Global Quarantine Diaries – Lulu

Lockdown in the USA has been one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced. It went from everyone joking about the pandemic, to horrific death tolls, back to a joke, and now we’re all protesting. It’s been a rollercoaster and a very difficult time for its citizens. The world watched us as we handled COVID-19 poorly and in the coming months, I am worried to see the lasting effects especially during the second wave. However, we as people, are resilient and hopeful. I hope the USA can learn from its mistakes during the second wave and act accordingly. 

Where in the world are you located? 

Charlotte, NC, USA 

What are lockdown regulations like? 

Lockdown regulations differed from state to state. For example, if Florida’s governor decided that they would stay open, they had the right to. But, in North Carolina, lockdown began on March 17th. Initially, it began by closing businesses unless they were essential (logistics, grocery stores, healthcare, restaurants for takeout, etc.) so, many people lost their jobs. Regulations included no gatherings of more than 10 people, unessential travel should be avoided, or it could result in a misdemeanor charge or fine (but that was never enforced), and social distance as much as possible. Going on walks, and being outdoors was encouraged but all the state parks, and trails closed down. Then we started reopening in phases by May 14th. “Phase 1” included parks and recreation to open up, retail businesses opened up at half capacity, and childcare facilities opened for essential workers. We are currently in “Phase 2” for another 3-5 weeks which means that restaurants opened up at half capacity, stay at home orders were lifted, and people are allowed to gather up to 25 people outside. Once “Phase 3” goes into effect, essentially all restrictions will be lifted, and normal life can continue. 

How are you keeping busy? 

During lockdown, I took a walk every day. Lockdown was an extremely depressing time and so hard to adjust to. I am a social person that thrives off of interaction with other people, so it was difficult. So, to combat those feelings, I ran/walked a trail by my house every day. I was so excited the first time I saw someone else passing on the trail and we got to say “Hi” to each other. Other than that, I cleaned just about everything you can imagine. Even the little crevices of my drawers. As expected, Netflix and every other streaming platform became my best friend. I watched a full TV series in a day once. Now that we’re in “Phase 2”, I am back to working. I am a bartender/server at a restaurant, and we are open at half capacity. I am required to wear a mask and gloves but the fear of getting Coronavirus sits in the back of my head every minute. I am happy to be back doing something productive and purposeful but with that comes so much anxiety. After the second week of being open, it doesn’t really seem like many people care about the pandemic. I’ve heard one too many jokes about it and my restaurant gradually became busier and busier. Life is starting to look normal here in North Carolina as people disregard the threat of COVID-19. 

What do you miss doing the most? 

The thing I miss doing the most is traveling. When I’m working, I have a lot of flexibility so over the weekends, I like to take trips to the mountains, the beach, and other big cities in North Carolina or surrounding states. It’s been stressful to feel so restricted however it is warranted and necessary. I can’t wait to visit friends and see new things. I also miss going for a night out and being able to have fun with my friends carefree. It won’t happen now, but in time, it will happen again. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over? 

The first thing I’m going to do when lockdown is over is have a beer with my friends at my favorite dive bar. There’s nothing more comforting than sitting on the porch of a bar with a beer in your hand day-drinking. While technically, I am allowed to do this at this stage in North Carolina’s reopening, I am trying to take more precautions about going out unless necessary considering I am now working in a restaurant and potentially exposing myself more frequently. It’s difficult to see everyone out and about but the pandemic hasn’t halted just because the economy needed to reopen.

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Global Quarantine Diaries – Jessie (Me!).

Hello!

I am Jessie and welcome to my blog and my instalment in the Global Quarantine Diaries! To say I’ve enjoyed this time it would be a solid 50/50 split. I’ve loved being furloughed of work and having time to myself and to get organised but I’ve also been ever so slightly stir crazy with cabin fever. I can’t wait to get back to work, to see my girlfriends and family, going to the gym, my god I MISS THE GYM.

Where in the world are you located?

I am living in England in a small village in-between Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

What are Lockdown regulations like there?

Lockdown regulations here have been implemented and are very strict as it should be to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

These are the main rules and regulations that have been implemented during our lockdown. We are now currently in Phase 1 (I think). In honesty I’ve been trying to stay on top of what is what but I’m trying to not keep too much of an eye on it, it isn’t good for my mental health, my family can keep me updated on the important bits of what we can and can’t do which I appreciate a lot.

How are you keeping busy?

I am trying to keep myself busy every day as I find I really lose the will and get cabin fever if I don’t keep myself amused. So What have I been doing?

  1. Reading! – I used to read when I was younger all the time, all day every day when I could. Once I hit sixth form college and university I completely fell off it. I only ever picked up a text book that was relevant to my uni or college work and that was it. It wasn’t until my final year of uni I started reading again thanks to Majelle leaving a load of books here as she couldn’t take them back to Canada. That was it, I was off, I started slowly and now with lockdown I’ve read at least 19 books in the past two months and it has been amazing. Outside of lockdown and in total i’ve read 26 books this year and I absolutely love fantasy fiction. It made me realise just how much I missed reading a GOOD BOOK and there are so many I had been missing out on just because I couldn’t be bothered or found something on Netflix to binge watch instead. I even booted up my 2012 Paperwhite kindle which still works a dream and have been using it religiously. Its also so lovely to pass the time and also really helps with my anxiety.
  2. Working out! – I’ve tried to work out or run as often as possible. Im a bit of gym bunny so when they closed the gyms (which was of course a wise choice in the current states) I was a bit stumped. Running is hard with my achilles pain but its been well worth it for my weight and mental health. I’ve been following the likes of Joe Wicks on YouTube and doing DANCE workouts! I can’t even dance I have 2 left feet but my god am I SWEATING whenever I finish up! I feel it helps me get through the day a bit easier and allows me to eat all the cakes I make. I also enjoy walking, having the dog is helpful as we go on regular dog walks, I love going at sunset as its the best time of the day.
  3. Baking – If anyone knows me they know I despise cooking. But lockdown has helped me realise I love making desserts. I’ve got a speciality Victoria Sponge cake down and we’ve made cupcakes and brownies in tow! Thats another great way to pass the time!
  4. Blogging & Social Media – This time has been really good to take part in blogging collaborations, getting my blog all organised and posts written, just being able to promote my blog and engage with other bloggers has been so beneficial for me. Keeping my socials up to date has also been a positive.
  5. Spending time with the family – Sunday is a games night in this house! Im in lockdown with my boyfriend, my dad and stepmum. And not forgetting, the doggo! We’ve been cooking dinners, going on walks and bike rides and its been fantastic spending all this time together. Thats what I am really cherishing.
  6. I bought a Nintendo Switch! – So I’ve also been seshing Spyro, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, all of my favourite games on my switch! It was so worth the money and a great bit of kit. If anyone has any game recommendations please do let me know in the comments!
  7. Learning French! – Thats right, I’ve decided to teach myself French with Duolingo. I decided on this when we went to Paris and I realised my reading ability of french was actually MUCH better than I had ever imagined. I did French at school for 7 years and didn’t pick it back up in college or uni. I wish I knew another language so why not take the time now to learn a new language? Its great to pass the time and really push and motivate yourself as well! Its something I am really happy I decided to pick up. I’ve even learn how to flirt in french, Voulez-Vouz dancer aves moi?
  8. Zoom Calling! – Honestly nothing has made me feel more grounded than Zoom chatting my friends every Friday night and Saturday night. It gives me life, a good laugh and a chance to catch up with everyone all over the world and in the UK. Also a good chance to drink. We’ve been playing all sorts of drinking games and also doing a book club as well! It’s just so nice to see everyone and breaks up the week massively.
  9. Binge watching Netflix – I put this one last because I haven’t actually done much of this. Yes I have absolutely watched A LOT of tele but no where near as much as I would have imagined. I guess there is only so much you can sit and watch and I was already watching a lot of Netflix after dinner and before bed with my man. We are watching Outer Banks, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Brassic (which is FANTASTIC) and Lil Dicky’s new TV Show DAVE. What are you watching at the moment?

What do you miss doing the most?

Honestly I miss my friends. I miss my girlfriends who are in two different directions and distances from my home, and visiting my friends back up in my Uni city. I miss going to the pub for a pint, never again will I take advantage of a beautiful beer garden I will cherish it in my soul. I also miss the gym, nothing compares I find to the motivation I feel to workout in the gym. Once lockdown has started to ease and I feel more confident in myself I know normality will return at one point.

But you know what I miss the most? Travel.

I CANNOT wait to be on a plane again. Visiting places on my bucket list, touring the UK and Europe and more importantly my potential trip to Australia. I can’t wait to hear the words ‘Cabin Crew for boarding’ and “Can I have your passports please?”. I want to go back to exploring. I miss it so so dearly I feel I’ve lost a limb.

Luckily with the current regulations you can have 6 people socially distancing in your back garden which has been a nice change of pace. We met one friend in the park for the afternoon for a social distancing catch up and we also met two other friends for a social distancing kick about. Making sure to be as safe as possible whilst we do it. I miss normality.

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over?

Once lockdown is over I am going to go to my hometown on the East Coast and see my mum, sister and my friends down there. Then next on the agenda is spending time with my 3 best girlfriends that I have here in the UK. I miss those girls more than life and we’ve been trying to tour different UK cities together, most recently (Pre Covid-19) Liverpool. So who knows where we will end up next when we do all see each other.

I know it will be a long while until everything is back to normal but I can’t wait to be back to where we were. Back to work. Back to exploring and travelling. Back to Normality!

Global Quarantine Diaries – Becca

My Time in Iso!

Where in the world are you located? 

Hi! My name is Becca and I’m writing to you from Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

 

What are the quarantine regulations like there? 

Because Canada is such a big country, the regulations vary per province, which each one deciding how it handles the current situation. Where I live, things have begun reopening over the past couple of weeks and regulations appear be (slowly) loosening up a teeny bit, particularly in the grocery stores. We are not required to be wearing masks in public and are able to go outside freely but must keep a safe distance from others. At the moment we are not permitted to hangout in groups yet, but soon will be allowed to gather in small groups with some restrictions. 

How are you keeping busy? 

My time in isolation started 2 months ago and I’ve been spending my time doing things that I previously didn’t have time to do or prioritize with my overloaded work & school schedule. As the weeks have gone by, I’ve inadvertently created a new daily routine to fit my new social isolation reality that focuses on both my education and activities that bring me joy. Pre-quarantine, I was learning a lot about balance, it was an element that was severely lacking from my life and it’s crazy to see my situation being turned upside down into a position where I have profuse amounts of time. I’m naturally the kind of person who’s constantly running a million miles a minute and I have a really deep need to be productive and accomplish tasks throughout my day. Truthfully, I believe this has helped me to not only take advantage of my time in quarantine but to reconnect with myself and (re)discover new interests, hobbies and passions. 

With that, let’s get into what I’ve been up to: 

· During iso I’ve been loving just being active whether it’s a long walk with a podcast or a sweaty home workout. My love of fitness has really come out to shine and plays an integral role in my new routine. I make sure to start my day with movement and have been living for a variety of yoga, running, home workouts, Sarah’s Day’s eBook and my newfound love of yoga sculpt (a hybrid of yoga, cardio and strength training) 

· I recently started an online spring semester with my uni so I have a few classes a week that take up my afternoons 

· I also completed an online course in nutrition and have been brushing up on my Spanish with some classes on YouTube 

· Quarantine has given me the opportunity to shift my focus on my side project and begin to transition it into my side-hustle. I have an Instagram account that I use as a mini blog where I share my plant-based recipes and share some tips towards living a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle 

· Lottttss of baking! This is something I had given up for a long time, without meaning to I just lost contact with that side of me, but Sunday baking has become one of my favourite parts of the week 

· I’ve been setting myself fun goals both big and small (including teaching myself to hold a handstand) 

· Spending time with my partner and calling my friends and family over zoom and facetime 

· I’ve definitely watched my fair share of Netflix too.

What do you miss the most? 

The small and material things have become adjustments that I’ve simply gotten used to because they were never that important to begin with. However, there are aspects of this situation that are still a strange reality, such as seeing a friend (from a safe social distance) for the first time in months and not being able to give them a hug. Moreover, I miss my home province of British Columbia and my family and friends who live there because with the current situation, it’s slightly more challenging to make my way back there for a visit. In all, I’d say that the things I miss are the personal elements of life rather than the more physically recognizable aspects. 

What is the first thing you’ll do once lockdown is over? 

The first thing I’m doing is going for a HIKE, I can’t even begin to explain how much I’m been craving it as its one of my favourite things to do. In light of Coronavirus, the government shut down lots of the parks that served for outdoor activities and while there are still a few options available, I’m really looking forward to spending my time in the great Canadian outdoors. The second biggest plan of my agenda is to explore this side of the continent, and believe me I have a loooong list of places to check off – and a Pinterest board to go with it. I can’t wait to explore Québec the eastern side of Canada and the U.S.,there’s just so many destinations to explore but my top ones have to be the Fjords along the Saguenay, Boston and New York, Les Iles des Madeleine, la Gaspésie, Cape Breton and well actually there’s too many to pick favourites. 

Summit of Mt. Garibaldi
Summit of Mont Orford

 Where you can find me: 

· Personal Instagram: @beccastruss 

· Food Insta: @naturally.becs 

· I’m also Beccastruss on VSCO and Pinterest