I read somewhere on Twitter that the phrase “social distancing” is the proper term to use if you are staying at home even though you exhibit no coronavirus symptoms and have not been exposed to anyone who has been showing symptoms/tested positive for coronavirus. I’ve seen many people use the term “quarantine” on social media instead, so I went to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) website to see about official clarification. You are in quarantine if you have been exposed to coronavirus and are staying away from others. Isolation is for sick people to stay separate from healthy people. Maybe social distancing is a term that is best used for your public approach, and quarantine is a good term to use for those who are choosing to stay home – I’m certainly no expert. I know that I am choosing to stay home, even though I have no symptoms nor any known exposure to the virus, in case I do have it without any symptoms.
Below is a screenshot I took off the CDC’s website:
The CDC also recently recommended that folks wear a cloth face covering of sorts when going out to community settings. I have a pair of masks leftover from the summertime. I ordered them thinking wildfire smoke was going to be bad again like they were for summer 2018, but the smoke never came to Seattle thankfully.
I’ve been limiting my leaving the apartment to only grocery shopping and once a week, getting a mocha from a nearby coffeeshop that’s only open twice a week now. The coffeeshop, the Flying Apron with locations in Fremont and West Seattle, have put tape on the floor to mark 6 foot distances along the line and are doing take out orders only. Sure, I could brew a cup of my own joe at home at a cheaper rate. But I do prefer the opportunity to support a local shop as well as being able to go for a brief walk (about 7 minutes from my apartment at a leisurely pace) for a cup of what I like to call professionally-made coffee.
I tried to go out to do field workouts at a park across the street from me, but I found myself breathing funny and nearly blacking out last week. I think being out of shape caught up to me but I’m not too sure. It’s happened to me before, when I used to restrict calories and increase my workouts in college. I’m never going back to calorie counting, but I think I probably did too much for however much I ate last week. I’m going to stick to yoga and floor work routines in my apartment instead. Slow and steady is more my thing nowadays.
I’ve been working from home since March 10, when my workplace called a last-minute staff meeting together and asked for everyone to start working from home immediately if they have the means to, and to reach out if we needed to take home a monitor. I only go in to the office once every two weeks: to get checks written, signed, and put in the mail for invoices received. It’s nice to have a work commute, even if it’s only twice a month, just to get out of the neighborhood and have a brief change of scenery. Even still, someone who works in our building has tested positive for coronavirus. It was bound to happen, statistically speaking. But it does make me want to stay home all the more.
Before the shelter in place order came for Washington state, my boyfriend Dillon and I had ordered a wire shelving unit to put together for our indoor plants. We had already purchased a few plants for our collection, and it’s been nice to look at each morning as the coffee is brewing. I had recently acquired a bamboo plant and a banana leaf plant for free from someone living in the SoDo neighborhood who needed to get rid of stuff before moving. The bamboo plant needs some love as the leaves look a little burned. I have it in the living room, away from the windows. It’s still getting light, but definitely no direct light. The banana leaf plant has been very happy though, and has already unfurled a new leaf with another new one on the way out. I had purchased a fiddle leaf fig from the Peace, Love, Happiness Club in Fremont, and that one has two new leaves already since I purchased it. I recently rubbed it down with a little coconut oil and the leaves now have this nice sheen to them. I think I spot a new leaf bud coming out, but I can’t tell for sure until it grows more. Only time will tell.
I joined a Seattle plant group which has been a great resource for inspiration, knowledge, and places to order plants online. Grocery stores and Home Depot are definitely good sources, but I’ve been trying to limit grocery shopping trips to nonexistent. That’s tough though – grocery delivery and store pick-up have been booked out in advance. Which is a good thing overall, as it means many other people are taking this seriously too and staying home as well.
I’ve taken up embroidery as well. I’ve finished one project, a bouquet of roses. It’s not quite my aesthetic, for fashion or for home furnishing, but it was one of the few available that I liked. After I finish my last two kits, I’m not sure if I’ll keep going. It’s a nice way to pass the time at home after work and on the weekends. But I don’t know how to maintain the will to keep after it and try to do more projects, especially as I tend to want to do different things anyhow.
I’m trying to remind myself to be grateful that my making an income has been steady and can be brought home, that I can be safe at home as opposed to ‘stuck’ at home and not have to be obligated to risk my health being out in public to make rent. Before this, I didn’t do much anyway. I took the bus to work, and yeah I saw way more people, but I came back home afterwards. I didn’t have many gatherings before and I wasn’t a club goer, so it’s not like the quarantining and social distancing has been that drastic of a change compared to others. I think it’s okay to still fret from time to time, at least briefly. I think it’s more important to see the bigger picture and be glad if one has the ability to work from home while maintaining the same income, of course.
Being at home with my thoughts has been making me realize that I haven’t been doing much with my life. I also can’t help but wonder if I’m honestly even able to do much more though, even after things progress towards normal and we can leave our homes again. Sure, I can buy more plants and push myself to embroider some more. And yes, staying in more means I’m spending less on coffeeshops, restaurants, and bars and actually putting a little more towards my debt payoff. I miss seeing people though. I miss people watching. I miss interactions with strangers, even if they were shallow. Maybe these thoughts will go away once May gets here. Who knows.