Why I Stopped Hating the Quarantine

Why I Stopped Hating the Quarantine | It’s easy to feel down while in quarantine. Few of us have had experiences similar to this period of isolation and staying at home. Sitting idly at home, staring at the ceiling; or staring at a screen can become a default way of dealing with this crisis.

At the same time, this crisis will pass most of us by as one huge missed opportunity. For most of us, this will be the only chance to change our habits for the better.  

We are creatures of habit and our lives are defined by the finite games that compose it. School is a game with rules, i.e. studying hard leads to good grades. Our jobs are another such structure with written and unwritten rules of reward and punishment. Relationships also have written and unwritten rules that evolve according to where the relationship is heading.

We can complain about the government, the feeling of lack of freedom and agency, but what is really happening is the disruption of our daily routines and structures.

There is an upshot to this disruption.

We rediscover our sense of agency and ability to transform our lives.

So, instead of the tendency to buy coffee from Starbucks, I’ve found out that I can just brew coffee using a French press and find value in doing this at home. Instead of eating out, I’ve found out that I can improve my cooking skills. Become healthier by eating home-cooked meals. I am unable to physically meet up with people but I’ve come to realize the value of connecting with family and friends and a sense of belonging to a global community.

I can be tempted into pessimism and be critical of the government’s way of managing the crisis but I have also come to understand I have a long way to go to substantially improve just one unit of society – myself.

This pandemic has brought us to bear on the reality of life observed by Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

I stopped lamenting my loss of freedom when I realized that I was undervaluing its use.

This is an opportunity to live lives with less distraction but with more intent, whole-hearted acceptance, and ownership of our actions.

Let’s make the most of this quarantine period.


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