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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dione

Quarantine: A Perfect Introduction

Loosing The Plot

Whilst I woke up for the first time at 05:40, I was unable to summon muscular strength to move until 8 o'clock. I think the Prosecco got to me. Ben managed to go all the way to the lobby today without a mask, a prime example of why he doesn’t normally do things in the morning (his brain doesn’t function). Luckily, the navy guys on the other side of the lift doors just lost their minds and flailed their arms about to make sure he stayed in the lift and went back to get a mask. When he returned back to the lobby wearing his mask, he was then issued with a second mask to wear over his current mask… confusing. My theory: On the off chance Ben contracted covid between the room and the lobby, (a total of 30 steps plus an alone lift ride with sanitisation stations before entering and leaving the lift)… He might be spreading that covid now. So, to prevent the threat of the triple vaxxed, three-tests-in-the-last-72-hours man, he could wear two masks as a preventative measure. A sound idea, but overkill all the same.

Whilst Ben was enjoying his sweaty faced walk, I was becoming appropriately caffeinated in the room. Last night was so much fun and I had no desire to do anything other than mosey around and read my book. However, good mood + caffeine + beautiful day = serotonin overload. My energy levels were through the roof and I was bouncing off the god damn walls. I was like a coked up toddler with ADD. I was making weird noises, singing songs, dancing sporadically. I pointlessly wondered the room and when Ben returned my energy only got more intense as I had someone to project it to. It may be fair to say that quarantine was having a slight effect on my behaviour. However, there was a fix to this behaviour and it was incoming faster than I could have anticipated.

Laundry Mishap

Argument #3. Duration: 5 min. Cool off time: 30 minutes. Reason: We have missed laundry service.

There are two times listed on the laundry tickets. and we thought they were both pick up times... they were not. They collect the washing at 08:30 and drop it back to you at 17:30. The argument purely focused on "how we could have missed this", and I was extra angry because travelling with dirty clothes triggers me where as Ben couldn’t care less. “There’s nothing we can do about it now and they can just go in a plastic bag”. He’s right of course, but I saw red for a little bit as organisation and cleaning has been something that has got me through this time in isolation.

A skin care routine and some Olivia Rodrigo cooled me off almost all the way, the call for our final covid tests allowed for conversation to resume and brought us back down to zero. I am noticing whist in quarantine that the importance of small things changes. Things that used to be just everyday activities are not a crutch for your sanity or productivity, and all of a sudden they are the most important thing in the world. A mountain you would now die on which would normally be a mole hill. The good news is that arguing is healthy and we both move on quickly. We also know that once we are back out in the real world and have an apartment, the worries of ‘when will I next have access to a washing machine’ will cease to exist.

Tip # no idea: Don’t wear white on the plane. I have a lovely, soft T-shirt that I absolutely love that says “something amazing is about to happen”. I thought to myself when picking my travel clothes… “What a perfect T-shirt for the occasion, this is going to be amazing.” I was only in this shirt for 16 hours (actually that’s quite long), before I had a full body flannel down and change of clothes in Singapore Airport. I also applied more roll on deodorant on the plane mid flight because no one (in my opinion) has an excuse to be smelly. It’s basic hygiene, get good at it you inconsiderate swamp person. (People with gland problems excluded, take the joke). Anyhow, it wasn’t until a few days into quarantine that I decided to wash some more clothes as we weren’t going to use the laundry service until leaving- (a mistake in hind sight but well thought out). When I pulled out this all time fave T, I found that there were ever so tiny, but all the same gross, yellow sweat marks under each arm. What a pillock! Don’t wear white on the plane of a long hall flight and if you do, make it the change of clothes half way through and soak in warm soapy water before your sweat turns evil and ruins your favourite shirt. Wisdom imparted. Moving on.

I’m off for my walk now and Katherine Ryan is my favourite gal for a stroll in the sun. Some minutes I agree with her and others I don't. Yet I still respect her and most of the time I am just trying to not laugh too loud from behind my mask to avoid freaking people out. The title of todays podcast is ‘Freedom Day UK’ and it’s from July 2021. I am a mega binger when it comes to content so if I start something there needs to be at least 20 episodes before I dive in. I need to know there will always be an episode available to me should I need it. The run up to traveling also bought time for more episodes to be released as I had to take a hiatus from my regular podcast listening and focus on the million and one things to get done. Maybe go for a walk yourself? Splash some water on your face and get some fresh air? Or not, what do I know? I freaked out about laundry 2 hours ago.

Quarantine: The Perfect Introduction

There are different ways to think about isolation and the things it has to hinder you with or offer you. I am very aware whilst writing this that I am doing my isolation in a happy relationship, in an establishment that has good food, great staff and friendly customer service. I am also aware that I am in an English speaking country where women rights are parallel to the country I am from. One of the things I have noticed is that Jet lag and season change are two things that are perfectly managed by being in isolation. If I were out in the world, I would have to be out doing errands every day, house viewing, bank opening, drivers licence sorting, money budgeting. In quarantine, these things are either put on hold or taken care of for you.

Yes, myself and Ben have to look at apartments and emails and a lot of forms and paperwork which take sizeable chunks out of each day. However, we have been able to run our jet lag schedule with only our comfort in mind. which allows us to slowly acclimatise to the change. On top of this, we haven't had to deal with anything stressful when we are so tired that our heads hurt and we can barley keep our eyes open. Furthermore, any tasks that need to be done ASAP literally cannot be completed until we have spent 10 days resting at our leisure. We sit in our room eating without budgeting or cooking and if we do have to speak to someone on the phone, they are extra nice because we are ‘trapped’ in quarantine.

The other beauty of it is my behaviour is some what policed. I am 100% confident that I would have done something mind numbingly stupid if outdoor time wasn't limited everyday. What do I mean? Well, I am a huge fan of summer. I love getting a tan and wearing summer dresses and my mood is always higher in hotter weather. The light evenings make me want to stay up and drink cocktails after a long day of surfing and sunbathing in glorious rays. If I had not been locked up in this room, I would have almost definitely over exposed my UK winter, Irish completion to too much sun too fast and ended up burnt and suffering from sun stroke. The hour a day limit is the perfect little snippet of sun (that you can still burn in by the way), to let your body adjust and get it’s defence system back online. It also gives you 23 hours to see the effects of your last outside session to see if you need to wear more layers or hats or drink more water before venturing out!

There is one thing that I wish was available in quarantine and that is suncream. I have been careful, I have covered my head and my shoulders. I drink at minimum 1.5 litres of water before I head out, and where possible I book slots later in the day to try and limit the amount of UV that I am exposing myself to. Unfortunately, the North NZ sun finds a way as it has very little ozone to battle through before making it to the delicate surface that is your skin. Mark my words, the first thing I am buying in duty free on the way to Welly… is suncream.

Tip # still no clue: Pack a 100ml bottle of very high factor suncream if you are travelling to NZ or anywhere where the weather is drastically hotter than your home at present… and a hat.

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