Shared Isolation: Lessons from Quarantine Culture

Settling into our new routine teaches us what we may have been neglecting before the community quarantine

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(Photo from Heon Ran/Reuters)

As the community lockdown continues, there is no choice but to adjust and accustom ourselves to our new lives. Remember the first week of the quarantine? It was a period of confusion and distress. The freshness of the news of the outbreak, together with the uncertainty from the responses of the nation’s leaders, ignited public anxiety, leading some to hoard supplies. Although fear and agitation remain, we eventually found our footing and started orienting our lives to this new culture. As we settle into our new daily schedules, think about what this crisis is teaching us.  With life shifting into a new, more broadened scope as shaped by the crisis, how are we coping now?

(Photo from Study Finds)

Strengthen Relationships

Before the community quarantine, we would always be busy with our own schedules. Whether work or school, we were racing from one place to another, barely spending time at home. Now that we are weeks into quarantine, we are compelled to bond with our families, our loved ones whom we share a single roof to live under. Although some of us continue to work at home, we still have the time to be with the people we treasure the most. From bonding by preparing meals, having delightful conversations over lunch and dinner, to playing games in the living room, the lockdown is reinforcing the importance of communication and strengthening our relationships.

Beyond our immediate circles, we are encouraged to be good neighbors as well. It can be minor as checking up on them or earnest help like volunteering to do groceries especially for the elderly. No matter the situation, we are called to find and value the time we have with our loved ones.

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(Photo from Inc.)

Work on Passions

Have you ever dreamed of writing your own book? How about painting the fascinating scenery you witnessed in your last travel? What about cooking that mouthwatering dish you watched on Chef’s Table? Time is what everyone has now, and the lockdown fosters the environment to finally work on our passions. If you want to get inspired first, then feel free to watch these Netflix shows. From enlightening documentaries to feel-good series, you might get ideas on which interest or passion to develop first.

If your work is already your passion, then how about using that to help amid this crisis? Renowned Filipino designers like Patty Ang and Rajo Laurel have opened their businesses to create personal protective equipment (PPE) such as suits and masks. They are giving these out to frontline workers, supporting their hard work. If you love food and would like to help as well, you can be like Juana Yupangco of Mesa ni Misis who opened a commissary to prepare healthy meals for front liners. With their admirable efforts, anyone can certainly reach out in these challenging times.

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(Photo from The Independent)

Stay Connected

The pinnacle of social distancing is staying in the virtual space. With the convenience and connectivity of social media, we can remain linked with our family and friends from far away. Through group chats, we can share our respective situations and get updates from others. Of course, what’s important is to only share news from official and verified sources, and not simply hearsays. Spreading false information is the most dangerous that can happen in this alarming crisis. Remember to be cautious of any rumors and messages, and avoid circulating them until confirmed from reliable sources.

Miss traveling to tourist destinations and exotic places? How about singing along with your favorite artists in concerts? Ever planned an exhibit but missed your chance with the lockdown? Thankfully, you can do all these and more from the comforts of your home. Google Arts & Culture, virtual tours of museums across the world, and respective social media accounts of artists and cultural institutions offer these online experiences. It may not be as unforgettable as on-site events but these alternatives still give you a dose of much-needed refuge.

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(Photo from The Washington Post)

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Along with the quarantine, most restaurants have closed down. We are left with the few that remained open and continue their takeout and delivery services. With limited options, why not start whipping up your own meals? You can even be assured of the safety of your food, having prepared them yourself or with help in your home. Stock up on groceries and supplies without hoarding them. Keep in mind to get only what you need during the lockdown and leave enough for other people.

(Photo from the Globe and Mail)

Similarly, for gym buffs and sports enthusiasts, recreation centers have also shuttered operations. So, how will you maintain your shape? Plan your own home workouts. Consult your trainers on which areas to focus or what you can do especially when you don’t have the right equipment and facilities. Better yet, get tips from figures of the fitness industry like Amanda Fernandez’s home workout or Bea Fabregas’ basic workout. Apart from exercising your body, you might want to relax and ease your mind from the anxiety and concerns of what’s happening now. You can join the free live meditation class off the Live Awake Wellness Community. Simply tune in to Sara Black, a yoga instructor.

With all the time we have now, it is crucial to reevaluate our bodies. From our form, diet, to eating habits, restructuring our lifestyle is essential to strengthening our immune system. We have to stay sharp, strong, and healthy to protect ourselves and minimize the risks of catching the infection. Beyond being cautious against the virus, a healthy lifestyle keeps us our bodies clean, energized, and equipped amid this crisis.

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