Life in quarantine

Monday April 20th, 2020

I have been in quarantine for almost 5 weeks now, the only times I’ve gone out are for my weekly runs. Other than that, I haven’t even stepped into a grocery store.

Although it feels like a long time since I’ve been in a public place, I have to say these weeks have flew by, and have been changing my behaviours throughout.

I recently got a recommendation to write about my experiences during quarantine, since this pandemic is going to be something that makes it to the history books, and it would be pretty cool for people to read stories about how people were living during this time, so here it is.

When quarantine first started, I was hearing a lot of news regarding it taking 2 weeks to slow the spread, since the incubation period for covid is approximately 14 days. Which would suggest that quarantine wouldn’t last very long. Throughout these two weeks, it felt like the world was on pause, you weren’t worried about working,exercising or any of that, you were just trying to get used to being in quarantine.

Unfortunately, quarantine has gone for a lot longer than was initially expected, and now it’s pretty obvious that this is going to stay for a while.

Some things that have changed for me personally

From my sleep schedule being all over the place, to me constantly getting distracted. It felt like I lost a lot of structure in my daily routines.

In addition, I noticed stuff like a decrease in creativity. Being outside the house, I would get some downtime on my commute’s etc, which would let my mind wander, and I’d usually come across some ideas during that time. Also, I feel like being outside just exposes you to more problems, for which you come up with ideas for. I usually track my ideas, and in the month of February I came up with 8 ideas, while in March the number was only 2.

In terms of my work.. Fortunately, as a sOfTwArE dEvElOpEr I’ve still been able to work on projects the same way I used to, however I’ve had to work on different things. Since businesses have been hit badly, the focus has been more on how to build things that helps people get through this time.

Where do we go from here?

From talking to some friends, I’ve heard things like “everything will be back to normal after this is done”. However I don’t believe that to be true. I also think that this mindset is the reason why many people have treated this downtime as a holiday, and an excuse to not be disciplined. For example, people not exercising since gyms are closed. Which is fair enough, but what if gyms didn’t exist?

The problem is, this period of time is creating new behaviours. Behaviours that otherwise weren’t ingrained in us. Once we develop these new behaviours, going back to old behaviours is going to be just as difficult. We will adapt to these new behaviours.

For example, many people have started using delivery services for their groceries. This is an example of a new behaviour that is being developed, I’m pretty sure that some people that just started doing this are going to get so used to it, and actually feel more comfortable with it that they won’t need to go back to regular grocery shopping in the store.

Similarly, all these bad habits that we’re developing such as sleeping late watching netflix, once you engage in these habits for several weeks, they will likely become very hard to reverse.

What this pretty much means is, things likely won’t go back to “normal”. There will be a new normal created, we are in control of what this new normal represents for us, and this quarantine is the time to define that new normal.