Self-Quarantine: How to Salvage a Bad Situation

As exhausting as it might be to hear more discussion about the coronavirus, it must be addressed efficiently so that we can try to bear through it and hopefully end the spread of the virus as soon as possible. At this point, it has become so pervasive that almost all schools have resorted to online education, most restaurants and stores have closed, and government officials have ordered us to practice social distancing and to not leave our houses unless it is an absolute necessity. Having our lives turned upside down so abruptly like this is, without a doubt, sad, inconvenient, and nerve racking. And the feeling of boredom and restlessness to get out of our houses is all too real right now. But believe it or not, there are some ways in which this quarantine could actually help us for the future, if we take advantage of it. 

  1. It allows us to work on our personal goals and projects. 

Because school and work usually consume most of our days, it is often difficult for us to find time for recreational or personal activities that we want to pursue. Better yet, it is too easy for us to come up with a million reasons to put things off. This quarantine, however, is the perfect opportunity to engage in some long overdue self care. Take this extra time at home to read that book you’ve never picked up from your shelf, come up with a new workout routine, experiment with some new recipes in the kitchen, or play an instrument. “I don’t have time,” is no longer a valid excuse. Also, I know how tempting it is to lay around the house and spend long periods of time on your phone on social media, but try to limit this. It gets boring after a while and it is better to spend this time doing things that you don’t normally have the chance to do. 

  1. The feeling of being able to interact with others in person again will feel amazing once this is over. 

Frequently, many people feel drained after long, busy days of social interaction and want nothing more than some time to relax at home alone. Sometimes, people will even lie about being too busy to go out with their friends in order to have some time to themselves. However, many of us right now are wishing for the exact opposite and just miss the simple ability to go out to dinner or a car ride with their friends without the fear of getting ourselves or others sick. I know I don’t speak for everyone, but since I am naturally more of an extrovert, the inactivity and lack of social interaction is driving me crazy, especially when I know that a lot of my friends are currently 5 minutes away from me. It might sound cheesy, but think of how much more united and appreciative of each other’s company people will be once the quarantine ends. From now on, the feeling of being able to give hugs, handshakes, and high fives will not be taken for granted. 

  1. Towns and cities are most likely going to thrive after quarantine ends.  people crossing intersection new york city times square Pexels / Vlad Alexandru Popa

If you look outside around your neighborhood, it probably looks like a ghost town. Few people are driving and walking along the streets and the insides of restaurants and stores are empty, with lights turned off and chairs stacked up. It is upsetting for us to not be able to enjoy these things, and the inability or the reduced ability for local business owners and employees to work and make money right now is unimaginable. That is why the end of the quarantine will bring about extremely long waits in restaurants, completely booked flights, sold-out concerts, and stores packed with customers. It is times like these that urge people to take advantage of the opportunities in their neighborhood that they lost and to make increased efforts to support local businesses. 

  1. Students will be more academically prepared once they go back to school.

If anyone understands the struggles of working from home, it’s students. We have completely switched to remote learning, where teachers and professors have been providing us with class material via email, video chats, or other online platforms. Obviously, this is not ideal for most because the act of physically waking up, going to school, and sitting in a classroom face-to-face with the teacher or professor is a much more motivating and productive way to learn. However, it is important now more than ever for students to not lose focus on their schoolwork and to still make sure they complete assignments on time, even in this inconvenient situation where online learning is mandatory. This way, students can use the extra time at home to develop better study habits and time management skills that they can use once they go back to school. If we can become good at working from home, where there are so many distractions, it will be so much easier to successfully focus and do our assignments once we’re physically back in the classroom, an environment much better designed for education.

I know this is an extremely difficult period for everyone, and we want our lives to go back to normal again. But we do not know how much longer the quarantine is going to last, so it is crucial that we try and make the most of it. Please listen to politicians and health experts when they tell us to stay inside and avoid interaction with others. Situations like these, while undesirable, encourage us to be more grateful for our health, safety, loved ones and resources, so it is important that we do our part to protect these things in order to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.