When I arrived in Cebu from Clark last Saturday, 14 March, I was adviced by my cousin, who is a doctor, to report directly to the district hospital in my city. It was one of a series of promulgations implemented by the provincial local government in response to the community quarantine that was to take effect in Metro Manila that midnight. After having myself checked at the triage area for symptoms and travel and medical history, I was told to go on mandatory self quarantine.
Now, it’s my third day here inside my room and so far, I’m okay. No travel. I was supposed to go to Leyte and Samar next week but with the provincial shutdowns on entry and exit, that has to be postponed. I just have to follow orders not only for me but also for my family and the community in general.
So far, I’ve been catching up with work. The next few days might be challenging as the ennui of being on self quarantine will finally sink in. But then, I have thought of ways to keep me busy for the next 12 days. Here are things that I have done and am planning to do for the duration of this self quarantine.
1 Think as if you have the virus
Let’s deal with the important things first related to the self quarantine. As we all know, COVID-19 is an invisible and dangerous enemy. Educate yourself on COVID-19 as well as the Philippine situation. The Department of Health’s Covid-19 page is a good start and quite helpful. The page is updated as often as possible.
There’s been advise that you should think as if you have the virus. In this way, you think of ways of how not to infect others especially if you have family with you during your self quarantine. In my case, I’m isolated in my room. Food is delivered via paper plates and other disposable utensils and placed on a small table outside my door. When I go out of my room to pick up the food or other items on the small table, I soak my hands with alcohol and use a face mask. And so on. You have to have your own safety protocols in place. The Washington Post has a good article on this here. Another helpful resource is from MIT Medical.
2 Be mindful of your health while on self quarantine
The reason you’re in self quarantine for 14 days is to have yourself isolated during the incubation stage of the virus. As such, you should be mindful of your health. As part of protocol, check your body temperature twice a day and list it down. If you develop a fever, or other symptoms related to the Covid-19 infection, alert your doctor or talk to a medical professional and seek advise.
3 Catch up with pending work
I’m on my third day of self quarantine now and the past few days were spent mainly to catch up with work: photo editing of several images that I’ve shot last week then upload and submit to my client. Today, I will be editing images I took at the Courtyard by Marriott in Iloilo City. I will also be blogging as there have been many pending posts that I need to write especially that I’ve slowed down with travel blogging the past months. In short, keep yourself busy with important things that you have missed doing or need to do,
4 Level up your skills by studying those online courses
Being a freelancer, I’ve been wanting to learn new skills other than photography and writing. I’m setting my sights on Python and Data Science as a future skill that I can bank on later. I can’t depend on Photography as my sole income generator and I’ve got plans to do long term travel starting later this year. So, this downtime is the perfect time to upgrade one’s skills via online learning. I’ve actually purchased some topics for study and sometimes, finding time can be a problem.
5 Read books and exercise
Being on self quarantine can get boring. After resting, after sleeping, or watching shows. After doing pending work or after studying the online courses, sometimes, you’re left with nothing to do. Why not read? I’ve got tons of books in my room. From heritage, Filipiniana, to travel and about Design and Architecture. This is also a great time to catch up on my reading: Kilometer Zero by Willy Pascual, The White Mary by Kila Salak and The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy are just some of the selection.
Move. Jump. Let your heart beat faster thru exercise. So much time doing nothing or reading or learning infront of the computer can be so draining. Much more that you have a small stash of food which you binge on from time to time can add up to unwanted calories. Despite being just inside the room during self quarantine, why not do these 8 bodyweight exercises to keep you fit?
Being on self quarantine is no fun. Especially if its a good two weeks. But its important and needed in times of COVID-19. So keep yourself busy by following the tips I’ve mentioned above and come out of self quarantine not only healthy but wiser, and accomplished too.
What about you? Any other suggestions to add?