Kayla Bacon-Dramatically Skipping Down Road

My First Walk in Two Weeks

Quarantine: it’s a word that has somehow infiltrated every person’s headspace. It’s a word that I had probably never used even once in my daily speech, and yet now has inconspicuously made its way into every single conversation I’d had over the past month or so.

It’s been about three weeks since the world has gone into a state of indefinite lockdown. The days have blurred into weeks that are now tipping over into months with no end in sight. I can’t remember a life before losing myself in this new, unfamiliar time loop that makes it hard to distinguish between the days. I wake up an hour before classes, scroll through my phone for a half-hour more, and sprint into the bathroom and rush through a shower so I can get to “class” (a.k.a my laptop) on time.

Due to the fact that I had traveled by plane a while ago, I took the necessary precaution of quarantining myself in my room for two weeks. As someone who generally enjoyed time away from social interaction and had absolutely no problem hunkering down in bed for weeks on end, I thought self-isolation would be a walk in the park, but as time passed I realized how wrong I was.

At first, I gave myself a good pep talk and dived right into my quarantine lifestyle. I tried to mimic the schedule I’d set up for myself during the semester, and for a while, it worked—but soon, my never-ending classwork and the motivation to complete it ended up tied in an inverse relationship. I couldn’t focus, and I realized that what was missing from my routine was time outside my room. Unfortunately, I was still boxed in my home and couldn’t go outside unless an emergency called for it.

Bed Bath & Beyond And so I grit my teeth and stuck it out until my two weeks of isolation were up. My routine numbed me into losing track of time, and before I knew it, the last day of quarantine arrived. It was a quintessential spring day: breezy but warm. I remember looking out of my window with an odd feeling of anticipation—I don’t think I’d ever looked forward to a simple stroll around the neighborhood as I did just then.

I stepped out around evening time, and as soon as my feet hit the pavement, I felt a refreshing rush of wind. I took in a lungful of crisp air and began my stroll. The surroundings were definitely a little sparser than usual, but there were still a couple of families loitering around, enjoying the spring day. Bare trees that I had seen before locking myself up at home were now sporting colorful flowers in full bloom, and the grassy backyards that framed the neighborhood were drenched in warm, golden rays of light. It felt so rewarding to stretch my limbs after a while, pet friendly dogs passing by, and make small talk with a neighbor whom I hadn’t seen in a while.

Puppy Hand Fun Ring Summer Hapy Original Charlotte Reader / Her Campus After breathing stale air for a solid half a month, being surrounded by fresh air felt so rejuvenating. I realized that I’d been taking my daily walks for granted, much like everyone else currently stuck at home. Although I’d only spent about half-an-hour outside, it was enough to make me understand how important it was to balance the indoors and the outdoors.

Most of the people I talked to have only complained about how the quarantine restricted their academic and social lives. But maybe the quarantine put a firm pause on the world to let us reflect on how we’ve lived our lives so far. All over the world, reports are flooding in about how nationwide curfews and bans have helped control levels of pollution. Flora and fauna are springing up in places long thought dead, and ecosystems are taking advantage of the absence of human interference by healing themselves. Unwittingly, we started a worldwide detox, and the results are already showing themselves. But maybe, this is also a time for us to heal ourselves from within.

Quarantine can be frustrating at times, but it's also a chance to take a break from our rushed, cramped lives. The older we grow, the less time we have for ourselves, and this is a chance to catch up on the most important part of your lives: you! For the first time in what seems like decades, we don’t have to worry about what to wear, what our friends are doing, or what we’re missing out on: there’s no FOMO because there is, truly, nothing to miss out on. Instead, there are so many things you can do indoors: read a book, meditate, or reconnect with family.

So take a leap of faith and make the best of your time at home, because chances are you’re never going to have this kind of an opportunity again!


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