Your Own Version of Quarantine

30 April 2020

'If you haven’t used this isolation period to learn a new skill, lose weight or develop a hobby, you’ve wasted it.' I read in a tweet this morning.

Oh fuck off’, I thought, before rolling over and pressing on the red flame of the Tinder app. Tinder Passport, one of the many new, isolation-induced thrills of my life, involves setting your profile to anywhere in the world and swiping there.

Currently, I am swiping in San Jose, California. Simply because this is where the Silicone Valley - and the money - is. Tinder Passport involves receiving all of the attention I could possibly want, without any strings or awkward dating. It’s both grounding, because no matter where you swipe, ‘How’s lockdown going?’, is the 2020 flavour of ‘Hey, how are you?’, and is also slightly depressing.

Not as depressing, however, as being told on Twitter that I am doing isolation wrong.

As if the world doesn’t have enough going on currently. As if the anxiety of business and money and jobs and the incoming recession aren’t enough - oh, and the fact we can’t see our families - wasn’t enough, we now have the Twitter Illuminati trying to tell us that we are doing isolation wrong.

We are not doing isolation wrong.

If you are spending your isolation drinking copious wine and baking banana bread every other day, you’re in the majority. (And, in my opinion, doing isolation quite right).

If you’ve managed to do a workout, or you’re using this time to improve yourself and your mind then that is fan-bloody-tastic. But it doesn’t make you any better than those who are just doing what they need to do to get through this unprecedented time.

There have been days where I’ve woken up and done everything on my to-do list, and then some. Everyone has their own version of quarantine, and whatever it looks like, all that matters is that you do come out on the other side, not how.

My version of quarantine looks like using puzzles (ahem, pictured, ahem) as a coping mechanism, and anally de-cluttering every room of our house. It's included attempting a '30 stretches to the splits' challenge, then giving up after ten days and it also involves crying at least once every three days.

The point is, I do have ways and days of productivity. But this morning, when I looked out of the window at the pouring rain and couldn’t figure out if it was 4am or 9am, I gave myself a break.

I didn’t get out my to-do list and start making plans and doing yoga. In fact, it’s currently 5pm and I’m sat in the same pyjamas I wore to bed last night.

What I have done, is watch three episodes of Normal People (I am attempting to eek it out, though will likely fail). I have also cried at Normal People.

I have re-watched two episodes of Fleabag, and found myself thinking long and hard about how utterly obsessed I am with Olivia Coleman.

I have sat on my bed and idly made three Quidditch hoops out of paper plates and straws, ready for a Harry Potter-themed Come Dine With Me, which I will be hosting on Sunday (for my household). A

And I have eaten a cheese and pickle sandwich and drunk two cups of coffee.

Currently, pyjamas on and still sat on my bed, I am drinking a large glass of red wine.

I haven’t picked up a book, or done anything mentally stimulating, but you know what, that is absolutely fine.

Humans are not meant for isolation. We are not made to be alone or be forbidden from interacting. And whether you thrive in being alone or being amongst other people, nobody wants to be lonely.

So give yourself a break, catch up with your friends. Work, do nothing, eat everything, eat well. Do whatever you can to keep going through this time.

And be grateful to your body for surviving it.

Love, Alice x


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