Saturday, April 11, 2020 (day 15)
It’s strange to be quarantined for 15 days with the risk of being positive for COVID19 and then suddenly wake up one morning and you’re freed from your captivity and able to return back into the wild. I woke up Saturday morning to my husband crawling into bed with me. His cuddles felt softer and warmer than ever before. After laying there for awhile, we decided it was time to drink coffee at the kitchen table … just like we used to!
I hesitated to leave my bedroom as I stared down at that white piece of tape, which has served as my barrier for the past two weeks. Its words “DO NOT CROSS” seemed to resonate with me. To be honest, I didn’t feel quite ready to step over it just yet. It’s a very conflicting feeling : part of me wanted to finally be out of isolation but the other part felt like I should remain in quarantine and wait for COVID symptoms, despite getting the okay from Public Health. It made me reflect upon how prisoners must feel after YEARS of confinement and then one day, the gates are opened and they’re released. Coronavirus Remeption, starring Amanda Ngo.
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I once read that wonderful things are especially wonderful the first time they happen, but unfortunately, the novelty wanes with repetitive exposure. This experience has reminded me of how sweet these little day-to-day events, which I’ve come to take for granted, truly are.
Today, walking the dog with my husband was particularly blissful. The air, which would normally annoy me for being a bit cool, was instead crisp and refreshening. The nature, which I normally wouldn’t pay much attention to, was instead very serene. And our newly adopted geriatric huskey was so comforting to pet – was she always this soft? Plating my own food was a exceptional priveldge! Even going to the fridge and having the option to snack WHENEVER I felt like was fantastic! That night, I sat at the table WITH my family, instead of listening to them from around the corner.
This experience has given me a whole new appreciation for what I previously would have considered “normal” or “tedious” daily activities, and an even deeper respect for those who have to deal with the real hardships of this pandemic. Those who cannot hold the hand of a loved one who is sick in the hospital ; those who are mourning the loss of someone close to them alone ; those who are unwell and are too scared to go to the hospital ; those in nursing homes who are only able to see visitors through a window ; and so on and so on. My heart goes out to all of those people who are truly impacted.
Lastly, I am also reminded of something very important! We, as individuals, are surprisingly quite resilient! My first few days in isolation were devastating; however, as I adapted, I learned ways to improve my situation, largely by changing my perspective. It reinforced my belief that happiness is mostly a state of mind, an internal rather than external phenomenon. Sometimes we have the tendency to sit around waiting for an event or people to make us happy, when instead, we need to realize that happiness truly starts from within! Sometimes we have to re-program our thoughts to accept the things that we cannot change and, instead, figure out a way of making bittersweet lemonade! The happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” – Maya Angelou.
Stay safe and stay positive!
This concludes my series on Camp Quarantine and the Coronavirus! Thanks for the read 🙂