Day 7: Staying Sane in Complete Solitude

Since entering quarantine six days ago, one of the things that I have worked most hard at each day is adhering to a consistent routine. With a routine to follow it is much easier to pass the time without thinking about it. And since I only have to be in here for fourteen days, I know that my quarantine time will be up and I will be out of here before I realize it, just as long as I can maintain that routine. The way I like to think about it is like how when you are driving a car long distance, in order to pass the time, you watch the lines on the road running ahead of your car. It keeps your eyes off the road signs reminding you how much further you still have to drive. The same thing applies to this situation, except the routine is helping me keep my eyes off the clock.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the fact that I receive three regular meals at set times each and every day certainly goes a long way towards establishing such a routine. It is difficult to miss these meals because a loud message in several languages is played over a speaker in my room informing me of the impending meal delivery. It is not the kind of message that you could sleep through, even if you tried, because it is quite loud and goes on for a few minutes. I believe this is part of the reason why they do it, trying to keep everyone on some semblance of a regular schedule. But no matter, I am always awake for all three of my meals in anticipation of their arrival. Filling the time in between those three meals becomes the challenge in maintaining the routine. Luckily, I brought plenty of things with me in order to do this exact thing.

Most of my time is spent working on my personal project on my computer. I have been working on this personal project for a several months now, so there are plenty of tasks that I have had time to think through and plan. And now, with all of this time, all I need to do is execute them. So as not to sit in one place for too long at my computer, I punctuate this computer work with random exercises. As I mentioned a few days ago, it is a bit challenging to do an effective workout without having access to a gym, so I have had to be creative in the ways that I work my body out. Another good side effect of the regular exercise is that it tires me out enough so that I can go to sleep at a regular time every night. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule in this situation where I have no contact with the outside world other than a mysterious meal in front of my door and loud messages played at me through a speaker can also make the time move along at a much quicker pace. Without having many things to keep my mind busy, I might be inclined to sleep randomly throughout the day, which would really ruin my ability to sleep a regular amount at night.

The other two things that I have brought with me to keep me busy are some of my study materials for learning the Korean language and my gaming laptop. Since arriving here, I have not cracked my gaming laptop open yet, although I have been tempted to do so a couple of times. I plan to save my gaming time for the end of the quarantine period, after I have completed a good amount of work on my personal project. I have done some Korean language studying, however, so those Korean language study materials have already done their part in helping me to burn some of my time here. As I approach the end of my quarantine time, I plan to rotate through these four activities, work, gaming, studying, and exercising, as much as possible to keep things fresh and maintain my sanity. I can’t think of a better way to put my time to good use and keep my eye off the clock.

Quarantine Day 7 Breakfast, Photo by Author
Quarantine Day 7 Lunch, Photo by Author
Quarantine Day 7 Dinner, Photo by Author

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Keith Dawson

I am just a software engineer trying to make the world better, one line of code at a time