A life in quarantine: the tips we can take from it


Stacy Johnson* has been in quarantine for over seven weeks. She is currently living in Beijing, China in her apartment with her son and husband, and she hopes they will be out of quarantine mid-April. 

Beijing, China’s capitol has taken strict protocol with the coronavirus because of the population and spread in China. Ann Arbor is not comparable to Beijing in a quarantine situation, but people in Ann Arbor may find themselves with extra time given that school isn’t in session until April 6. 

Of course, Johnson advises people who could possibly enter quarantine to buy toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other sanitary items. But Johnson also said to prepare mentally by getting books, puzzles, games and things to do or to learn. Johnson encouraged others to learn something new or to work on something they want to do. She wishes that she had taken the time to think about how she wanted to spend her time and to get the materials that she needed. She recommends making a list of things you want to do. 

Before it happens is the time to prepare and to make a plan. When and if a quarantine situation happens, Johnson said that making a schedule for your days and your week is so important.Johnson also said that planning physical activity in your schedule will help with the mental aspect of quarantine.

“[A schedule] provides a sense of safety and control when you don’t have safety and control over any other things,” Johnson said.

Although free time may sound like a luxury, that transition can be hard.

“The adjustment is suddenly having so much free time to figure out when to do things versus having everything set for you,” Johnson said. “You will have unexpected pockets of time with nothing to do and you can only watch so many movies.”

Another piece of advice from Johnson was to go to the library. Get as many books as you can, because you will not want to read on a screen. Many people in quarantine have explored new things: baking, yoga, learning new languages, etc., Johnson has never seen so many people showing off their baked goods on WeChat before. A man even mapped out a route in his apartment and ran a marathon. 

“You can look at the time as a time to reset,” Johnson said. “That’s what loads of people have done here. Refocus, reorganize, reprioritize.” 


* Name has been changed to protect anonymity.