Okay, so there you are chilling and listening to some music. Suddenly you feel a weird tingle in your throat, and you think “damn, that’s weird, it’s been a long time since I had any tequila (shout out to Patricia)”. To your dismay you remember that recently someone close to you or that you have been close to was coughing and that person subsequently tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Next thing you know, you are holding back a cough, you’re in public transport and you just don’t know what the heck to do. You get your elbow ready to dab your face into so you can let out a single decisive cough. You call the GGD Zuiddlimburg and tell them your circumstance, the advice they give you is simple; get tested. Easier said than done of course, I can tell you from experience, that swab is not the most pleasant in the world. I no longer feel a need to try out cocaine or any other drug involving my nostril if it’s already like this after getting poked a bit. In any case, you move on to make the arrangements and then you realize, to your slight surprise, that quarantine actually starts from the moment you requested that test! Being the good samaritan that you are you will 100% not be going to the grocery store! That’s perfect, time for some delivery food, super sweet, it’s been some time since you last had that junk food itch scratched. You eat and the next day you start thinking “damn, there are a few things I need”. It is true, there are a few things you will be needing, not only to get through the first few days waiting for the test and the result. BUT also, for in case you are tested positive and need to quarantine until you are symptom free for 24 hrs and fever free for 48hrs. This is a small list of the five things you definitely need to survive your quarantine.
We’re starting this list with what everyone I asked agreed with. Friends, I know it may seem basic but I’m not talking about that one guy or girl that put you in the friendzone (or the one you put there yourself). I mean real friends who are willing to do your groceries, have time to chat with you, maybe even have a ZOOM call when you are bored out of your mind! Food will be the number one thing you need of course and the more people to bring it the better. You don’t want to be too much of a burden on one person, so tell multiple people you are stuck and in need of groceries. The best of friends are the ones that also randomly bring extra things you didn’t even know you needed. So, don’t be shy and rely freely on the people you know can always rely on you because that’s what friendship should be.
Second on this short list but not any less important than number one. The ability to communicate, you have to make sure to make a list of people such as close relations, work boss, school administration, tutors, coordinators…think of anyone and everyone you have to inform and do so promptly. Don’t forget people you have been in contact with. The GGD Zuidlimburg has a great personalized website with links for the different types of contacts you have. From people whom you have been intimate with to people who you were simply in the same room with. It may be bothersome and feel not so nice to inform people that they have to quarantine because of you. However, it is important and think of it as your civic duty to do so. Double check as well, when you are communicating with formal relations (school and work), that you mention explicitly that you are homebound because you have COVID-19 or because you are awaiting results. No one, and correct me if I am wrong, is happy that they have to put their lives on hold to be stuck in a room for any period of time.
Third on this summation of things you need is an at home hobby you thought you would never start because you just “do not have the time”. The main recommendation when asking around was baking/dessert making. Let’s be honest, this is not the time you are going to start having only healthy food. You probably already started with ordering out because you didn’t have food at home, and you couldn’t run to the grocery store. So, no shame, no holding back and no cutting any corners unless they are cookie corners. Ask a friend to lend you some baking supplies or make that small investment to get yourself some. Get some recipes online, I recommend Laura’s bakery. This woman is according to my girlfriend a God sent saint. All the recipes are free to use and with very easy to follow instructions. One possible snag, no oven? Yes, it’s pretty tough if you do not have an oven. However, there are tons of no-bake dessert options online and there are almost no limits (this will be the one of the few times that this author is ever going to be doing this…“thanks vegans”). The best thing is, baking is such a relaxing and time-consuming skill that continues to reward you even long after you leave quarantine. Next date or whatever you are going to do, take some banana bread!
The fourth most recommended thing you need is snacks! I know I already mentioned groceries. However, snacks are something you tend to forget when making a list of essentials and they also don’t typically fall under groceries. This is also where those friends that get you things you didn’t ask for come into play. I personally recommend chocolate chip cookies and chips. Some friends of mine are particular to cheese, other friends like fruits, a certain person in my life said “Maltesers are the way to go man”. Whatever you enjoy, just make sure you get some at home and if you are looking at calories then DON’T. You’re sick, just enjoy what you can. On a side note, it was brought to attention that your taste sense can also weaken and to this the same person explained that sour candy was what saved them. They could still enjoy the sourness. So, don’t fret, just pick a snack and get get get.
The fifth and final thing you will need is entertainment. Though you may think that Netflix is enough or “oh, I have Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat (if you are young), LinkedIn (if you are old) or a new book you just got (if you are really old) and twitter (if you are a fossil and enjoy contemporary American drama)”. You’re right for the most part, I do suggest you practice some moderation and sleep a lot. You can’t do anything other than that anyway really and burning through your newsfeeds in the first few hours of the day is probably the worst thing you can do. A few friends recommended a few meme pages and also some medical websites just in case you don’t know them yet. Such as onlinemeded.org or the med student meme pages, meilandmedischememes (Instagram) and medmemes_um (Instagram).
In any case, should you be in the process of waiting for your COVID test results then I wish you best of luck. I hope that you, unlike myself, do not come out as positive. However, should you turn out to be positive then try out the things mentioned above, make sure you get yourself ready. In the words of a good friend of mine, “get comfortable, it’s going to be tough, it’s not going to be fun, be kind to yourself and get comfy in any way possible”.
Thanks again for reading and look forward to our next one. Stay happy, stay healthy and take care.
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