“Just to be on the safe side, I’m self-quarantining,’ Calvin Jessup of Nashville, Tennessee, told the therapist who’s been treating him for anxiety and depression. “I know you’ve told me how crucial it is to develop community, but I couldn’t live with myself if I infected anyone else with COVID-19.”
For once, his mental health professional couldn’t argue – and Jessup, a self-identified introvert, realized that the widespread fear regarding coronavirus had provided him a failsafe excuse to isolate.
“I actually never get sick, and even if I do, I’m not super-worried about recovering from what’s essentially a chest cold,” he said. “But no one else has to know that. And I did feel a little fatigued the other day. Why take chances?”
Jessup is not alone among loners secretly rejoicing at having a rock-solid reason to avoid large gatherings and keep to themselves. Lisa Harwood of Louisville, Kentucky, told her codependent boyfriend, Mitchell Lawrence, that she needed some “space” for at least two weeks – the germination period of COVID-19. “I just got back from a plane trip, and Mitch is kind of a germophobe," she said. "Finally, I’ll get some time to myself.”
And David Greenwood of Billings, Montana, said that as a result of the much-publicized coronavirus, his reputation has gone from that of a quirky, possibly psychopathic hermit to that of a forward-thinking, health-conscious intellectual. “Flu, coronavirus, I don't give a crap," he said. “If it’ll get people to leave me the hell alone, diagnose me – please.”