We’ve been given a unique opportunity to observe the world around us at a slower pace than ever before, not only other people but mostly ourselves. Unsurprisingly when you have yourself for company all-day everyday without the distraction of..well..a life. Then you do happen to learn a thing or two.
Here’s my condensed list of quarantine observations:
1. If you aren’t quarantining alone, you realise you never fully knew your partner/family/housemate’s or whoever you share your space with - you hear their ‘work persona’ now. It also forces you to address how much you really ‘like’ who you are sharing your space with, now that you are with THEM ALL THE TIME. I myself was horrified to overhear what I can only describe as a motivational pep talk with ‘let's jump right in guys’ delivered in a way too enthusiastic tone at 8am, before I even had my coffee.
2. Ladies, this one will hopefully resonate with you but I’ve noticed there is a direct correlation between putting your bra on and your level of productivity for that day. If I don’t bother that morning, I’ve noticed it’s just going to be a kind of lacklustre/meh day where I don’t get much done.
3. How can a ‘To Do’ list be so long when you literally are not obliged to go ANYWHERE, I feel like my to do list is longer than it ever was. Between trying to squeeze in walks, workouts, cooking, tv time, facetiming everyone you know - it sure piles up.
4. Waking up in the morning and not showering because you tell yourself you are going to do a workout at lunch or in the evening, and then you don’t and you are just sitting there unshowered in gym clothes you put on that morning when you had better intentions.
5. In my own personal case, moving back to an island surrounded by water whereby you need a plane to leave or alternatively swim to Scotland, before a global lockdown - was probably not the best idea for someone who feels easily claustrophobic, am I ever getting off this island again ?
6. The very real realisation which I actually discovered on a meme (quarantine memes are my bread and butter these days) is the rather cynical but true fact that you don’t need fun to have alcohol. My cocktail making ability has exponentially exploded - I had made my mind up to take on the challenge of espresso ‘quarantinis’ (thank me later). I dashed into a local spar supermarket with desperation in my eyes and asked for Kahlua (coffee liqueur), the confused teenager behind the thick covid-19 plastic barrier responded with a ‘umm i don't think we have that here’. Alas my cocktail choice has been limited by my non-cosmopolitan location, for now.
7. Making bread is actually pretty easy… I mean it's literally 3 ingredients, why weren’t we all doing this before?
8. Probably my biggest discovery, much to the misfortune of anyone who follows me on instagram, my discovery of TikTok and my newfound penchant for lip syncing. I’ve been at the receiving end of harsh judgment for my foray into the Gen Z world, yes I’m a good 10+ years above their target market but I don’t care - I adore it. Just waiting for one of my creations to go viral...any day now…watch this space.
9. How little we actually need - some shelter, some food, some entertainment (TikTok pour moi) technically toilet paper is not even ‘essential’ and a vast proportion of the world don’t use it at all.
10. The pressure to ‘make something’ of this pandemic is rife! I don’t think anyone needs to come out of this with a 6-pack, new language or a half-written novel under their belt (who’s even wearing belts during quarantine?). If you are only making it through day by day, one at a time with your sanity intact then you are doing more than ok.
11. What and who ‘essential workers’ really are. Turns out it isn’t the CEO’s or Managing Directors of huge conglomerates, nor the private wealth managers - it’s the supermarket worker, the cleaner, the bus driver, the paramedic, the nurse, the doctor - people who put themselves at risk every single day so the rest of us can survive. Then there’s the people who bring the ‘non-essential’ joys to our life - you know the ones that make life worth living? Be it the barista serving you coffee through a takeaway hatch, the hairdresser that you may be able to finally go and see soon, the massage therapist you desperately hope to be reunited with .. even the trainers at the gym,I bet you thought you would never miss them.
12. FOMO (Fear of missing out) an extrovert’s worst nightmare has been vanquished at last. I consider myself fairly outgoing, or at least I was in what seems like a different lifetime. However, once you know there is simply NOTHING going on, there’s no gatherings of friends, there’s no new restaurant opening, there’s no concert you couldn’t get tickets to, it’s quietly comforting to the gregarious amongst us.
I’m sure there’ll be plenty more observations to come, as I don’t think ‘normal life’ will be resuming for a while. What even is ‘normal life’ anymore? A question for another day perhaps..
Follow Christelle on her new instagram handle @girlineuropa.