It has been nearly four weeks since the beginning of lockdown conditions. Yet it is indisputably important to become hermits of our home at this time – not everyone is invincible to the invisibility of the virus. It’s a necessary collective effort and, really, few outcomes are worse when fighting a national health issue than staying indoors. It is restricting our daily lives, yes – but at the cost of extending the lives of those most vulnerable in our society.
Many articles have since arisen to advice how to continue living normally to ease our isolation experiences, including many concerned with how to work from home successfully. Nevertheless, as are most things like this, it is easier said than done. While self-isolation has provided me with time to focus on my last assignments and use my time indoors productively – especially now I do not have a part-time job, social events or a hangover to hinder my productivity levels (I’ll let you decide which one was more detrimental to getting work done) – I should be making waves in my work rather than dipping my toe in the water. After turning my bedroom into a downgraded library (my family, however, do not understand silent study) and replacing my study break walks to Marketplace for walks to my kitchen cupboard, I still have only been resourceful in terms of finding alternative ways to procrastinate. I’ve been trying to learn how to do a handstand and the splits, been providing for my three Sims households, baking banana breads, performing TikTok dances and teaching my dog pointless tricks. I am working more on myself rather than working from home, I like to say.
When I have planned to work on my assignments, many have involved discussions with my tutors over Zoom to continue the normality of office hours. Now no longer situated in offices, I spend excessive time trying to find a nice background for my call. But all the effort to find a neutral background becomes irrelevant when my family continue to stroll into my room asking how sensitive my lactose-intolerance is because the shops are sold out of lactose-free milk. They assumed I was talking to myself they said. I turned to my dissertation supervisor and apologised for the intrusion, as well as the intrusive information regarding my dairy dilemmas (I choose email correspondence now).
The steps-counter on my phone is yet to comprehend the limited mobility consequences of these lockdown measures. While I am being helpfully informed my screen-time is going up by 70% each week (my eyesight quality reducing at the similar rate), this is partly due to my new obsession with home workout routines. It is proving difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle due to my boredom-producing bakes and sitting down all day, turning me into that very potato which sits nicely on the couch, so I decided one week in to make a change. The effortless instructors flex their physiques and Fabletics memberships during their routines to getting abs in two weeks and a lifted bum in even less time. Even if I do not enjoy these workouts (pretty much a minute into them oops), at least my parents enjoy watching me try.
When winding down after a hard day of work, I have partaken in many activities I would usually do outside, like pub quizzes with my friends (a more appropriate purpose for Zoom). While we cannot win a round of drinks, our livers are winning instead. I have also completed trending challenges such as the “run 5, donate 5, tag 5”, and offered my help to neighbours who are isolating and more vulnerable. Additionally, I have spent more time with my family – a family which I have come to realise I am incredibly lucky to have, especially at a time like this and should not take for granted. It’s called isolation, but we are not alone.
Even if we are currently in our fifth row over monopoly.
– Emily Coleman