alchemy

Imagine your own quarantine scene

Column by Andrea W. Doray
Posted 5/13/20

Normalcy. Normalization. Stabilization. Even mobilization. These are words being thrown around about the next “phase” of the coronavirus. My colleague here on these pages, Michael Alcorn, wrote …

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alchemy

Imagine your own quarantine scene

Posted

Normalcy. Normalization. Stabilization. Even mobilization. These are words being thrown around about the next “phase” of the coronavirus. My colleague here on these pages, Michael Alcorn, wrote in his column last week that if some of our accepted societal norms become, well, normal again, he wants out. I’m with you, Michael.

And, while much of the world is trying to find that way back to “normal,” I can’t help but wonder about the people who still must self-isolate or self-quarantine, to protect themselves and others. What are they experiencing, especially those who’ve found themselves alone during this time, without the solace, support, or even annoyance of someone else at home?

In my fortunate position – I work from home and we are both healthy enough – I’ve been musing about what I personally would do if I needed to self-isolate for 14 days, without anyone else in the house.

Let’s say that I had all that wait-and-see time on my hands. Say that I knew everything would all be okay. Say that I knew this craziness would somehow come to an end.

What would I do?

Posing that question to myself, I realized that much of what I would choose to do – or not to do – could actually carry over into the “new normal” … whatever than means.

For example, first and always, I would sleep in. Seriously sleep in, at least on the weekends. Skip the alarm and sleep till noon. Then an egg-salad sandwich and a nap. In fact, I’d nap on every horizontal surface in the house.

I might also tackle the autobiographies on my bookshelves, the ones I know will be entertaining and informative, but that just seem too heavy to start. Of course, I wouldn’t do this at bedtime, because books don’t help me sleep. Just the opposite, really … hence the sleeping in.

Unfortunately, if I were quarantined here alone, I’m all too sure I would be spending more time on my phone, a habit I hope not to bring into the new normal. I’ve always found my smartphone to be friendly, but not insistent. That’s all changed now. And because I don’t watch the news anymore, I get my headlines from those pop-up notifications that keep me obsessively scrolling at all hours.

Being on my phone also reminds me, though, of the lovely people in my life that I’d like to connect with, so I’d also spend time reaching out to them. However, this would be on a take-me-as-I-come basis: no make-up, no jewelry, comfy clothes, and my hair … who knows? One thing I do know is that I will definitely take this attitude with me into the new normal!

All of this is assuming, of course, that I am one of the lucky ones, that I will escape the misery of those truly suffering the ravages of this disease. To them I send my strength.

To those on the front lines in grocery stores and take-out windows and other “essential services,” thank you.

To those in health care, to first responders, to caregivers – to all of us who take this seriously and are doing the best we can – I salute you.

Stay well.

Andrea Doray is a writer who believes in the wisdom of her friend Martin, who wishes that “normal” was still just a setting on the dryer. Contact Andrea at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

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