A Year of Quarantine

Personal Article

As we've reached a full year of being in self-isolation, it's easy to see many of the negative impacts that it's had. However, by looking at it at a personal level, could something beneficial have come out of quarantine?

by Sindu Vipparthy

“I’ll either see you on Tuesday or never again”, I said to Keya as we walked down the hall to our 6th-period classes.

And guess what? I haven’t seen her since.

It’s been exactly a year since everyone was sent home due to the increasing threat of the pandemic. COVID-19, to this day, has impacted billions of people, infecting millions of people by the second and hitting the record high mortality rate in a single stretch.

However, instead of focusing on the global perspective of this pandemic, I’ll be taking all my experiences in a year of quarantine and judging whether I, on a personal level, benefitted from self-isolation or was a victim of many negative impacts.

So through all the pain and agony it has caused, is there something positive that came out of this pandemic? Or was it just an overall negative experience? Well, let’s find out.

Quarantine was a Negative Experience:

Self-isolation has impacted me greatly, and in more ways than one.

All this time, usually alone in my room, has diminished my zeal to stay physically healthy and go outside. I often find myself struggling to get out of this safe space I’ve created to spend time in fresh air. I do remember exercising every day back in May when my spirits were still high. However, the thought of this perpetuating daily cycle, the same thing over and over again, forces my mind to go numb at the thought of putting effort into anything.

After a few months of quarantine, around July, I went out for a run and was barely able to clear the block until I started wheezing. Since my physical capabilities had depreciated to such an extent, I was, and am still, unmotivated to go outside and get them back to what they used to be.

Apart from just physical health, I’ve noticed that my mental health dropped due to the lack of stimulation from the environment around me. Over time, I became more of a procrastinator and put less effort into my work since I was always tired from, essentially, living the same day over and over again.

Additionally, I’ve also noticed that my social skills, my already amateur abilities to converse with strangers, had become even worse. For example, when going to a department store recently, my mom asked me to find an employee so they could find the price of an item. I was weirdly frightened to approach the employee and “inconvenience” them for asking for help. I even rehearsed what I was going to say so I wouldn’t embarrassingly stumble across my words when speaking to them. Even while I spoke to them, I could clearly hear every stutter I made. I eventually accomplished this task, however, it gave me a startling insight into how much I’ve changed over a year; a year ago, talking to an employee would be a minor task, something over and done. However, now it’s something I’ll desperately avoid doing.

Despite conversing with people every day, talking to only a certain few people had made me forget the reality of talking to strangers.

Consequently, I encountered many downsides to being in self-isolation for months, and I’m sure many others have been caught in this unfortunate scenario as well.

Quarantine had Some Positive Impacts: