TWO MONTHS IN QUARANTINE
Two months ago, South Florida went into a quarantine. All of us lacked the knowledge of what we were about to endure. All we could do was prepare in the best way that we knew we could. When they announced that we were going into a lockdown, I literally thought that everything was going to shut down. I thought that grocery stores were going to close for a few weeks and that we would run out of food. Initially, I think that many people had that same thought which caused everyone to panic buy food and other unusual items at the stores.
After the news cleared up what quarantine entailed, luckily, they left the grocery stores and other essential places open. When the news broke out about the lockdown, I had friends and family from all over contact me and tell me to prepare and stay safe. After that, I prepared in the best way a Florida native knows how- via hurricane style. I actually did not panic buy or hoard items, but I did get enough food to last at least a week.
At that time, I went to Whole Foods Market to buy groceries, but the shelves already emptied out of the essential items that I typically purchase. Honestly, the store was cleared out in more ways than when a hurricane hits Florida. I know I explained this in my other post, but us Floridan’s really only know how to prepare for shutdowns in the way we prepare for hurricanes. It is our second nature and we are so used to that.
I would’ve never thought that trip to Whole Foods would’ve been my last one for these past two months. Whole Foods remained open, but instead of going to the grocery stores, I decided to utilize the grocery delivery services. Even though I miss going to the grocery stores, I thought that delivery was the better option during this time.
These two months have felt emotionally draining, exhausting, isolating, worrisome, and just overall challenging. Sleeping well is non-existent and my dreams are overly vivid and intense. There is an extensive amount of news articles about the virus blasted to us from all different directions at every moment of the day. It’s overwhelming to say the least. We hear and see it through social media, news alerts on our smartphones, the television, or from friends and family. Even if we try to avoid the news, it is almost impossible. We don’t know what to believe with all of the different articles out there. Fear mongering surely takes the winner of the main objective of the news these days.
Many people have lost their lives as a result of the virus. Every day I read another article of someone dying. It breaks my heart for those individuals and their families. Also, many people have lost their jobs, their homes, and are just struggling. The virus isn’t just costing the lives of the ones infected, but also to the ones that aren’t infected. This time is testing us and pushing us to our limits in ways we never knew possible. Furthermore, the overall theme of these past two months is loss.
Even with all of the loss, death, darkness, and destruction that is so present, there is still so much beauty left in this world. It is so hard to keep up with the ever-fleeting positivity, but I am trying my hardest. Staying home all day can cause stress and wreak havoc on our mental health, but to know we are safe and have this time at home that we will never have again is something to look on the bright side for. Also, sometimes we need to go through loss and dark days to appreciate the light and value in our lives.
On December 31, 2019, I saw the most beautiful rainbow in the Bahamas. I spent New Year’s there with one of my best friends. The rainbow was situated between the darkest of clouds. But even through those dark clouds, the rainbow was full and one of the brightest ones I have ever seen. Seeing that beautiful sight gave me hope for the new year of 2020. Also, it taught me that no matter the darkness, there is always something so bright that will shine through. It was a lesson that I needed at that moment. But it was also a tool I could carry with me through my life and the new year that was about to happen.
I came back from the Bahamas on January 1st, 2020 with a new perspective and new goals. The beginning of 2020 started out remarkably. I had all of my travel plans booked for the next 3 months. Also, there were many celebrations and monumental moments coming up. New opportunities were happening for me and for once in my twenties, I felt like I was in the right spot and heading in the right direction.
The first week of March came and we were all presented with new obstacles. The virus started to hit the United States at that time, and we were all about to encounter many challenges. I had to cancel travel plans and things started changing rapidly. Life as we knew it stopped in that moment and this silent war of a novel virus ensued.
It’s been two months now since the quarantine began. To say this is a challenging time would be an understatement. We are all dealing with our own adversities through all of this. Most importantly, staying busy, staying connecting with your friends and family, and finding productive activities to occupy your mind are the best ways to get through this time.
Having all of this time on my hands, I have learned so much. I learned that life is just so damn short and the only constant in life is change. Change is hard and terrifying but it’s also necessary for the birth of a new chapter. In a moment, we can lose it all and also lose the ones we love. Our goals can be squashed in a matter of seconds. As a result, we must enjoy every single moment we have and live life to the fullest. We shouldn’t take anything or anyone for granted because you never know what will happen. It’s important to value the people in your life who are always looking out for you, care about you, and support you.
We can either let atrocities brings us down or we can face them head on and keep moving forward. In the strangest of ways this time has been a gift. I have done so many things that I haven’t done in a while. I started writing a lot, creating videos, taking walks every day, riding my bike again, and just spending quality time with my family that I am quarantining with. We were all so focused on work before that we forgot about the simple things that matter the most.
I have a new meaning of what it truly means to be human. When it all comes down to it, if money was non-existent and life didn’t operate from an economic standpoint, what truly matters is how much you love and care, what you do for others, and how you contribute to society. Love is always the answer to everything. Balance is the key to life. Also, health is so important, both physically and mentally. Without our health we have NOTHING, so it is important to take care of yourselves and be proactive about it.
Last week, I saw another rainbow. The sky behind the rainbow was a beautiful pink color. It was another reminder from that day back in December to remember to find the light through all of the darkness and that brighter days are ahead. It also was a reminder to be a light when you can’t find it and to also be one for others.
I know everyone is so eager to get back to how life was before. But, what kind of life was that? People were overworked, greedy, selfish, and uncaring. We were always on the run and rushed through life. Everything was about “how can this benefit me?” Social media took over our lives and real-life social skills and connection disappeared. The majority of relationships turned into “situationships” and catching feelings became a sin. Most people didn’t value others lives and lacked empathy for them. We became emotionally desensitized. People who didn’t show their emotions were deemed strong, while the ones who were more in tune with their feelings were labeled weak. kindness was also mistaken for weakness. The environment on Earth was also suffering greatly.
Do you really want to return to a life like that?
Of course, not everyone was like that, but what we value in society is all backwards. I really hope that once places start reopening and life begins again, it blossoms into a whole new way of living. Maybe if we were all a bit kinder, friendlier and didn’t put so much value on materialistic objects, this world would be a happier place to inhabit. We don’t have to wait for others to change, we all have the power within ourselves to do it. If we want things to change, we must first start with ourselves.
Even though this situation we are going through is terrible, sometimes it really does take an illness or catastrophe to wake us all up to create a new better world.
As two months have passed and Florida reopened this week, I just hope and pray that things do get better! Only time will tell. It’s been tough not seeing my other family members and friends. I miss them so much! I will never take spending time with them for granted ever again. Hopefully, we will all get to see each other soon! A hug from them will carry a new meaning.
My heart goes out to those of you have lost a loved one during this tragedy ♥
Thank you to everyone on the frontlines for your bravery and hard work during this time!
After two months in quarantine, I have felt every emotion imaginable, but I am holding onto the hope and faith that this will all end soon so that we can start this new normal. Hopefully, they still have organic food in this new world or maybe it will all be organic! Again, an organic girl can dream. I am praying for better days ahead for all of us and I hope that you all stay safe!