quarantine chronicles
Slow Living

My Quarantine Chronicles

I’m still going out for unavoidable errands only, which these days means either picking up paychecks or going to the vet. Here are my quarantine chronicles.

As I watch governments and businesses loosen the lockdowns they once held as law, I’m amazed at the complete disregard for human life in the pursuit of profit.

At the same time, I’m thankful I can stay home. I don’t have to worry that not working means no food on the table or no roof over my head.

My quarantine chronicles

It’s been so hot and humid here in Cairo that staying home under the air conditioner doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice anyways.

Though my Instagram feed this time of year fills up with beach photos as much of Egypt’s middle class makes their annual migration to the North coast.

I felt the sting of jealousy and I was sorry for myself whenever I scrolled social media. But then I reminded myself how crowded and humid those beaches get. And how the coast turns into a giant open-air shopping mall this time of year. I realised I shouldn’t covet what I don’t want anyways.

Though I would love to be in Siwa right now, cooling off in a lake surrounded by salt dunes and eating date jam for breakfast.

quarantine diary

But I’m trying to make the most of this summer while still putting my health and family above everything else.

Small everyday habits

These days I have more time to write and revamp some old posts.

I also focus on a few small but consistent habits I make time for every day, even if work is piling up. Taking a few minutes to slow down boosts my productivity in the end so these moments are both indulgent and pragmatic.

I keep track of my daily meditation and journaling in my Habits app, which motivates me to get a streak going or return to habits I’ve been neglecting.

I meditate for 10 minutes every day with Insight Timer, which has an incredible selection of guided meditations when I’m too staggered to meditate on my own.

Likewise, 10 minutes of journaling counts as a session I can tick off in my Habits app. As does 20 minutes of reading or yoga.

If I expected to work out everyday and read for an hour at night, I’d quickly loose motivation. So I prefer these short sessions for the sake of keeping my habits going.

For exercise, I do YouTube videos by the ever patient and gentle Adriene. I do yoga and stretching in bed on the nights I’m exhausted after work. And even just 20 minutes of stretching is so regenerative.

It’s making me look at fitness as a feel-good treat. It’s not a punishing routine on the gruelling road to a “perfect body.” Yoga in bed is all about being good to your body as it is now.

A good listen

After a few bad books that I just couldn’t get into, I fell behind with my reading goals. Then I went back to audio books on LibriVox, a free app where you can listen to classics read by volunteers.

I’m making my way thorough Anne of the Island now as read by the brilliantly expressive Karen Savage. And it’s such an easy and relaxing read to unwind with in the evenings.

Rescuing kittens

It’s also kitten season here. My husband and I have been rescuing kittens from the streets over the years whenever we notice any in need. But we’ve taken in two in the past few weeks that have kept us busy.

Luna was found in our yard nearly starved with a crocked jaw that wasn’t letting her eat properly. A skin infection further weakened her. A few weeks of care later, and Luna is a playful, affectionate and independent young kitten.

Spiro is a more dramatic case.

quarantine diary

We found him injured and unable to walk with his entire right side paralysed. We went to a vet open on the weekend and she took x-rays and did a physical exam. She told us Spiro was likely hit by a vehicle and had little chance of regaining full mobility.

A few days later, we took Spiro to our regular vet. He said Spiro was bitten by a weasel or some kind of rodent. And the bite mark formed an abscess that impaired his movement.

The abscess was drained and treated, and within days Spiro was hopping on all fours. He’s now running and playing with just a slight limp that will soon disappear when he regains muscle mass.

Just days earlier, we’d been researching physical therapy and prosthetics – and we figured nobody would adopt a kitten in such a condition. So it was a huge relief to hear it was only an abscess. It’s been a miraculous experience to watch Spiro recover.

Can the quarantine teach us a lesson about minimalism? Read my thoughts on Minimalism in the Time of Quarantine

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quarantine chronicles


    • Dee

      Thank you, Tracey! He’s healed incredibly quickly.. As for the lockdown, my frustration over not being able to travel seems to come and go in waves, but it’s been great too for the reasons you mentioned and I’m trying to remember those positives.

  • Giulia

    I love this insight into how you are spending your quarantine. Saving kittens!! Have you seen The Kitten Lady’s website? She shares so much amazing information on caring for vulnerable kitties!

    • Dee

      Thank you Giulia! I love her Instagram account and especially her stories.. I’ll have to check out her website and I think she’d got a book out too that would make for some cute reading.

  • Lori

    Reading about how other people are spending time in quarantine reaffirms that I (others) are not alone. While we here in Oregon are not under lockdown right now (we are in phases), it still makes me nervous to go out and do things. Of course, I wear my mask, shopping for only essential things in stores. And, I find my time in stores less enjoyable because I don’t linger and look anymore. It’s in, get what I need, and leave. I feel rushed. Getting outdoors to talk walks, hikes, etc. feel good. It temporarily relieves some anxiety that I now have due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, I was not an anxious or depressed person. But that has changed, primarily due to the lack of leadership here in the States. Watching the news here is awful, and it seems to worsen by the minute. So, I try to decrease my intake. I participated in your 5 Days of Slow, and I really enjoyed it. It was a few months ago, when I was in a better emotional place. Since then, my 14 year old dog passed away, and I have been on an emotional roller coaster because of that and numerous other things. Only lately, have I been able to try and incorporate some habits to ease my anxiety and stress. Right now, I’m trying to practice yoga every day. When I practiced every day years ago, I felt so much better, physically and mentally. Now that I am older, I need to get back on the mat, and I am beginning to notice I have less pain and feel a little more relaxed. I’m also trying not to track too many habits because it overwhelms me. I do relaxing when the mood strikes. After reading about keeping a journal, I may give that a try. I do write down to do lists, and depending on their length, sometimes I find it helpful. My girlfriend and I started a Positives Journal, a shared Google document where we add positive things about our day/life. We started this last December because our jobs were **** shows, and we needed to find bright spots. Then recently, we started another shared document called “self care” and we motivate each other. This document is about a month old, and we are finding it very useful. So, I guess that could be a form of journaling. Thanks for sharing your info, photos, and insights.

    Best Regards,


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