29 days of quarantine seems hard to believe. Some of my friends decided to quarantine before even I did. Obviously, no one knew it would get this bad, and no one knows how bad it will get.
For me, it all started with rumors and co-workers trying to fly back home before it was too late. I was confused because there had been only 1 documented case in the states so far, and barely anyone showed up to a work party. I later found out people didn’t go because someone had flown back from Wuhan and was not quarantining themselves for the recommended 14 days. In typical Seattle Freeze fashion, people avoided the problem instead of addressing it. I guess management can’t force someone to go home, and the best we can do at work is ask someone, “Are you feeling alright?” and hope they get the hint.
Still, the Coronavirus seemed like the Boogeyman. “If you stand to close to a stranger or if you don’t wash your hands properly, you’ll get the virus” was basically the message everyone was getting. The moment it seemed to turn real for most people was when it started showing up in our schools. Parents I worked with knew something was up even if tests were coming back negative. They already pulled their kids out of school.
The number of people in the office was quickly decreasing even before management started recommending people to work from home. Before any official declarations, our director told us to start working from home. There were rumors of a lock down, so I increased the frequency of my grocery subscriptions. While still thinking I was overreacting, Microsoft had its first confirmed case and even more unofficial cases were popping up.
Companies in the area were encouraging people to work from home. Some of my friends went on ski trips instead, and Facebook friends were making fun Seattleites for overreacting.
Shortly, it became real for me and for some of my Facebook friends. People who went on the ski trip became sick. We did not and still don’t know what it was because my friends couldn’t get tested. They did not travel out of country, and they didn’t interact with anyone who had tested positive. Luckily, their symptoms were mild and went away after a few days. We haven’t interacted in person since their trip though.
The virus has been spreading quick since then. My Facebook friends who were mocking me for overreacting are now under stay at home orders as well.
The toughest part for me has been trying to stay motivated while keeping up with all the news. The best advice given to me was to establish a routine. Even if I’m stuck at home, having a goal of things to do throughout the day help keep me motivated and make things feel normal.
Adapting to the New World
One of the toughest things for me is living with my parents. They’re in the high risk category, but they don’t like staying cooped up at home. In their mind, if this is the end, they want to go out living and not waiting it out confined indoors.
My parents want fresh produce and groceries. Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and other delivery options are delayed anywhere from 3 days to a week. Even if we place the order and get a delivery time, we’re not guaranteed to get what we ordered. It’s awkward asking my parents to stay home. They just want to be able to eat and drink what they want instead of pretending to be in the Chopped Kitchen.
I also feel lazy because I’ve been reading or playing video games all day. We can’t run out to do errands, and we can’t have company to pass the time. There’s not a lot to do other than try killing time. I’ve taken up braising meats and baking bread from scratch in order to pass more time while cooking. The food has been good, and the time well spent. However, I’ve gained several pounds since the start of self-isolation.
We’re almost a month into this, and the stay home order has been extended to May 4th. I’m not sure how much more of this I can take, but I’ll try to keep you all updated.