Being in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had me in a state of mixed emotions. Watching the death toll increase daily around the world and hearing stories about extended family and friends contracting the virus has been uneasy and worrisome. While I have been hoping for everyone’s well being and comfort, I’ve been been quite content being safe in my home. Being in quarantine has relieved me of some of some of the stress of my daily living and honestly, it’s a welcomed break. The NY-PAUSE order came at a time when I felt my body and mind being strained and broken down. With little time for myself and self-care, the quarantine is giving me exactly what I need. Here’s a few upsides of being in lockdown.
Commuting in New York City is nerve wrecking. The train delays, the smells of the station, the crowds and paying the monthly fare are a constant bother. Being forced to work from home has given me a much needed break from the MTA. Thanks to being in quarantine, I am alleviated from having to wake up and rush to the train station to get ahead of a possible delay and wondering if I will be late again due to train traffic. There’s no more having to duck during unwanted performances from (very talented) street performers or hearing rants from mentally ill straphangers. Plus I get to save that $128 a month for a monthly MetroCard.
After I am done working, instead of going to the gym and running errands before stores close during my after-evening hours, I am free. Thanks to Instacart and my impending purchase of a Peloton bike, I have more time for myself. I never relied more on the internet for getting essential items until now and I can see that I have been missing out. Since I am a psychotherapist, I encounter many people on a regular basis and lend my ear to listen to them no matter how I am feeling. Being able to stay home more often and focus on myself and my own feelings and desires is more refreshing than I thought it would be. I can get used to this.
I’ve also learned that working from home has been helping me save more money. I’m not out buying coffee every morning or buying lunch because I was too tired to meal prep for the week. I’m not getting Ubers because I am running late for work. The nightlife and day parties have come to a halt, so I am not spending money on brunch or rounds at the bar. It’s been a nice surprise to see those extra coins in my account and see my savings have a chance at surviving.
The most positive thing about being in quarantine is that I am more grateful. In the words of the great Kendrick Lamar, I have been able to sit down and be humble. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 30 million people are currently unemployed because of the closing of non-essential businesses. Since I am a psychotherapist and journalist, I have been able to hold down both of my jobs. While I sincerely empathize with those who are out of work, I am very grateful to not be in their position. I am gainfully employed but that could have easily been me. I am even more humbled and appreciative than I have ever been.