Thoughts About Quarantine & Culture

By now, it’s pretty safe to say this pandemic has impacted everyone in some shape or form. In a way, I think it’s bringing the world together and reminding us that we are stronger when we work together.

I’ve officially been in quarantine for over a month. Never in my life did I think something like this would happen. Obviously, I was aware that a pandemic could occur but my naive self never thought it would affect me or my everyday life. By now, it’s pretty safe to say this pandemic has impacted everyone in some shape or form. In a way, I think it’s bringing the world together and reminding us that we are stronger when we work together.

I recently read an article about how Americans view and handle the Coronavirus differently than other countries like China or Japan because we are an individualistic culture rather than a collectivist culture. Individualistic cultures emphasize the individual over the group and stresses individual rights and identity whereas collectivist cultures emphasize the group over the individual and stresses unity and selflessness.

After thinking about this, it made me realize we as Americans are having a hard time with this whole quarantine thing. We are used to thinking about ourselves and what defines us. I’ve seen many Americans struggle to think in this “group mentality” until they themselves or someone close to them has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus. It needs to affect them before they decide to realize it’s importance. A lot of Americans are struggling with this simply because our cultural values protect the individual rather than the group.

In other countries with collectivist cultures, they seem to be having an easier time putting their own individual rights on a temporary pause in order to protect the greater community. It’s easier for them because their culture focuses on putting individual needs and desires below the needs of their families and communities. Things don’t need to affect them individually before they realize its importance to the group.

No culture is better or worse than another but it’s important to take into consideration people’s cultural values when trying to understand and empathize with their decisions and point of views. While I don’t agree with everything I see on social media, I do try to empathize and understand where people may be coming from and how their cultural values shape their opinions and beliefs. I encourage you to think about such things next time you see a post that seems “idiotic” or “rude” because its values differ from yours. I’m not asking you to change your values, but simply be open to understanding. Once we can understand each other, we can work together. And once we work together, we can create real and impactful change.

My Quarantine Daily Routine

Trying to keep a routine at home can be hard. Here’s my at-home daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are Type A and struggle with anxiety (like myself) then the past few weeks might have been challenging. We have dealt with lots of uncertainty and change- from schools being cancelled, work moving online, restaurants & stores closing, disease spreading, & more. It can be quite a scary time for many of us, especially because we don’t know how long this pandemic will last or how long we will need to keep our social distance.

In trying to keep social distance and limit the spread of disease, I have been staying home as much as possible (which is hard for an extrovert like myself). While staying home all day sounds like a dream for some, it can be a nightmare for others. Before all this coronavirus stuff went down, I was on a very good routine- I would wake up, exercise, go to class, go to work, come home, eat dinner, chill, sleep, etc. A lot of my day was planned out. I knew where and when I had to be in class and at work. Travel time also took up a good portion of my day. Now that I’m stuck at home all day and all of that goes out the window! In order to create a feeling of “normalcy”, I created a daily routine for myself. Having a structured daily routine will especially help when you have to work or do school from home (something many of us are doing). So here’s my daily quarantine routine:

7am– Wake up & walk the doggo

7:30am– Breakfast, COFFEE, read my devotional/Bible, & plan out my day using my Passion Planner Daily

8:00am– Get ready for the day- shower, brush teeth, put on new clothes (this is an interesting part of the day because I’m not going anywhere so I don’t really need to get ready but I do need to take care of the essentials)

8:30am– Start working! This time can include:

  • Actual work stuff
  • School assignments
  • Personal to-do’s (i.e. calling the bank, taxes, etc)
  • Self-education (read a book, practice new language, etc)
  • Blog

12pm- Lunch time!

1pm- Quick clean up around the house

1:30pm- Get outside

  • Take dog on a long walk
  • Sit on the balcony

2:00pm- Workout!

3:00pm- Work and/or social time

  • Work Activities
    • Actual work stuff
    • School assignments
    • Personal to-do’s (i.e. calling the bank, taxes, etc)
    • Self-education (read a book, practice new language, etc)
    • Blog
  • Social Activities
    • Facetime a friend
    • Hangout with husband
    • Call family
    • Go to the grocery store (weird, I know but it’s seeing people!)
    • Text people

5:15pm– Cook dinner

5:45pm– Eat dinner

6pm– Free time

  • Social Media
  • Netflix/Hulu
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Color
  • Make new playlists
  • Go on a drive
  • Be lazy

9pm– No phones/wind down

  • Read a book
  • Journal
  • Watch a movie
  • Take a hot bath
  • Cuddle with the pup

10pm– Sleep

Of course, everyone’s routine is different and I’ll likely need to adjust my own routine as time goes on. Right now, my college is on spring break so I have more free time in my day. That might change once classes start back up. But for now, having a routine to follow brings a sense or “normalcy” and helps me to still be productive despite all the craziness going on in the world. I encourage you to try creating your own daily routine, even if it’s less structured than mine. Make sure you’re hitting the main things- sleeping, eating, showering, & connecting with friends/family. Everything else is extra! 🙂