, and I don’t remember the specifics. I do recall that coming to campus used to fill me with an incredible amount of anxiety, like I always had to be walking somewhere — even if there was nowhere in mind, I had to go. In terms of my mental health, it was okay. I had acclimated to the university in some ways and had become accustomed to the strain of the workload. I wasn’t doing well, per se — I was doing okay.
I arrived at Northrop Frye Hall for my first class at 9:30 am, found my usual seat, and sat there until my course began at 10:00 am. The lecture was on viruses, and the professor related almost everything to COVID-19 and its reproduction. No one wore a mask. He let us go on a 10-minute break, and then, I looked at my phone to see the email.
“Cancellation of classes and delivery of teaching through other means…”
One of the students told my professor about it, and the lecture concluded at 12:00 pm. I walked out and made my way to my next class. After that day, there would be no more in-person courses, but I wanted to finish the day in person. I made my way to Convocation Hall and began to study, but then I couldn’t move.
I had been dealing with extreme pain in my abdomen for a few days to keep up with my studies, and it became too much only 10 minutes prior to the start of my next class. After 15 minutes, I called my partner in tears, and then I was at Mount Sinai Hospital. It wasn’t appendicitis — I got a prescription for naproxen and I walked home.