No quarantine is created equal. Not by a long shot. Where exactly you’re quarantined plays a huge role in your experience of this pandemic. For some, life has barely changed in the face of COVID-19. Imagine those who chose, long ago, to live rather isolated in a tiny town with very few people? Some people prefer a quiet existence with little to no socialization. Some live on farms or cooperatives where all of their food needs are grown and harvested on site, and all the friends they need are right there. They never interacted with the outside world much anyways.
Then you have quite the opposite: you have people living on top of each other in cities. You have some who live in a place where it’s nearly impossible to keep six feet of distance from others when they walk outdoors. Think of New York. Or Hong Kong. You have people paying $4,000 a month to live in a 500-square-foot apartment. They don’t get space from anybody.
“This must really have you thinking about where you want to spend your life, and even raise kids,” my mom said to me quite suggestively when the economic shutdown happened. Though my partner and I own a home in a large city, we retreated to his parents’ home in a small mountain town for the quarantine. But that doesn’t mean I regret my decision to purchase property in a big city, or that I don’t miss my city life. I miss it a lot. And I don’t think I should make major life decisions about where I buy property or raise kids based on how life would be there during a pandemic. That’s a fear-based life. Though I’ll admit, there are huge differences between quarantining in a small town versus a big city. Like these.
Big city: grocery lines
My friends in big cities are having to plan their entire day around a grocery trip. Since allowing the regular flow of traffic in a grocery store wouldn’t allow for the six feet of social distance required, stores are forced to only allow in small groups of shoppers at a time. My friend in Los Angeles says if she arrives early in the morning when a store opens, she’s “lucky” to “only wait 45 minutes” to go inside the store. But at some hours, the wait is two to three hours.