• Madison Miller

Time for a Quarantini

Andrew and I played a lovely game of Splendor

How is everyone holding up? I have to say if someone had told me this is what I’d be writing about when I started this blog back in November, I would not have believed them.

Andrew and I have been isolating ourselves for about six days now. So far, so good. If you’re like us and you just traveled somewhere kind of risky, I’d love to know how you are coping. I feel like I’m just waiting to get it at this point. I’m trying not to do much googling, but I fail at that constantly. Every little tickle in my throat has me convinced that I have it.

We were as careful as I think we possibly could be in Seattle, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few things I’ve been doing to avoid feeling restless. I think it’s so important to still try to make your brain active during this time. I am so lucky that I’m able to work from home. But, sadly, sometimes there just aren’t things for me to work on, so I’ve resorted to some other things.

  • Take an online course - I have access to Linkedin Learning through work and I’ve used some of this time to bulk up on my skills. I just finished a Google Analytics course and I’m thinking I might move on to another HTML course next. I also took several other coding-related courses before the quarantine and I cannot tell you how much they’ve helped with my job. The other day, when my university was about to shut down due to Covid, everyone was scrambling to get information out and I absolutely would not have been able to do it in time if I hadn’t taken those courses. Obviously, I understand that not everyone has access to Linkedin Learning, but there are some great free resources as well. If you’re interested in coding, I’ve used Codeacademy before and it was great. Also, I’ve heard great things about edX. No matter what your field is, there are resources out there that could help you improve your professional skills or even just life skills. Ultimately, it’s just better than sitting and staring at the wall or TV for hours on end.

  • Go for a walk or a run- This has been a great way to take my mind off of things. I haven’t totally gotten to know my new neighborhood yet. This makes me feel somewhat connected to my community still without getting too close to them. Exercise is always important, but I didn’t anticipate how much the isolation would actually stress me out. I’m very much an introvert, so I thought it would be a while until it bothered me, but I guess the idea that it’s forced is the scariest part. Fresh air makes me feel better. Using my body makes me feel better. I highly recommend it. Just make sure to stay at least six feet away from others if you cross paths.

  • Make a meal with what you have in your kitchen - Luckily, I stress shopped a little before we went out of town, so I have your average hunker down food like cans of soups and tuna. But, there are also some things we have that aren’t really a meal on their own, so I’m trying to piece things together to come up with some creative recipes. I’m hoping it will make us use things that have been in the pantry untouched for a while. The other night, we had baked potatoes and steamed zucchini because we were trying to eat perishables first. We’ve also made instant pot burrito bowls. Last night, I made chickpea curry and it was delicious!

  • Get takeout from a local restaurant - I am so worried about what all of this is going to mean for our small businesses in Birmingham, especially restaurants. It's such a vibrant community for food and I hope so much that we don't lose much of that because of the virus. I'm sure many other cities are panicking about the same thing. If you are able and somewhat "low risk" when it come to this virus, try to order some takeout from your favorite places over the next few weeks. We've also bought a couple of gift cards to use at later dates. I get that it's not something everyone can do, but I promise it helps them out and makes you feel a little connection to the outside world. So, go for it if you can.

I very much hope that I am able to write about travel again soon. It just still feels weird with all of this going on. I’m feeling restless, a little hopeless and from what I’ve read from other travel bloggers, I’m definitely not the only one. But, we have to be responsible or it’s going to be much longer until we can do what we love again. That goes for everyone, not just travel enthusiasts.

Wash your hands! Quarantine! Don’t go insane! This too shall pass.