The tension of time in quarantine is the weird mixture of boredom, anxiety and loss. For many people, lockdown has simply meant having to find new ways to keep busy without the usual mix of friends, hobbies and public spaces. For others, it’s almost meant an uptick and pre-existing mental health issues (even if we weren’t always aware of those issues). And then for a growing number of people, it’s also involved serious health scares and sometimes the death of a friend or family member.
There is, as you’ve probably noticed, no blueprint. No map. Everyone is figuring this out as we go along. We at RELEVANT are in the same boat: working from home, communicating with each other via various digital platforms and attempting to navigate the new normal. And we’re not above asking our readers for advice.
We sent out the call over social media for you to tell us what’s been encouraging you, making you feel human and helping you process this time. The answers we got made us feel better and gave us some inspiration for the coming days (weeks? Months?) on lockdown. Hopefully, it’ll do the same for you.
I live overseas. When our mandatory quarantine started, people started flying kites from their roofs every afternoon. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands in the sky each day. It gives me life and faith in humanity every time I watch them. pic.twitter.com/fojqhyR2Uk
— 51A5H (@sarahlynae1) May 14, 2020
Having the chance to take out the rubbish and find these lilacs. pic.twitter.com/1Gqv00s0yM
— Therese (ᜆ᜔ᜑᜒᜇ̵ᜒᜐ᜔) (@math_cal) May 14, 2020
Blair Lansink, via Facebook comments: I got married. It looked much different than we planned, but we were able to do a much smaller version. And I popped a lot of bubble wrap.
Also there's no one on earth I'd rather work with all day every day. She's my best friend.
— J.K. Riki (@JK_Riki) May 14, 2020
Sarah Neilson, via Facebook comments: Nurse here on frontlines. I’ve been getting care packages almost every week from friends and family praying for me and encouraging me. It has meant a lot. I don’t really connect with my church that much. They haven’t been good following up plus they more social media focused. I’ve responded to a phone call or two. But not feedback. So right now I rely on the core foundation of my faith to keep me going.
Surprising friends (and they are surprising me) with little gifts left on porches! One day a neighbor left us fresh eggs. I have given people fresh bread and cookies.
— Jaimie Bowman (@jmebowman) May 14, 2020
Tony Clay, via Facebook comments: “I had to take a step back from my church job due to hurt and battles in my own mind, but I’m finding such peace and kindness in so many people I made community with. Oh, and my best friends had a baby that they tried for 4 years to have. That’s a HUGE blessing we’ve prayed together for!”
The simple things like evening walks with my wife and kids
— Rob Gillen (@thisisrobgillen) May 14, 2020
Sarah Norton, via Facebook comments: I’m quarantined and in total isolation with 300 people on board a ship! It’s been an amazing time of building together as a community, training young people for whatever God calls them to in the future.
I took up baking as a hobby to help with the worry and stress of everything but it might become more then a hobby.
— Christopher Wilson (@Pherball91) May 14, 2020
Lauren Kvinnesland via Facebook comments: Since I live in a studio apartment, it was really hard to find boundaries while I work from home – it’s like I can never escape work. What’s more is that a large part of my job right now is wading through social media community pages, which have become cesspools of hate and anger and meanness. It’s poison to the brain and I hate that I’m at home having a hard time cutting off from that. One of the things I’ve done to get myself away from my desk is to eat my lunch (I take at least half an hour (and snacks outside on nice days and leave my phone inside. It’s amazing how many neighbors I’ve met (from a distance, of course) out walking their dogs, or jogging. I also go for a few walks a day, including a long one when I’m done for the day, just to sort of reset. And I often run into some of the same people. It’s nice to still interact with other humans who smile and say hello…
Finally being able to focus on a book again. Couldn't focus for almost a month, but now reading Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk by @EugeneCho.
— Melody Hitchner (@Fitzwilliam2911) May 14, 2020
Sky Howard via Facebook comments: After years of putting it off, I started writing music. I feel like I’m connecting with a part of myself that I never knew was there. It’s been awesome.
With everyone in the neighborhood cleaning out their houses, I’ve started taking fake SoundCloud album covers while sitting on things. And Yes, I’m willing to come on the @RELEVANTpodcast pic.twitter.com/Lh1PcRxVxe
— Ricky (@rickandliz) May 15, 2020