We are all in times of isolation, quarantine, and social distancing at this time in pandemic land. It can be rough. The time can go by slowly, or you may feel like it has been a year since you have fully left your house. 

 My wife Sarah and I are on our third quarantine, and I have to admit each one has been quite different. Each time comes with a new set of challenges, new rules, and even new things to watch on Netflix.


Quarantine #1

In January, we took an awesome trip to Morocco. We had 17 days of leave due to Chinese New Year, and needed to be back at work by the 3rd of February. Unbeknownst to us, an epidemic would break out in China.

Taiwan Puts in Quarantine
Around the 30th of January, our boss texted all of the staff to see if anyone was flying through Hong Kong to get back to work. Our flight went from Abu Dhabi straight through Hong Kong to Taiwan. Taiwan had been working to contain any spread of the virus from making landfall. Hong Kong was a place where the virus was spreading quite quickly since it was so close to mainland China. 

The Taiwan government mandated that all individuals traveling through Hong Kong would be put on a 14 day quarantine period. This was like so devastating to us. We had work that was all planned out, no food at home, no masks, or a thermometer.

Our Quarantine
For us, the quarantine was not so strict after all. Work was pushed back for three weeks, and we were getting paid to stay home. It just sucked that everyone else was out and about doing whatever they want as the virus was raging war in Asia. 

Within those 14 days, we practiced being vegetarians. We learned how to cook vegan meals. Being able to work on projects was something we had more time to do. It was not so bad. The world was ok, we were good, the economy was roaring.

Quarantine Ends
After 14 days, we were back to work to once again teach our kids English. At the end of the week, our boss had a meeting with us. He had told us our special program at school was being postponed until May 3rd. He then mentioned we could go traveling.

At that moment, the idea of traveling to Antarctica came to our mind. The Coronavirus was still only in Asia, and the world seem to be doing just fine. We set-up a trip to go to Antarctica, and a week later we left.

Antarctica The 7th continent

Quarantine #2

This new quarantine started when were out to sea in Antarctica. We had taken the ship Ocean Endeavor to see Antarctica with our expedition team from Quark Expeditions. On March 13th, we were notified that the Argentinian Government was blocking all flights back to the USA starting on March 17th. We were heading back to Ushuaiah Argentina a day early to arrive on the 16th. 

On March 15th, our shipmates and us were notified that Tierra Del Fuego Province government was going to require us to quarantine for 14 days. So we would have to be on the ship until the 22nd of March. 

This announcement put a wrench in everyone's travel. We were now on the ship for an extra 5 days, and the crew needed to help us stay sane, have fun, fed, and be able to get off the ship and back home. 

Fun in Quarantine
Lets just say this quarantine was one fo the most fun times we have ever had. The world was burning around us, but we were stuck in our tiny bubble enjoying what life can throw at us. 

The expedition crew kept us with high spirits by providing us with additional services. We now how workout days of boot camps and combat training. Our nights were filled with entertainment such as karaoke, comedy, movie nights, dancing, and at large St. Pattys day party. The afternoons had games, VR, and even a trivia time. Life was good. 

St. Patty's Day Party
Reality Kicks in
Then it all ended when we left the ship to enter into the world of Convid-19. It was a world without cars driving. Police watched your every step. It felt as if were in prison just trying to make it home. Eventually we made it home.
Airport security

Quarantine #3

This last quarantine has been quite interesting. The whole world is basically joining us in our quarantine. We are not that lucky.

Living in Taiwan, it seems like every day life is going quite smoothly. The people are working, the kids are playing and in school, and there are only like 380 cases of Coronavirus. For not being a member of the WHO, looks like Taiwan is kicking ass. 

Sarah and I are in strict quarantine here in Taiwan. We are being monitored by the police, the CDC, and even our school is making sure we are safe and healthy.

It feels like a bummer to know we have friends traveling on the holiday weekend as we are stuck inside hoping for daylight to peak through our tiny windows. 

Our Routine
Alas, we keep ourselves quite entertained through cooking, watching videos posted by talented Americas, zoom calls with family, and even the occasional trashy episode of Tiger King. Sarah’s sister convinced us to watch some. Got to admit, those people are crazy. 

Quarantine 2020 is definitely hitting our year off with a blast. So many stories to tell. So many days stuck inside. Who could have thought?

Tips for Isolation

As we get to finish our quarantine, we have been reading about ways to cope with isolation. Our good friend CJ Walters, from behindthebars, made a great list of how to cope. He put together a list of his top 8 ways to cope with isolation.
8 Tips for Isolation

1. Get into a schedule. Start small. Just set an alarm and wake up at the same time every day, even if it’s to go watch five hours of Netflix on the couch.

2. Motivation does not usually come before you start the task, so don’t wait for it, but it will surprise you by arriving when you begin. Sitting down to write one paragraph is an achievable goal and it might just turn into a lot more. Those ten push ups might become fifty. Just begin the task and see how you feel.

3. Exercise at least every second day. Not only does it help you stay strong physically but it will also stop you from developing aches and pains, as well as benefit your mental health. There are loads of bodyweight exercises: lunges, squats, push ups, sit ups, etc. Add in a chair or resistance bands and the sky’s the limit.

4. Set yourself three small goals a day. They can be super basic. Today mine are: buy groceries, exercise, and write this note. Anything you do after that is just extra achievement.

5. Think of your own needs. Are you an extrovert lacking interaction? Start a Zoom call and play Cards Against Humanity online. Are you creative and need to make something? Take some time out to write, or paint, or sing. Do you just need to lie in bed another hour today? Do it.

6. If you’re so inclined, learn a new skill. There’s language exchange apps and then there’s a YouTube video for almost everything you might want to know.

7. Be grateful for what you have. There are people trying to make do with a lot less than we have right now

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a tough time. You’re not being lazy. Just remember that by sitting on your sofa, eating your fourth bowl of cereal, and wondering if you’ll ever wear something without an elastic waistband again – you’re saving lives.

After quarantine you will be ready for real life to hit again. 

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”

Walt Disney

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