Hello, to whoever is reading this
My audience is a bit mixed; loved ones, friends, potential employers, my dentist, maybe potential love interests?? (listen, I’m being optimistic). Because of this, I find it hard to figure out if anyone will actually give a f*ck about what I have to say, and that’s why this page has gone blank for a while. Right now it seems as though the world is moving quickly, and I’m feeling the need to document it, so here we are.
I’ve decided to use this platform to reflect on the time I am spending at home; what I’m doing, what I’m listening to, what I’m finding challenging, how I’m staying sane, etc. If you find it remotely interesting or helpful, please dive in with me. If you feel negatively towards it, please stop reading & have yourself a good day!
Before I get into what I consider “the good stuff,” or at least the posts I have been looking forward to creating, I’d like to give an update. So this post will be mostly housekeeping and from here on out, we’ll be a bit more fun.
I’m writing this on March 21, 2020, and it’s crazy to think that for me, the Coronavirus situation had already started a while ago. Since I’ve posted here last, my life has changed a bit. In May of last year, I finished undergrad and chose to take a couple of months off from work and school, basically giving myself some time to take a breath. This has now has turned into a deeper breath than expected, but I’m thankful nonetheless.
I’ve been referring to this period of my life as my “sabbatical,” taking time to come home, reground myself, and do things that make me happy. I started working as a kayak tour guide and played in the ocean every day with the eventual plan to pack my bags and see a new part of the world.
I had always planned that post-grad I’d want to move out East and start my professional life in a big city. That changed when I moved back to my hometown of San Diego after being away for about 10 years, and now I can’t imagine leaving. I’ve been feeling like I have a new voice, a fresh take on what I want, and am particularly energized to get started in my career, but this virus has really put a halt in a lot of my big plans.
After months of planning and saving, I left on January 29, 2020, for New Zealand and at that time, the nervousness about a scary disease shutting down China was just starting to escalate worldwide. I locked and loaded myself with Lysol wipes and some hand sanitizer and anxiously boarded on the plane which I had learned was coming from Shanghai, China. At this point, I was concerned and had started keeping my eyes on news sources mentioning the virus, but I wiped down my airplane seat and slept almost the entire way to Auckland, NZ, hoping things would die down in the coming weeks.
Two weeks later on February 14th, I left New Zealand for Indonesia and at that point, it was noticeable that my plane was empty. As I traveled, locals mentioned that they were seeing only a fraction of the usual tourists due to the travel restrictions placed on the Chinese. It was eerie, but I made it to Indo in once piece and took precautions during the two weeks I was there.
Things started to seriously escalate during the last week of February because I had a flight to Tokyo on March 1st. I was meant to meet up with my mom there for two weeks, and the situation was only getting worse. At this point, the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship had been letting people off the ship and the virus was being emitted through community spread in Japan. This meant authorities were finding hotspots but were now unable to pinpoint the source of spread, meanwhile the US had just raised Japan to alert 2 for CDC travel guidelines. Unsure if we were overreacting or not, my parents and I came to the conclusion that the chances of the travel running smoothly were thin. There were stories of travelers being put into mandated quarantine on some type of military base or worse, not allowed to reenter the country, and so my flight back to the US was booked for March 3rd and my trip was cut two weeks short.
The last leg home was stressful. At each airport, I entered you could clearly see the difference in how people were acting. While going through customs in Australia, I watched those with Chinese passports be questioned at length before being sent to special health authorities. After they’d leave the podium escorted by officials, every surface would be wiped down and sprayed with disinfectant while people would whisper amongst themselves about the virus. Most travelers donned masks and gloves, planes were empty, and people were tense. It took over 21 hours to make it home to San Diego, but I was just happy to be back in the States.
For a while, my life went back to “normal.” I laid low, for the most part, picked up a couple of shifts doing kayak tours, spent time by the ocean, and caught up with friends. The world had not started to panic and I thought I had made it home safely from the scary virus. On and off I’d have conversations about what was happening in the world, but it wasn’t until March 13th when I really started to quarantine seriously.
On the day that this is posted, this will be Quarantine Day 23. I’m not gonna lie, I am going pretty crazy. I’ve been feeling anxious and have now almost eradicated watching daily news, receiving news app updates, and have limited myself to only getting the essential updates from my family/friends. Of course, we are living in a historic moment, and I think that one day I’ll want to remember how I felt during this unprecedented time. For now, I am staying @ home and doing my best. I think that once I post this I’ll have the rest of you holding me accountable to continue on writing! So without further ado: