A Year in Quarantine
If we are going to talk about a year in quarantine, then let’s begin in the month of March, 2020, when it all started. It was mid March when it was announced that all of the 50 states would be put under lock down. The forewarned and what seemed inevitable at that point, was now upon us. We immediately were thrown into an unusual and unfamiliar situation and had to make new adjustments immediately. From scrambling for toilet paper and water bottles, to joining every delivery service program one could get their hands on, life was definitely taking on a new flavor, no pun intended.
Here are some adjustments that we're so startling, so new, and provided some learning curves, perhaps, in the beginning.
#1: ZOOM. Who would have ever thought we’d all be glued to this platform for hours upon hours each day? With the shutdown, the CDC recommended not having face to face contact and so as we all know how this story goes, Zoom became the new way of having meetings for work, interviews, dating or school.
From the very start of the quarantine, we weren’t sure how we would keep up with our work-life, dating-life or school-life. We now all really faced this common concern, this common worry and trepidation of the future. While waiting at home, we had to find a way to entertain ourselves, find a way to continue our lives, and most of all, figure out how we could communicate with a sense of personableness that a real life encounter provides.
This lack of face to face contact has definitely cause severe consequences, in some cases. For, when we do now see our neighbor, speak to the cashier at the grocery, etc., there is a moment of actually having to think about what we are supposed to do, what are we supposed to say? The normalcy and routine of our lives and understanding on how to behave in public became questioned and honestly, strained.
For me, face to face contact gives me the thrill of having a friend, meeting someone new, and just having a personal encounter. For some of us, it boosts our confidence and morale.
That being said, Zoom has also benefitting us in other ways. Forget your one, or in some cases, two hour commute. Forget about commuting in the freezing cold of winter in such cities as Chicago and Manhattan, skip the subway or train line (not to mention steep monthly fees), forget your $55 gas tank fill in Los Angeles, and best of all – put on your work at home gear and work in a sense of tranquility and peace.
So, while there is the half glass full way of looking at this change of pace and change of life, there is always the half glass full version too!
#2: MASKS. Who would have thought that we would all have a new accessory to wear each day? That our favorite designers would be competing to release their face mask? That tie die, animal mouths, skeletons and an array of fascinating designs would now take up half our face and be part of our daily wardrobe? This was quite an adjustment for me – and one that I definitely resented at first.
Again, upon announcement of the shutdown, the CDC required that everyone wear a mask when leaving their home and going into public spaces.
At first, waiting in line at the grocery store in my mask felt quite utopian or should I say, dystopian. It felt sci-fi. Totally surreal and honestly quite uncomfortable.
It’s amazing that only a few months later it’s become the norm and we are totally jaded regarding the entire mask-wearing phenomenon.
One interesting point that we would like to mention regarding face masks is – what are the facial expressions of others around us? Who is pissed? Frowning? Smiling? Laughing? Who is speaking into their ear-pods? Who is singing? Argh! We can’t tell! This can be quite confusing and irritating, but again, new way of life!
Others are trying to embrace the new look of wearing masks. They enhance the look with magnified eye-shadow looks and magnetic eye lashes. Some of us have gone great lengths to buy an array of masks to match our outfits. In a way, our masks have become a part of our identity because it has showcased a part of who we are – leopard mask means edgy, animal smile means silly, simple medical mask means ‘can’t be bothered.’
Throughout this bizarre year of shut-downs and quarantine, we have adjusted to new ways of life. And with each new change, we came to see and embrace the silver lining in each that kept us going and kept us positive.