A day at a time — the COVID-19 quarantine

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

A lot is being said and discussed nowadays about the Coronavirus crisis that is impacting everyone almost everywhere. There is a lot of misinformation and theories being shared and the best advice is to double-check the info you receive and whether that has reasonable support by different government entities and research centres. Be aware that there is still a lot of interest, both political and economical, behind a lot that it’s being shared, so always ask yourself if it comes from a trusted source.

Besides the information spread, one important aspect to reflect is how we were used to freedom and access to everything. This changed so dramatically that especially for families with kids, they have to reinvent themselves to work from home (when possible), entertain and play with the kids, and use the limited space in so many creative ways, in order to not get crazy. We got used to our freedom and the wide range of choices for everything, including leisure, shopping, restaurants, and social life. Now with the quarantine rules in many countries that forbid us of many of these things, it is not easy to find the way around.

For some people from the population at high risk and locations with the fast spread of the virus, the quarantine means the total reclusion and a very drastic change in people’s routines.

This crisis is also bringing a huge economical impact, especially for small enterprises, autonomous workers and even more for the poor families who rely on the limited daily income to obtain their basic needs. They are the ones suffering most with the quarantine.

All these difficult times bring the chance to see life through a different perspective: the one where you cannot plan the tomorrow as you used to do yesterday. For example, when will you be able to go back to work (if your company is forbidden to operate or if you are in home office)? Are you going to have enough savings to survive the crisis? When will you be able to see your relatives again? How could you have better prepared yourself for this crisis, if you would expect something like this in the future?

There is no simple answer to any of these questions. Every person should make their own analysis and find their own conclusions. If you are frustrated or desperate with your situation, remember that there is a lot of people out there that could help, even in this time of crisis. Many initiatives, for example, to help the elderly making their shopping in the supermarket or food delivery for people in need, are already happening. You just have to find a way to get this help. Maybe search online, or find out on social media groups.

Or if you are in a better situation, you can take this time to plan a strategy for protecting your own family and survive a future difficult time.

Luckily a lot of people have access to the internet and can interact with their friends and relatives, besides getting insights on which creative activities could be done from home. Just be aware of not getting trapped on social networks, as a lot of people are there sharing stuff. Find your own time for reading, watching your favourite programs/films, talking to relatives and exercising from home.

One main aspect I observed among my friends and relatives’ reactions to the spread of this disease is that there is a lot of skepticism about it until it gets too close to them. In our case here in Germany, it seemed like a far distant problem, until we heard the first cases happening in Freiburg. Then more cases were identified until the politicians started taking the first measures to reduce the spread. In other situations, there was an excessive fear and people suddenly started wearing masks and locking themselves at home, even if the first case happened in a far neighbouring state. Any extreme is unhealthy, if not for the own health, at least for the mind. My advice is to follow the local instructions and take the minimum measures for reducing the risk.

Be smart and be optimistic that better times will come soon. By the way, I still don’t get why people buy so much toilet paper.