Life on the inside: my first five days of the quarantine journal

March 21, 2020 — by Shreya Katkere

Quarantine due to the coronavirus can get really boring due to the “shelter in place” order. This order mandates people to keep themselves isolated from others at all times except when taking care of essential tasks, such as buying groceries. However, I am trying to make the best out of this situation by using the time to complete tasks I have been putting off for a long time and learn new skills.


  1. Clean your room and closet

On Saturday, the first day of quarantine, I cleaned my room and closet. I was inspired by the many YouTubers, such as Sydney Serena and Ellie Thumann, on my recommended page who did the same thing. Throughout this process, I realized there were a lot of clothes in my closet that I had forgotten about since they were hidden under the clothes I usually wear. I plan on incorporating these pieces, such as jeans I bought a few years ago, into my daily wardrobe. I recommend this task to anyone who wants to get organized and destress during the break. 


  1. Paint your nails

I also painted my nails on Saturday using a new technique I learned  online, using a light purple color that I borrowed from my sister. This technique says to start painting on the outside edges of the nail and then work inward. This way the nail looks less blotchy and the paint doesn’t go outside of the nail. Later, I also plan on learning new hairstyles as well, such as how to french braid my hair, during another day of quarantine.


  1. Try new workouts

On Sunday, I redownloaded Tik Tok and spent a few hours watching videos. When I was scrolling through my “For You” page, an ab workout video popped up that I decided I wanted to try. It includes crunches, russian twists, flutter kicks, toe touches and bicycles each for 30 seconds with three total repetitions. These next four weeks are the perfect time to start working out for anyone who has been putting it off like me. I have been doing the workout almost every day since Sunday. 


  1. Find new music

The next day, I found new songs on Spotify to add to my March playlist. Finding new music is a huge stress reliever. For people who are having trouble searching for new songs, I recommend checking out the sections on Spotify called “Made for You” and “The Best New Music” for suggestions. Also, I started making a workout playlist that hopefully will motivate me to workout more consistently. Some songs I have been really liking recently are “Supalonely” by BENEE and Gus Dapperton and “BEST INTEREST” by Tyler, The Creator. 


  1. Read a book

On Tuesday, I started reading a book called “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. One of my friends recommended it to me a month ago. I checked it out from the library but never got around to reading it. I want to get back to reading more frequently and this is the perfect time to start on that goal. Tip: sitting outside while reading is a good way to get fresh air without having to leave the house. 


  1. Bake something

On Wednesday, I baked apple crumble with my family. My sister got a huge recipe book from my aunt for her birthday, and this was our first time using it. The apple crumble turned out really well and I am looking forward to trying more recipes in the next few weeks. I definitely want to improve on my cooking skills during this time because the only things I currently know how to make are sandwiches and mac and cheese. 


Some other things on my to do list include having a Netflix party with my friends. This is where you can play a movie with your friends and chat on the side of the screen at the same time. Also, I plan on learning a new song on the piano. Hopefully, the quarantine will end after Spring Break as planned, but for now I recommend trying some of the activities I mentioned or trying other fun tasks to keep yourselves busy at home.

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Photo of the week

At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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