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Quarantine, we will miss: what good did self-isolation give us

No doubt: the coronavirus pandemic is a huge tragedy. According to official figures alone, more than 350 people have died; the number of people affected by the SARS-CoV-000 virus is approaching 2 people. It is expected that economic indicators in the world will decline by 6% per month, global trade may fall by 000%. The losses of the world economy are in the trillions of dollars. More than 000 Americans, one in four workers, have applied for unemployment benefits. Companies, entire industries are closing down, and areas such as tourism and the entertainment sector have an uncertain future.

Photo: Shutterstock

For me personally, this is not an abstraction: two of my close friends were seriously ill with COVID-19, another friend has been fighting the virus for the tenth week. The firm where my husband works, at the beginning of quarantine measures, faced the threat of closure, the sister's dental practice near New York closed for a long time. And almost all of us live in fear that every cough or feeling of fatigue may be the first symptoms of exposure to the organism of a virus that works like a “Russian roulette” - it kills or causes a serious illness in some and goes almost invisible in others.

However, the last stage of experiencing grief is acceptance. During this time, many of us managed to get used to and find certain positive aspects in social isolation and a situation of diminished economic activity.

Although my family is not a Hollywood star, and we do not live on an estate on several hectares of our own lands, on the threshold of the crisis we found ourselves in fairly comfortable conditions. We even joke that we have been preparing for quarantine for several years. We bought a house with a fenced area. They gave birth to a child 11 years ago - now it is big enough, it is able to serve itself and independently participate in distance learning. We even planted a garden and stocked up with toilet paper. So, along with the limitations in this situation, I personally see a lot of positive.

I like to work from home and not only because it is easier to concentrate in silence. A valuable thing for me is the opportunity to build work in accordance with my own characteristics. We all have the so-called “most productive time” when we work better. For me it is somewhere from 7 to 10 in the morning. At this time, I leave myself the most difficult tasks that require the most in-depth thinking and concentration - writing original stories and articles.

Earlier at that time, I was going to work and went to work, started the computer and checked mail, participated in the morning meeting. When it was necessary to write an analytical English-language article or a more complex blog, I often got up at 5 in the morning and did this before work or closed in the office room on Sunday morning. And after 10 it’s convenient for me to edit, translate, arrange an interview, write on less complex topics and the like.

I also really appreciate the time I spend with my family, which I always lacked. Since I gave birth to a child in the United States, even my maternity leave was limited to 3 months.

And now I have not only time when we can do something together, but just the time of staying in the same room. I love the moments when I work, and my son sits down next to read a book and from time to time comes to hug me. And also - family lunches on the veranda, the opportunity to exchange a word with my husband or pet a dog at any time.

In addition, we found new common hobbies with our son: chess, many other board games, football, watching videos on scientific topics, primarily biological. I think now we have become much closer to each other.

During the quarantine, I had the opportunity to communicate more with friends - at least by telephone and via video, and recently in a very limited, constant circle of people close to me - and physically.

Walking in the forest, which used to be our favorite pastime, began to bring even more pleasure. And walking in the woods, and reading a book on the veranda, and playing “Monopoly” with your family is much more pleasant, realizing that you are not missing anything important at this time, and there is no other place where I would most likely be at that moment.

Although I had to refuse to go in for sports, to go jogging with other women from the running club and to swim, I managed to get into the daily routine over time. It should not be a 10-15 km race every time - an hour's walk or 30 minutes of strength training is enough. After quarantine, I would like to find the strength and time for doing sports every day.

How about others? I asked my friends to share what quarantine taught them and what they would miss after it ended. Here are some answers that I found interesting.

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Elena Djordjevic, Rockville, Maryland, journalist

I began to live more in the present. During a forced stay at home, we go on long walks around our city. Now I began to notice changes in nature with the advent of spring - in more detail and clearly than before. And also - details in houses, faces of neighbors that I have not noticed before. I would like to keep in myself this state of calm observation. The rush in which we lived in the recent past is toxic and crazy. Free and family time should be sacred. In addition to the tradition of family watching films, we have a new one - joint reading of books. We sit down together and everyone reads his book.

I became more creative in my work, I have time to focus on individual projects and stories, and not to react all the time to an unstoppable flow of news. In these circumstances, I realized that my interest as a journalist is more in topics of a social direction and in human stories than in politics.

I also realized that it is quite possible to engage in physical exercises using Internet resources. I used to skip a lot of zumba lessons because their schedule did not match mine, but now I can just turn on the computer and do the exercises at a convenient time for me. I learned how to paint my nails with varnish myself, baked a lot of bread and I hope that I will continue to do this.

Oleg Nikolenko, New York, NY, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UN

Quarantine has shown how efficiently you can conduct online meetings. During a meeting of the UN Security Council in a video conference for 6 hours, representatives of 80 countries spoke - almost half the world. Most speakers spent 3-4 minutes on their participation. Previously, for a high-level delegation to take part in such a meeting, it would take at least 3-4 days, including logistics. I do not think that the quality of the discussion has worsened. This is the case when a problem gives rise to creative solutions. Of course, Zoom will not replace the depth of personal communication between diplomats, but after quarantine ends, at least part of the meetings at the UN can be easily held online.

Tatiana Terdal, Portland, Oregon, Management Consultant

Quarantine made it possible to know a little more about yourself and other family members. It’s good to be able to virtually join my children’s school activities, to listen to how lectures are held and communication between teachers and students takes place. Usually parents are not able to attend high school classes.

I also discovered the value of orderly communication in online groups - even introverts need regular social communication. We already had a lot of professional meetings online, but friendlies were not enough. When distance learning began, I and other parents felt the need for periodic meetings of children in Zoom and on other platforms. As a result, we created and subscribed to many groups that meet regularly and on a schedule: the parent group of classmates, children's groups, including a video game group, a book club, the Dungeons and Dragons game group, and others. I created a group at Zoom and meet with local Ukrainians weekly. I hope that some communities and regular communication will remain after quarantine.

Galina Kozachenko, Falls Church, Virginia, vice president of professional association

I realized how much we load children. And how it became easier and more fun for everyone to live without all these circles and sections. I began to communicate more with friends. Virtually on Fridays, we play the Jeopardy game. That way all my friends, even those living in Canada, can join.

I also noticed how little hobby I have at home. And when the coronavirus pandemic began, I realized that all my favorite activities are on the street. I had to rethink myself, figure out what drives me out of the house. And I came up with a bunch of hobbies in the house, for example, reading in a small corner with a sofa, oil baths, slow yoga. I also like digging in the garden and long walks alone. I want to keep all this. But miss friends in real time.

Natalia Arno, Alexandria, Virginia, President, Non-Governmental Organization

During quarantine, I learned to value human communication even more. Calls to Zoom cannot completely replace it. I learned to appreciate simple things, notice details around, especially nature. It turns out that every tree can be very beautiful, even every leaf of it. Near our house, blue jays made a nest, hatched eggs, chicks hatched, now parents feed them, drive away the squirrel. We are closely watching this. I would like to continue to notice all this and upon returning to the previous schedule with a bunch of flights and events.

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Yuri Deichakovsky, North Potomac, Maryland, cardiologist

The quarantine taught me to always expect the unpredictable, to be flexible, and also grateful for what we have, not to cry because of our own problems and to help others more. We must be prepared for the pandemic to return, and we will have to live in a "new normal" state, which is different both from how we live now and from how we lived before the pandemic. From a professional point of view, I want to urge people not to be afraid to call an ambulance or ask someone from the family to deliver you to the hospital if they feel the symptoms of a possible heart attack or stroke. We have had cases where, due to fear of coronavirus, people did not contact on time, did not receive proper emergency medical care, and as a result had very negative consequences.

Svetlana Ivanishin-Ugrina, Chicago, Illinois, Lawyer

Quarantine gave a unique opportunity to spend more time with children. Before that, I studied at college for 4 years, and I did not have enough time for a family vacation. Also, my opinion about distance learning has changed for the better. Previously, there were several classes in college online, and then I really did not like it. However, during quarantine, I began to watch lectures on continuing education - and I began to like to listen to lectures on the Internet.

Ilya Zaslavsky, Washington, DC, Analyst

I had to learn many skills anew - repairing a computer, a robot vacuum cleaner, a bicycle, a crane, doors myself. We began to appreciate the basic things: a walk, fresh air, the ability to move freely. Behind I would like to leave constant anxiety to get sick and especially transmit the disease to our little child.

Svetlana Sischuk, Brooklyn, New York, housewife

I hope that we will no longer have to repeat the experience we got this year. We quarantine another world. After all, its formal ending does not at all mean an automatic return to life, which was before the pandemic. The only thing I would like to leave in my life in the future is less categorical in evaluating the actions of other people and more attentiveness to those who are nearby. And the understanding that although my relatives are quite enough for me, they just don’t have enough for me — other people are needed for communication. And also, to leave the ability to calmly relate to changes that I cannot influence.

Original column published on the blog. "Voices of America".

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