Can you remember back to the first days of quarantine, before we knew very much about the coronavirus? It seems like a bit of a blur to me, but I know I felt something like I did as a kid on a snow day (even though I work from home most of the time anyway). Spending more time at home and catching up on shows didn't sound that bad.
"School's Out" - Alice Cooper
But very quickly, reality set in. What we were going through was / is very real and very serious. The economy came close to shutting down as we were told to stay home for everyone's protection.
"Locked Up" - Akon
At first, this made a lot of sense. Stay away from others and don't let this illness spread. I was patient and happy to wait things out and do my part.
"I Will Wait" - Mumford & Sons
"Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" - Jack Johnson
"Patience" - Guns N' Roses
Then I had to go out for groceries. It was still the early stages and there was such limited information other than the need for social distancing and staying at least six feet apart from anyone else. Everyone in the store was in the same boat, feeling unsure of what to do or how to act and trying to respect each other's space.
"Don't Stand So Close To Me" - The Police
"Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
With a full fridge and freezer, and therefore no errands to do, I let myself relax a bit. Watching so much news was stressful and caused a lot of anxiety, so I switched to Netflix, phone calls with friends and some other random hobbies I rarely take part in.
"The Lazy Song" - Bruno Mars
"Dancing with Myself" - Generation X
"Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen
But I'm a pretty active person and don't really like to sit around much other than when I'm working. I started getting a bit stir crazy and also felt guilt for staying at home when so many people were working hard and putting themselves at risk to save others.
"I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" - The White Stripes
Friends started suggesting virtual happy hours and I really liked that idea.
"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" - Alan Jackson
"Red Red Wine" - UB40
But then the nostalgia and loneliness would kick in, and I'd start thinking about my loved ones who I couldn't see.
"Here Without You" - 3 Doors Down
"Photograph" - Nickelback
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles
It got a little dark. Isolation is no joke.
"I Want To Break Free" - Queen
"All By Myself" - Celine Dion
But then I took a step back and realized the bigger picture. This situation is so much bigger than I am, and there are a million ways I can stay busy and productive and happy while supporting my community by staying home. I began to embrace the solitude, take on projects I have been putting off, check in with friends in the medical community more often, and find creativity in new places for my business.
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem
"Better Off Alone" - Alice DJ
And now, I'm using the metaphor of washing my hands to mean I'm working on myself, finding joy in quiet moments, exploring new ways to show my support to others. I'm also washing my hands. A lot.
"Hands Clean" - Alanis Morissette
"So Fresh, So Clean" - OutKast
I know that I am a stronger person having already experienced so much during this time - and it is not even over yet. Plus, I've done a ton of at-home workouts so there's that :) But now that I have gone through month's worth of emotions while writing this playlist and post for the past few hours, I am feeling pretty emo, so I'll leave you with this: We're going through something that has never happened before. There is no right or wrong way to feel, and how you feel one day is not really any indication of how you may feel the next, and that is okay! Be kind to yourself and check on your friends and family. Try to find some silver lining to this situation, and I truly believe that we will all come out of this as stronger people and stronger communities.
"Stronger" - Britney Spears
Listen to the playlist on Spotify at this link.