And we are back with Week 2 of The Global Quarantine Diaries!
First up on this week’s post we have Ash!
See how she is dealing with Lockdown in Ireland below!
Where are you located?
1. I’m in Ireland.
What is lockdown like where you are?
2. Lockdown is slowly lifting here. Phase 1 was basically that we should stay home except for essential workers and grocery shopping, and people shouldn’t travel more than 2km from their home (unless its for work and they have proof incase they get stopped). Phase 2 is just started so they’re relaxing the rules a little. Smaller shops are opening and restaurants like McDonalds are open for Drive Thru orders.
How have you been keeping busy during Lockdown?
3. I’ve been so busy! I was very busy before this, but since my part-time job has been closed I’ve been appreciating the time to focus on passion projects like music and creative writing. I’ve also had more time for cleaning up my blogs. I haven’t actually spent much time on Disney Plus or Netflix at all.
What do you miss the most?
4. I miss being able to get coffee with my friends and eating out.
Whats the first thing you’ll do after lockdown?
5. The first thing I’ll do is realistically go back to work, but outside of that, I’ll probably have a night out with my friends when it’s safe to do so.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
If we are to take anything away from all of this chaos, I hope it’s a better understanding of the unpredictability of life. It’s always a good thing to have a plan but, with that said, without flexibility, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak.
“Quarantine Where I’m From”
I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (Toronto/Niagara Falls), where we are currently in “Stage 1” of reopening. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think quarantine in Ontario is too outrageously different from quarantine in the states or the UK. Social distancing rules have been enforced which, of course, include staying at home, not visiting with friends, and avoiding any non-essential outings. Although it looks like some of the rules are letting up and we may be on the road to re-opening, I am bit worried about the ominous second wave that many are predicting. Collectively, universally, we would all love for COVID-19 to be over, to see our friends, and engage in the social activities we miss, but I hope these steps to reopen don’t cost us more casualties than necessary.
“How I Keep Busy”
Personally, Netflix has consumed my life, Grey’s Anatomy more specifically. Apart from that I’ve been doing a lot of baking, and art, or whatever comes to me really. I make lots of plans to be productive and take this time to work on my future, but that all just seems unnecessary considering the end of quarantine is not yet in sight. Stress management was something I needed to focus on before we even knew about COVID-19, so I think taking this time to focus on different management strategies would be the most useful way to spend my time and improve life after quarantine.
“What I Miss”
Around this time I would usually be getting together with my friends from my hometown, welcoming summer and celebrating our survival of the previous school year. This year I graduated from university so naturally I had some plans for celebrating. I did have plans to travel so I am missing the airport and my travel buddies. Turns out the travel bug never goes away. There’s plenty to be missed but most of all, it’s not being able to see my friends and family that gets me down. I love my alone time but it is a difficult change not being able to visit and chat in person with those I care about.
“First Thing I’ll Do When Lockdown is Over”
Look into plane tickets. I hate to say it because I know there’s lots of other important things I should be thinking about in regards to my future, my career, and life as a university graduate, but I am just so excited to travel again. I think once life goes back to the way it was I will be more than eager to plan a trip and see more of the world.
This situation is not ideal, our lives have been uprooted and it feels like the solid ground we all stand on has been ripped from under us. However, we are healing. This is a hard reset, it is time to rebuild, start thinking about the life you are living/want to live, and focus on healing.