10 Good Things About the COVID-19 Quarantine
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Social Distancing: 2 Months In
We got to see an actual human being today. We even waved and said, “hello.”
It was just the garbage man, but still.
After a couple of cold, rainy days, it started to warm up, so the girls and I headed outside for a little while this morning to pick dandelions. The garbage truck pulled up, and of course the girls had to stop and watch.
(I tried to get them to stop staring, but then I realized there’s actually nothing wrong with them watching the guy do his job.)
He waved and called out to have a good day, and I returned the sentiment, then we found some sidewalk chalk and played hopscotch for a bit.
As I mentioned in my social distancing update last month, Adjusting to a New “Stay at Home” Life, we had just moved into our new house when everything started getting crazy.
Dan has still been going to work (he works in the food industry) but because he is in contact with hundreds of people every day, we have a higher risk of contracting COVID. (A little off topic, but there’s a chance we had it a few months ago; we all got sick with what we assumed was the flu and it was AWFUL.)
When Dan and I were talking the other day, we realized that we will probably be isolated from everyone all summer. All SUMMER, guys. It’s a depressing thought.
It’s been hard missing out on all the things we were supposed to attend this spring, but I find it harder to complain. We have it pretty good. The girls have a lot of room to run around outside, so that will help.
In an effort to avoid feeling sorry for myself, I wanted to come up with a list of ten good things that have happened during social isolation (in no particular order).
10 Good Things About the COVID-19 Quarantine
1. Getting settled into our new house.
For us, this was actually a pretty good time to hole up at home. We have had plenty of time to get unpacked and organized — although, it took longer than it should have, and we’re still not completely done.
Just last week, I finally got around to organizing the bathroom (and we’ve been here for two months).
Organizing is exhausting! Don’t get me wrong; I love when everything is tidy, but moving into a new house is hard work. Quarantine certainly made the process go a little more quickly, though.
2. Potty training.
Being stuck at home is the perfect time to potty train (prepare yourself for lots of potty training posts in the future!). We’ve been in the process for a couple years, but I don’t believe in forcing it.
While waiting for Kenna to decide she’s ready, we’ve been talking about starting to wear undies full time “after we move into our new house”. I think this helped prepare her.
Anyway, as soon as we got here, she wanted to use the potty. It wasn’t long before she wanted to ditch the pull-ups as night. I wasn’t so sure, but she has done incredibly well overnight. It’s been nice not having to worry about accidents while out and about, though!
3. Lots of blogging.
Lots and lots of blogging. After realizing that I started this blog almost two years ago, and still only had about 50-60 published posts, I’ve been working hard to remedy that.
Now, I spend a LOT of time writing each post. I can really only write one post a day, and that’s after putting everything else on the back burner.
(Don’t worry, I make sure my kids are fed and cared for!) But I have been publishing about four new posts per week since the beginning of April. I think this one will put me right around 80.
Here are a few of my latest posts:
I’m hoping to get it up to 100, then maybe ease back a bit to around two posts per week. But there is no way I could have gotten this much done before quarantine, despite spending a lot of time at home back then.
4. Spending less money on gas.
We are saving a LOT of money on gas. Before we moved, Dan used to commute almost three hours daily, and now it’s down to just over an hour. On top of that, gas prices have gone down, and I’m hardly driving my van anywhere.
Unfortunately, all that money and then some is now going toward our mortgage. 🙁 But it’s still a better investment than burning it on fuel.
5. Lots of family time.
Actually, I’m not really spending any more time with my kids now than I used to, because I used to spend almost all day every day with them pre-quarantine, too.
But with the shorter commute, we do see Dan a lot more. And of course, no social obligations means we spend a lot of time with just each other.
It can make us all a little crazy at times, but I have to keep in mind that, one day, I will long to spend more time with my kids. So for now, I’ll treasure the time we have together, no matter how hard it gets.
6. The girls are learning a lot.
Just in the last two months, both of the girls have grown and learned a ton — or, at least, we’ve noticed it a lot more lately.
At not even 4 years old, Kenna is teaching herself to recognize and write all the letters, and she can even spell a few names. At 17 months old, Raelyn was counting to ten, and she loves to sing.
Both of the girls can sing “Let It Go” (Raelyn jumps in with the words she knows) and Kenna know most of the songs from Frozen and Frozen II. Raelyn can name a LOT of different animals, and she repeats everything we say.
I’m sure they would have learned these things regardless of quarantine, but it gives us an opportunity to pay more attention to these things.
7. New appreciation for the old “normal”.
It’s not like we got out a lot before, but now we don’t even have the option. It really makes us appreciate normal, everyday things like being able to visit family, give hugs, or the occasional dinner out.
8. A little bit of reading.
A lot of people have used this time to learn something new, take up a hobby, or simply spend more time relaxing with a good book. I’ll occasionally download an ebook from the CloudLibrary and read in bed, or listen to podcasts in the morning.
One day, we will be able to get back to our lives again. But in the meantime, quarantine is a good time to grow our minds or take some time for self-care.
9. Fewer trips to the store.
Okay, so this isn’t 100% true. Before we moved, I hardly went shopping because we ordered groceries for delivery, and I rarely set foot in a store unless we needed something other than food. But now we don’t have the option for delivery, so I have to do my own grocery shopping.
Since I’d rather go shopping as little as possible, the weekly shopping is now bi-weekly, and I suspect a lot of you go to the store less than before as well. Quarantine also forced me to start meal planning again and to be more strategic with my shopping, so it’s not all bad.
10. More homemade meals.
Before quarantine, we went out to eat about once a week. Now, we eat every meal at home.
Honestly, I don’t really miss eating out, but I’m sure we’ll start getting takeout at some point. (Dan has been bringing home a lot of restaurant gift cards from work; I’m guessing they are buying them for the employees to help support local businesses.)