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Quarantine has forced ‘lonely people’ to adapt

Story by Caroline Vieira (Journalism 101 student)

“All the lonely people.”

This line from the Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby” is, I think, perfect to use as a title in these times of isolation.

Something I have noticed about my behavior is my dependency on society, and I think it’s safe to say that many others have come to this realization. However, if I take a closer look at my life, I notice that what made society bearable were actually those moments of solitude. It’s all about balance, that is for sure. If we immerse ourselves too deep in socialization without any time dedicated to ourselves, we might come out of it a bit hysterical. The same is true if we isolate ourselves for too long, we might become an uncivilized barbarian unable to interact with others like we used to.

Nevertheless, seclusion does bring lots of benefits. In fact it is highly advised to retreat in solitude if we are looking for answers regarding our inner selves. This is even an important rite of passage in some religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism.

Frankly, it was extremely hard to transition from a life filled with nights out and adventures with friends to an existence confined to the walls of my house. Now, to fight boredom, I have to be creative, go back to my roots. What did I like doing before bars and clubs were an option?

Now that I find myself with much more free time in my hands, I am finally able to perform some much-needed introspection and pursue some of my passions and hobbies, which had been forgotten about and set aside before quarantine. What I noticed is that I am finally getting into reading news about the world. Before I would just be fine with hearing what happened from my peers, but now I actually research and try to learn more about the world I live in today. My brother was incredibly happy when I let him know that I finally got a subscription to the Economist.

Reading has always been a huge passion of mine, but after I started becoming more and more busy throughout my days, merely any time was dedicated to this activity. Now, after two months under the stay-at-home order, I’ve already finished three books of significant length, which I am immensely proud of.

Two subjects that I have always been interested in go hand in hand: nutrition and fitness. Since gyms are shutdown indefinitely, I had to get creative with my workouts. I had to find a way to maintain the body I worked so hard for without the availability of a weight room. This necessity made me take a step back and re-evaluate ways in which I could exercise here at my house. Turns out, body weight exercises and things like resistance bands are highly effective and play an incredible role when it comes to at-home fitness. I haven’t seen noticeable losses in my muscle mass and to be honest, it seems like this fitness regimen I am following is even more effective at targeting fat loss. I will definitely include some of these drills in my workout routine once I am able to go back to the gym.

Now, let’s talk about nutrition. With most restaurants operating on take out and delivery basis only, I had to find a way to make creative and tasty meals here at home. To be quite honest, I have benefited a lot from this scenario. My culinary passion started very early in my life, and since my parents have always worked extra-long hours every single day, I have been in charge of preparing meals for all of us since a very young age. The number of new recipes I have come across is immense, allowing me to widen my repertoire and options of what to cook. I can very confidently say that I am a much better chef now than before this quarantine started, which is a dangerous thing because it is so easy to just go and make some banana bread when I’m bored in the afternoon.

To recap, social isolation hasn’t been completely unpleasant. I dived into my head like I had never done before, granting me some interesting findings. I know my own self on a different level now. I know who I am and what I want from life. I am also happy with how I have gone back to my old hobbies, which truly define me as a person and make me feel whole. I don’t feel so lost anymore.

Featured image by Triniti Nowicki/ The Telescope

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  • 49803202277_7c52955a0a_c: Triniti Nowicki/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
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