It has been one week since the quarantine ‘officially’ started. This time last week, I was told my job (I work in retail) would close indefinitely. Shortly after, the governor issued a directive, then turned order, for all residents to stay home as much as possible. Any outings should be for essential needs and social interactions must be six feet apart. Businesses have been stripped to the bare minimums of operation; gatherings of over 50 people have been cancelled or postponed and anything with over 10 people is discouraged. Schools have closed, some until the end of the academic year. The bustling streets surrounding my midtown apartment now resemble a ghost town. Graduations cancelled, church gatherings have moved online, and it seems like filing for unemployment is the new norm.
If you were to tell me the week prior that everything above would come swiftly within a matter of days, I wouldn’t have believed you. Not to mention if you would have told me two months, heck, even a year ago that this is what life would be like, it would sound like the plot of a dystopian movie.
Imagine telling yourself on New Year’s Eve less than three months ago: “The world is about to undergo a global pandemic; stock up on toilet paper.” It’s almost laughable. But now, it’s reality.
As I was driving the other day, I found myself misty-eyed. My mind started to race with all of the things I had taken for granted before and that I couldn’t know the next time I’d be able to do them again. A simple hug from a friend at church (and even the simplest act of physically going to church). Staying to read at the coffee shop around the corner. Grabbing happy hour drinks every week with a new group of friends. Visiting my older family members.
Going back to normal is an unknown at this point. We all know that this will come to pass, but are uncertain when. At this point, I am taking it day by day.
A friend of mine shared this quote on her Instagram, and I want to share it here:
“There’s a middle ground between extreme negativity and blind positivity. It’s truth and hope. Let’s live there.
Yes, there are a lot of scary things happening with the coronavirus. Yes, we can still look at the good things happening. And yes, those things can live hand in hand.
All that to say, there are good things that have come out of this quarantine, both big and small. And this wouldn’t be a proper piece of my writing if I didn’t share them. Drum roll please… these are a few of my favorite quaran-things!
- As I mentioned before on my podcast (yes, shameless plug, I have a podcast), one of my friend crushes is Jen Gotch, founder of Ban.do. She has a series on her story called TrashDance™️, where she films herself dancing in front of their warehouse dumpster. Watching her dance in front of literal garbage makes me smile, and I hope it does the same for you.
- At last, I binge-watched the Amazon Prime series Modern Love. A New York Times-column-turned-podcast-turned-television show, each episode is based off of a true story written for the column. My favorite of the essays featured on the show is this one about the founder of Hinge and a journalist who share stories of love lost. (Also, I highly recommend reading through the Modern Love section or listening to the podcast.)
- I brought my guitar from home to practice during the quarantine. Even though I am only really trying to nail down this one song, I have been listening to acoustic-guitar-heavy music like this album by Joseph and this song by The Paper Kites.
- Speaking of Joseph, I had the pleasure of seeing them for the fourth time this past month before social distancing existed. They performed a cover of Tom Waits’ Come On Up To The House and it moved me to tears. They released a video of them performing it at home and it’s just as powerful.
- Obviously, something I have done in quarantine is resurrect my blog. After almost two months of procrastination, I finished editing my first styled shoot and will be blogging the whole thing very soon! Plus, I plan on posting all of those rolls of film that I promised awhile back.
- Have you heard of Netflix Party? I hadn’t before quarantine until my BFFs/neighbors had me set one up so we could watch New Girl together. Basically, it’s an extension you install on your computer that creates a chatroom and syncs your Netflix up with other viewers!
- My ultimate friend crush, Bri Emery, launched a mindfulness cooking website. I found that when I watch them, my breathing actually slows down and it’s really comforting.
I’m sure this list will grow the longer the quarantine goes on, but my hope is that it doesn’t. If you’re reading this (thanks for sticking around), be cool, stay safe, stay healthy, stay inside.