The COVID-19 pandemic is on the lips of everyone right now. And it has been going on for way longer than we all expected. It is an unprecedented event, then changed the way to live our lives, and I wrote extensively on the coronavirus crisis subject. That’s why I asked some friends about their experience. How did your life change? How did the Covid-19 pandemic change our lives?
How did your life change? How were you affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Firstly, I want to share a bit more of my isolation experience, before sharing what others have experienced.
As a blogger, I need time to write and to work on my craft. I was already months behind with everything, and a downtime was what I needed to get my work done. I have been super excited and busy with my blog and vlogging channel.
As for social life and everything else, it is possibly the strangest time I’ve lived. I lost my job due to all the industries that were shut down (I was working at a company which was providing entertainment). I haven’t seen any of my friends and family, and there isn’t anything going on.
I also stopped watching the news. And that is probably the best things to do when things go crazy like they are right now.
The thing that keeps me motivated and going on with my stuff is that I know that this downtime isn’t going to last forever. And I am excited to see how things will evolve from here.
But this is just me and my opinion about the Covid-19 pandemic. How did it affect others? I asked them and these are their answers.
How were you affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Catalina, (@travel.stardust), Romania
29.04.2020, isolation day 51 :”How did quarantine affect my life”
Well, for a person that almost a year ago took a career break, some time “out of office”, “me time’, sabbatical, you name it…from some point of view was easier to be managed this isolation.
But having in mind that what I have done and what I had planned was to travel… well, everything changed.
It was challenging to celebrate Easter and birthday alone. I have a big family and without exceptions, Easter and Christmas were spent together.
Also, having one of my sister, doctor, the stress (and frustration) was on top. But I had the previous exercise since I decided to self-isolate myself 14 days after my last trip, which was in Italy, at the end of February. (Although I didn’t have to.)
Looking back, I realize that I have done a lot, and I believe that nothing will be the same after, we will not be the same. But I hope for the best.
First of all, I overpass the sadness felt when the next trips were cancelled.
I spent much time organizing and dreaming about it. But, as my friends and family said, it was just postponed, not cancelled.
I have gone through acceptance, compassion, following the statistics closely to nurture relationships and try to keep the connection, reset, re-discover, challenge myself etc. It is indeed a “white-space” for us. We can use it to think about nothing or about what matters most in our lives.
Without a daily schedule, unless I have some e-events / workshop with fix schedule (cause I have to attend some work activities), in all the “chaos”, I’ve done what almost everybody is increasingly doing nowadays, which is cooking, reading, stop checking news (only once per day, anyhow I stopped watching TV a few years ago), I read stories on “Jurnal de pandemie” by DOR on a daily basis.
The challenge was that I cannot share the food or eat together with closed ones 🙂 and had to reconsider the quantities.
I found new learning opportunities. I used to attend some courses before on Coursera, but now I choose something different: “The Science of Wellbeing”. I also attended some webinars regarding food photography and just receive as a bday gift, a cooking course on EDX. I’m even exercising my Italian on Duolingo.
I miss chasing sunsets (I can’t see it from my flat). I miss travelling and I miss my family and friends, coffee enjoyed in a nice place, road trips and nature.
But I spend some time thinking about what to do in future, what I like most, and I believe this is a positive part out of this isolation.
Emotionally, mentally, reshaping values….changes are ongoing, maybe now more than ever. I am now living and embracing those changes. I am blessed that I have people close to me (even though at a distance), that I have so many travel memories, that have often inspired my cooking and readings.
One step at a time.
This isolation period is OK for me and I could say I am lucky. My job allows me to work from home and my income wasn’t affected.
But working from home often means that I work more, since there aren’t a lot of other leisure activities happening. But it keeps me busy and I like it.
The best part of my day is the lunch break, when I get to cook something tasty and sometimes I even have time for a short nap afterwards.
Luckily, I live in a house and I can enjoy a coffee on the terrace and in the garden and a walk in the woods nearby my house. This helps a lot.
During this social-distancing period, I have more time and money to spend on things around the house (that’s all the money I sued to spend on social activities, eating out and travelling). I got a coffee table for the inside and new grass and some roses for the garden. These were things I was always postponing.
I also started doing some sport, although I had quit going to the gym since last year. Thee online fitness classes are just one of my job’s perks and it was time to take advantage of them.
I also started taking better care of my skin and developed a skincare routine, which I hope it will last longer than the isolation time.
I don’t think there is anything that I have stopped doing.
I don’t wear makeup anymore but I still do my nails. And I have started wearing nicer pyjamas and clothes while at home😂.
If it wasn’t the whole wedding thing (which is supposed to happen later this year, but at this point, I have no idea if it’s still on), I can say that it isn’t a bad time for me.
Yes, I do want to go to the office, have coffee with my colleagues and see my friends, but these aren’t things that affect me emotionally. I use Zoom and Teams to connect with them. I have also passed by my mother’s house every now and then.
As for my relationship, everything is the same. We did learn that we can have a barbeque for two and we don’t need the entire group of friends.
I didn’t cook, cleaned or watched Netflix more than usual.
Life goes on.
This quarantine caught me up when I was abroad and that’s why I had to return home earlier and stay in self-isolation for 2 weeks (the police was checking on me haha).
For me, this time is both good and bad.
Good because I haven’t stayed that much at home since I was little and now I enjoy spending time with my parents and just seeing how everything turned green and alive in the garden. It’s the little things. ❤️
This time is terrible, first of all, because I am a student and I take online classes. I can say that I find them even more difficult than when I was in Uni, and I have so much work to do after classes.
Also, it’s bad because I can’t travel anymore, I can’t see my sister and neither my friends.
This time shows us who really matter. We should really take care of the people we love more.
I realised that no matter what, the people who care for you for real, are the ones who stay with you even if it is war time or pandemic time.
Ana (blogger at jautingtrips.com), Romania
The past few weeks have been an adjustment, but I think I am doing better in some aspects and worse in others.
Work takes me 5 minutes to get to, from bed to the desk, so I can wake up literally just before “I should be in the office”. I start at 8.30, so I usually have to get up at 7, which I HATE.
The downside is that I am working a lot more and I had a pay cut of 25%. This will affect my financial plan because I also have credits and a trips “piggy bank” to fill. You might say that I am not spending on going out. Well, I didn’t spend that much before quarantine either. So not helping me here.
On the plus side, I finally have some time to do some housework.
What I really miss is traveling.
I had plans to go to Spain this Spring and to Sicily for my birthday. That’s out of the window.
I miss taking pictures. I love photographing springtime. That’s also out of the window. And I miss biking.
Thankfully, once the restrictions are over, I can do it. Now, I am more afraid of getting a ticket than getting the virus. You never know with the Romanian police, and those fines are enormous.
Emotionally I am kind of chill. I don’t get anxious or stressed by this situation. I do miss my friends for sure and hanging out with them. As for dating.. that is also on hold. No swiping right for a while. 😆
I have a feeling by the time I actually get organised with everything, the restrictions will be over, and I have to rethink my schedule again. However, taking that first bike ride and actually planning that first post-COVID-19 trip will be amazing to have in sight finally.
Well, first of all, I have a bit of a problem with the word quarantine as this actually means the restriction of movement of sick people. But Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people. But hey who am I to question the ‘wisdom’ of the scientists and politicians?
My life is not actually much different now really! This is because I have worked from home for the past 15 years.
I am based in the UK and work in IT as a Technical Consultant and can do much of my work from home.
I am a very active person, and I make sure I move as often as possible all throughout the day so in the morning before I start work I am always out on my garden, stretching and exercising. Even during the working day, I pop outside to grab some fresh air as often as possible.
In the UK we’re allowed out of our houses once per day to exercise but people generally go out whenever they want. I see families out walking with their kids and dogs all day long.
In my lunch breaks, I go out for a 20-minute run.
The main difference is the evenings, and the weekends when I am normally free to do whatever I want.
I usually try to meet up with different friends and family members one or two nights a week and at the weekends. But now I can’t so I make sure I reach out online or on the phone to as many friends as I can – for my sanity as well as theirs.
Some are always busy with their partners and children but some are single and live alone so I try to reach out to these people more.
I have been sending flowers, plants, even chocolates through the mail and using local small businesses to friends and family.
My 79-year-old Mum has learned to use Facetime and WhatsApp video calls. I’ve managed to avoid Zoom so far but use MS Teams for work calls.
My brother has found this lockdown harder than anyone else I know as he lives alone and has various issues which means that his whole life purpose revolves around his local church, the cafe where he works and his local gym. Now all these are closed so he needs more attention from his friends and family so I am making sure I call him every other day.
We have to exercise within walking distance of home. Luckily I have a lake, a pond, some fields and woods right next to me but I miss the Peak District so much. Every weekend I look longingly and forlornly at my hiking boots and rucksack 🙁
I also love to travel (one of the reasons why I follow and support you Iulia!) and am always planning my next trip.
I haven’t felt like doing one of my favourite pastimes of travel research lately as there is so much uncertainty about the future.
If I plan something, will it all have to be cancelled or postponed? This is probably because I have already been through this phase, shortly before the lockdown happened and have flights booked to the USA for the second week of May.
Relationships – this is one of the biggest effects of the lockdown.
People who only spend 3-4 hours together per day during the week are now spending all day together, along with the children who are usually at school five days a week.
I try to go just once every two weeks for a major shop. I gave up on trying to order food to be delivered online as slots are very hard to find and I should leave them to people who cannot travel to the shop and/or have to self isolate.
Emotionally and mentally this is a tough one.
None of us knows when this will be over, or even when current restrictions will be lifted or relaxed a little. And when we are allowed to go back to work and leave the house whenever we like it sounds like we will still be asked to socially distance (shouldn’t we call this physical distance? I don’t like to socially distance) when possible and who knows about travel? It is the uncertainty that affects us the most.
How different will everything be? How long will I be able to keep my job? We are having to live in the moment, its the only way to cope.
Personally I am looking back at my past trips, in my memory and via the photos I took, ensuring I make the most of any small trip I make in the future and realising how lucky I was to be so ‘free’ to fly wherever I wanted to or could afford to travel to.
I work in Telecom industry.
Currently, this means roaming is down, but all other ways and means of communication are up. That also means a lot of work for me. More than before. Add more work to lack of vacationing and you’ll get odd hours of productivity: I’m more active in the late afternoon and so lazy in the morning. My peak number of conference calls per day has reached 12. Well, that was fun AND exhausting at the same time.
I hope I don’t sound like I am complaining, that is why I would like to highlight the positive side (for me) of this lockdown: cooking (yes, I have virtually joined that club!) and exercising regularly.
It’s been so rewarding to eat my own food and to find the energy for workouts and yoga! I used to do Pilates, but that was a group activity. Working out alone has been more mentally challenging for me. Slowly learning how to put more focus on what I feel when I flex those muscles :).
All in all, I have ups and downs. I have days when I am cheerful, enjoying my coffee at the balcony trying to catch some Vitamin D from the sun. And I have days when I feel my body weaker, and my mental state more susceptible to crying because I miss my people.
And I am enjoying Springtime.
I noticed I tend to call people more often, and not necessarily my friends.
Maybe just colleagues from work to talk about anything. Just to talk and have that human to human connection. I am curious if other people are feeling and doing the same.
The bottom line is that the coronavirus outbreak changed our everyday lives. And it will continue to change the way we travel, organise social gatherings and will further affect all social interactions.
I thank you all for participating in this testimony of how our everyday lives changed due to the pandemic nobody prepared us for.