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Quarantine? Seriously COVID-19?

It is funny how sometimes life can change so much, finding yourself missing all those problems that you initially dreaded. Unluckily, that is my case.

As Head of Marketing and a blogger too, my life has always been a tornado of events that has drawn me from one place to the other, to the point that, at the end of the day, I will just crush in my bed and fall asleep immediately. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love my life here in Dubai more than anything, since I’ve always been very active, so spending my days between amazing events and activities that I love, feels like a dream come true. But I knew that I was crossing the line between work balance and complete chaos when, for the summer, family friends came here in the city to visit me and I couldn’t even make time in my schedule to hang out with them. Whenever these worries came in my mind, I would simply brush them out, as I needed to run away for my next meeting. It may sound a little unhealthy, but no one is perfect and there wasn’t any time to stop and think about my issues, as nowadays society wants you to ‘keep the hustle’ going strong.

However, one day in January, something happened: I carelessly turned up my TV and heard something unusual, as some kind of virus was spreading in some city called Wuhan. The news made me turn up my nose, but after a couple of minutes my mind has already flown away, as I was rushing to change and meet my gang. That was it, I said to myself, another bad thing happening in the world, until BOOM! This little invisible thing, the coronavirus aka COVID-19, turned everyone’s lives upside down, forcing cities, including Dubai, to the lockdown. From that moment, my life has completely changed and slowly I am trying to adjust, such as everyone, to this new crazy lifestyle, closed in our houses. At a first glance, it sounds easy, but it has challenged everyone’s minds, because it forces us to face not only the huge phenomenon that goes in the world, but also our own thoughts and the monsters in our closets. In these days, I find it really challenging know that it’s not just a nightmare as I go out of my bed and start my morning then fighting to not just lounge around and procrastinate through work.

Because of this, my emotions were unravelling and slowly taking over my days: as an example, I started wondering about a certain boy, which in the last time I’ve been getting close to, but I’m worried that during this lockdown, we wouldn’t be able to meet, and then he will eventually forget about me. My worries would not be too mistaken, as in these moments it can be really difficult to nurture your relationships and you have to discover new ways to keep in touch with your loved ones. Social media can help, of course, and a lot, but are you going to lie to yourself? Can a screen can replace a hug or a night out with your friends?

At the same time, I have been thinking about myself and the way I act around other people and I have noticed how sometimes work distanced me too much from my loved ones. So, in a way, the lockdown forced me to take in my hands on my life, analyse it and think how I can handle things differently. Whenever, before the pandemic, we would take for granted even that messy friend or the noisy neighbour, now even a short Botim call with a friend, while sipping together a cup of coffee or speaking about makeup could be tough in distance! But made me cherish all the little moments and the nice gestures that I have taken for granted.


I know it may sound absurd, but when you are forced to live in a couple of squared foots, almost like a prison, your mind will turn in a prison. My feelings would burst in a messy chaos that would consume my day. But as I started coming to terms with this new reality, I decided that I should do my best to keep my life intact and make the best of my day. I started by setting to myself little goals to accomplish during the day, like to do lists with simple chores, and slowly I would try new stuff just to keep me sane and develop a new routine. Just because your day now revolves around your home, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do all the activities that were part of your schedule. On the contrary, I am trying to keep all the healthy habits that I used to do or even the ones I had no time to do! to keep me from staying in bed all day by playing games on my phone. Wake up early, make your bed, if you need to, change up from your comfy pyjamas and put on some real clothes. Another very useful tip is to create in your home a comfortable workspace, because even though you think you can just bring your laptop on your bed to work, deep down you known that is not going to work and you will find yourself switching to Netflix to watch some show or documentaries. Put a desk or a little table with your laptop nearby a window and try to use that space only as an office and only in that way. Write down physically all the things that you have to do and set a schedule, even if not that fixed, then push to follow it, maybe alternating a quick break between all the tasks that are due, in order to not be that fatigued; stretching is key. I know it is very hard to keep working, while being at home, as the days begin to mix together and feel all the same, but I believe it’s important to keep yourself grounded to reality and follow your routine before the lockdown, as much as possible.

Even the smaller things, like cooking a meal or doing a nice bath while listening to music, can make you feel better and escape from the troubles outside, just like living in a bubble. Exercising can also help; though nobody likes to sweat like a pig, you can pretend to be in your gym, the one where you always renew your subscription even though you go there once a month, then lose yourself and let out your anxieties while also burning out your calories. Another plus it could be also how you can feel less guilty after the work out, when you will eat those chips and those cookies that are looking at you through the cupboard in the kitchen. The important thing is to know how to mix in an efficient way how to be productive and how to enjoy yourself, because if you don’t let yourself breathe a little bit between the online meetings and the ordinary tasks, you will slowly burn all your energies making the softness of the couch, with the buzzing sound of the TV to sound tempting. Improvise a little bit and reinvent yourself as a home decor guru, as you can finally bust out all the knowledge from the interior design shows that you have watched and be proud of yourself after creating new concepts. At the end of the quarantine, after a couple of meaningless colours mixes and slightly wobbly designs, you will become a star. You cannot forget however, to replace your Friday nights, with a one man show, where you can turn up the volume on your phone and transform your dull yet cosy bedroom in a disco, then burst out your favourite moves that can make embarrass even your favourite pop star.

It may sound crazy to give so much importance to little things like these, that can be very common and predictable, but we are living in a historical moment that is quite challenging and transformed our lives, and yet it’s important to hold on to those activities that can make you feel normal, even for a minute. Also, it is normal to feel stressed, so don’t be upset if one day you feel like everything is falling apart: just remember to not indulge in those moments and in that ice cream box that you hide in the refrigerator while you make a list of the negative peeps who should be removed out of your life. Pick up your life and make the best out of it. In this quarantine, I had the chance to stop my chaotic life and think about what I liked about my day to day routine and to rethink a lot of things about human relationships and the dreams that I want to achieve. In this way, when all this mess is going to be over, not only humanity can start from a fresh point, but also my life.

In a way, this global situation can put upon us a troublesome question: is coronavirus a blessing or a curse?

Categories: Journal