Life in Lockdown (The Ups and Downs of Quarantine)
What can we learn in these months of isolation? Here’s my life in lockdown – and the ups and downs.
I watch governments and businesses loosen the lockdowns they once held as law, and I’m amazed at the disregard for life in the pursuit of profit.
At the same time, I’m thankful I can stay home. I don’t have to worry about food on the table or a roof over my head.
My life in lockdown
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 jealous and 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.
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 habits I make time for daily, even if work is piling up. Taking a few minutes to slow down boosts my productivity – 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 Adriene. I do yoga in bed on the nights I’m exhausted after work. And even just 20 minutes of stretching is very 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 – just as it’s like right now.
A good listen
After a few bad books, 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 a relaxing read for the evenings.
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.
We found Luna in our yard nearly starved with a crocked jaw that didn’t let 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.
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 probably 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 got bit by a weasel or rodent. And the bite mark formed an abscess that impaired his movement.
Our vet drained and treated the abscess, and within days Spiro was back on all fours. He now runs and plays with only 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.