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Exploring Irrational Fears During Quarantine

Staff Writer Lia Jung unpacks the staff’s irrational fears from months of quarantine time.

With much of the world taking lockdown measures, many people—especially those living in remote areas—are getting more time alone with their thoughts than they may be used to. In confronting one’s inner thoughts during months of isolation, some people have uncovered rather unsettling realizations about themselves; namely, irrational fears that one didn’t know they had before the quarantine.

In order to find out just how elaborate these thoughts can get, Bwog has asked their staff to share some of their most ludicrous, inexplicable and silly, yet completely valid fears they’ve been mulling over the past couple of weeks. Here’s what we found:

1. Fear of Zoom malfunction: “Three weeks into class and I still feel a sense of dread whenever I log into Zoom. Terrifying doubts creep into my head—is my screen actually off, or can people see me wolfing down Fruit Loops straight from the box? What if I accidentally screen-share my window browser to my Wattpad account and everybody sees what I wrote? What if the mic breaks and people can hear my roommates screaming in the background? What if I end up in the wrong breakout room? What if Zoom breaks and my screen freezes on me making a dumb face? What if?” —person who vows to never make fun of their parents for being slow with technology ever again.

2. Zoom Trypopohobia: “I feel deep repulsion every time I look into my Zoom screen, filled with those tiny, identical boxes—there’s something uncanny about seeing twenty-something windows popping up on your screen. Or maybe I’m just sick of staring at the same faces every week.” —person who misses seeing the back of people’s heads.

3. Fear of cold-calls: “I’m scared of leaving my laptop even for a second, in case someone calls me while I’m gone.” —person who hasn’t had a pee break for five hours.

4. Fear of Cake: “For a short period of time, I was genuinely grappled with the fear that everything was made out of cake. It reached a point where I began to think that cakes might be sentient beings, and have already overtaken the human race. I kept wondering whether my friends were made of flesh, or whether underneath, they were really just composed of cake batter.”
—person who really, really needs to take some time off Twitter.

6. Fear that we might never leave our chairs: “Remember the hoverchairs from the Pixar movie Wall-E? That’s what I’m scared our future’s going to look like- that we are going to sit in our chairs until it becomes a part of the human anatomy.” (If this is a genuine concern for you, I recommend you check out Lauren’s excellent post on how to keep your buttcheeks healthy and separated from the chair.)

7. Fear that we are all living in Kafka’s world: “Yeah, it’s entirely possible that I’ll wake up one day in my bed and realize I am indeed a vermin.” —person who frankly isn’t afraid anymore.

8. Fear of Zoom malfunction 2.0: “Texting the whole class instead of private messaging my friend about a zoom crush or about someone I cannot stand.” “Forgetting to change my display name on Zoom to something normal during class.” “Forgetting to put pants on and then standing up.”

9. Fear of forgetting the fact that we are actually in class: “I’m scared that I will walk away from my computer, forget about it, and end up staying after class has ended.” —person who has actually made this mistake once during lecture.

10. Speaking on Zoom: “I’m scared that I’ll choke every time I have to speak on Zoom, which is something I never had to deal with for face-to-face interactions.”

11. Fear of not knowing other people’s opinions of you: “I have this irrational fear that my classmates are going to judge my room for being ~empty~.”

12. Fear of losing track of time: “I’m constantly scared of not knowing what the actual time is.” —every remote/international student right now.

13. Filling awkward silences: “Honestly, the one thing that terrifies me these days is being the first person in a class and just sitting on zoom 1 on 1 with your prof.”

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