Quarantine: In Retrospect

Apr 23 2020. view 50

Crossing off a month of compulsory curfew; what has self-isolation taught you? What are you grateful for the most? What have you learned to live without? 
Our readers share their changed perspectives.
1. Heshan De Silva 
“A month at home made me value things so differently. What was once important, isn't as important today; and conversely, what wasn't so important is vital today. Having a home with electricity and running water is not something to take for granted. I've realised I'm a better home-cook than I thought, and ingredients that I took for granted before are actually a huge blessing. And I've also realised that my own company is pretty great - you need to like YOU, and this time has taught me to like myself more. At the same time, it’s made me realize what I can live without like frequently going out to different restaurants to eat. What should have been a treat had become the norm. Now the bread truck is a big treat, where before it was just a loaf on a shelf in a supermarket! Eventually, I’ve come to the realization that there is nothing I can’t live without. Where before I placed a great deal of importance on certain things, today I know I can manage without them. So, I probably appreciate everything more as a result.” 
2. Vinura Kularatne 
“Staying at home for a month made me realize how much my mother does! I’ve always been so grateful for everything that she does but being at home consistently for so long let me see how she does a whole lot more than one could possibly imagine to hold down the household and to say I appreciate all that is an understatement. Mom really gives a new meaning to the word ‘superwoman’. I believe we have all come to realize that it’s important to make time for our loved ones and that spending time with the ones dear to you is more fulfilling than one could imagine. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to go out as often as I thought I should and that it’s not time that we lack to do more as a person but really just the discipline. It was a super cool initiative taken by certain establishments in deciding to make an enormous amount of books and courses available online free for us to stay at home and learn from. I’m glad I was able to make some use of them and explore these resources.” 
3. Latika Alok 
“It's strange, in just one month I have seen the whole world change! The economy, my priorities, perceptions, and focus has shifted and taught me to adapt to the changes. A global crisis like this really teaches you how materialistic we’ve become and to understand how its not that important after all. Despite this being called ‘social distancing’, its more of a physical one, and I’m so grateful to technology and the communication apps that allow us to keep in touch with all our loved ones. Isolation hasn’t really made me ‘socially’ distant as I’m so much closer to my family and friends everywhere around the world during this time.” 
4. Deshan Gonawala 
“I’ve learned to appreciate the little things. We're usually so caught up with our lives that we miss out on dinners with the family, watching movies together or just spending time with our loved ones. It has also taught me that even though I complain, I’m fortunate to be doing what I do. It has made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have the luxury of social distance. It’s easy for us to 'quarantine' ourselves, but that's because the bills are paid and food is on the table. Things I probably wouldn't have given as much thought to. But I do miss the outdoors! I love hopping a bus and heading out of Colombo every chance I get, but the last few weeks have put a stop to those plans, and they don’t seem to be easing up anytime either.” 
5. Mahika Chandrasena 
“I’ve realized how little we need and how much we actually have. It’s been a month of doing things I’ve been putting on hold, being kinder to myself, cutting ties with unnecessary people, and just being happy and sharing things that are hopeful and positive. It’s allowed me to realize how unnecessary a lot of things can be; working from home and saving fuel, traffic (and all the rage with it!), and working online and having meetings on Zoom when possible or just ditching the fast food for something healthier or homemade. A month being confined at home has been tough but I am so grateful for a lot of things; my online zoom sessions with my ballet school, face-timing with my siblings, spending time with my son doing gardening or cooking and just having the chance to share our resources and help out those don’t have access to goods and other resources.” 
6. Senuri Ranatunga 
“Staying home for a month made me realize how easily a lot of work can be done at home and doesn’t require us to physically be at the office. I’ve found this saves time, the hassle of commuting during peak traffic hours, trying to coordinate large meetings, and has helped improve overall efficiency. Especially when you’re at home you don’t want to waste time dilly-dallying on the computer so I get my work done in a more productive way. It’s also a lot more relaxing to work at home. The hardest part for me was that I travel a lot for work and I can’t create content for Instagram remotely. So, I had to cancel and rearrange all the plans after March. But I personally really enjoyed staying at home and focusing on my work and managed to incorporate a workout regime that really helped me stay grounded and sane.”
7. Nadeesha Paulis 
“I work mostly from home so staying at home didn’t make much of a difference for me, except that I can’t really leave my home (which is perfectly understandable!). I hope people understand that you are not really stuck at home but rather safe at home.  I took the month to do a lot of things that I loved like dancing, painting, cleaning, working out, or meditating. I’ve realized how to appreciate every single day and moment that I am alive and I feel so blessed. It’s true that things are difficult now but this was the reality check that we needed a ‘new normal’ because the normal that we were living in wasn’t working. I hope it made people realize how little control we have over life and that this was a good chance to learn how to be flexible and adapt to whatever comes our way.” 
8. Adrian De Silva 
“I’ve learned to love the simple things more, that most things we complain or run with stress, are just a part of our lifestyle and that human interaction is a huge part of us and so is work. It has taught me personally to appreciate time with a new and different perspective. But most importantly I’ve really come to miss and appreciate my family! I’m currently living away from them and going so long without seeing them made me think that a good dose of family is something I cannot live without and the first thing I will do once this is over is to visit them. I’m also grateful for the friends who still kept tabs, the simple things I got to learn, and every plate of food that came to the table and for the things that we most took for granted. I’ve realized that there’s so much we can cut off work-wise and that I don’t have to always go for every outing and event I’m invited to.” 
9. Sarah Faisal 
“This has allowed me to put into perspective the little things in life that are fundamental to me every day that usually goes unnoticed or unappreciated and helped me to see how important they actually are. It’s taught me how important it was to take care of my mental health without the distractions of the outside world and realize that maybe I don’t have to go out as much as I thought I should! I’ve felt so close to my family during the course of this month and I’m so grateful for the overwhelming love and support from all my friends and family even when are not physically together” 
10. Amandha Amarasekara 
“A month at home made me see the importance of being productive despite the circumstances and I took the time to prioritize my mental space and find my peace of mind. I’m very much into fitness and even though I realized I could live without going to the gym every day, if I’m being honest – the second curfew is lifted and the gym reopens I will be the first person there! This time has helped put several things into perspective and for newfound friendships and I’m grateful for the forced time off to reset and rewind but above all, I’m beyond grateful for everyone on the frontline fighting this pandemic head-on!” 


Panchali Illankoon

Law Graduate, food and travel enthusiast and full time dog mom..


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