An African lady looking at her laptop, bored

My two weeks in quarantine

I was on a trip when COVID19 went from bad to worse. The self-isolation period when I returned home was both frustrating, and insightful.

As someone who is generally introverted, two weeks in isolation did not seem like a big deal until a few hours in – on DAY ONE! My mother had set up a quarantine area pretty well the day before my arrival; sanitizer in both my room and the bathroom, a big pack of wet wipes, toilet paper, painkillers, snacks, fruits, some juices and a jug of water that would be replenished daily. I was not to leave that room for anything at all. A few hours on my own and I was itching to be outside already. I wanted to take a walk, get some fresh air, say hi to the neighbours I usually never interact with – anything but be within these four walls.

Having internet is the blessing we should all be thankful for during these uncertain times, whether it’s data or wifi. I would have lost it were it not for access to streaming sites letting me watch television shows, movies and also the ability to still communicate with my family and friends on social media. My friends video-called me often to give me ‘company’, so to speak, and providing the much-needed laughs in a time so grim. Internet access allowed me to keep working and with the extra time, I took on personal projects I had put aside because of work. Though to be honest, doing actual productive work has been a much harder task now than it was before when I was always running against a deadline – the irony!

Exercise really helped the time go by. I put together a type of routine to follow during the day that included working out being the first thing I do when I wake up, getting some journaling in after that and starting the day with fruit as opposed to a heavy breakfast that would just sit within me all day, and make me very lethargic. That gave me some sense of normalcy and let me feel like a weekday is still a weekday – and I treated the weekends accordingly, because I kept the routine going all week long.

My sleeping pattern suffered a lot through this self-isolation period. Even with a routine in place, I found myself staying up until two or three in the morning and getting up at around 11 am. I do usually suffer from insomnia but I think it got worse due to being in a state of constant anxiety.

Another habit I took on to help while the time away was colouring. Yes, colouring in an actual colouring book. It has been said to be very therapeutic but I never really knew how much until I found myself eager to do page after page – not to mention the soothing feeling I got while doing it, listening to a podcast or two in the background. I felt so content with each completed piece of art.

Being completely alone with no physical contact with the outside world has forced my mind to slow down a bit. I have always been someone who felt a need to always be productive but I must say that this downtime, though unwarranted, is something I have been needing. Exercising, facing my thoughts through journaling, eating better, getting more creative… if anything, the only thing quarantine has not helped me with is my sleeping pattern. This two week period had more ups than downs. I’m happy to say I survived it, and I’m grateful to be showing no coronavirus symptoms. Now I can actually be in the house with my family and not have to talk through a door!


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LoveMatters Africa

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