Quarantine was a chance to bask in a five-star resort, free (I thought). So, when my expectations collapsed, my public tantrum invited kind friends to the rescue. But I felt bad.
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s search for meaning, said: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any set of given circumstances…” When I blame, I give someone else the power, I victimise myself.
Grudging the lesson, I tried a better attitude. Immediately the day cleared, and things flipped. My room got more comfortable. I began to banter with the door staff, so our spirits lifted; even the food, which had poisoned us for days, tasted better. Life’s lessons creep up on us and bite us in the bum.
Here are a few tips for those entering quarantine:
- Power of choice: For your peace of mind, choose to enjoy the ride.
- Information: Draw information from all sources. You’ll feel like a bouncing ball: let go of things you can’t control.
- Wait: This is a patience test. Authorities don’t announce some decisions, so you can’t find the information; they announce other info before people and systems are ready, so they don’t work. Expect uncertainty when buying tickets and booking quarantine hotels.
- Travel: If you dare to wear your pyjamas and slippers, do it. Otherwise, find the most comfortable clothing and shoes. You will stand for many hours.
- Physicality: Establish a daily routine which includes a leg stretch. Sign up for regular exercise; spend energy cleaning the room.
- Needs to order: Your room is unlikely to have crockery, seasoning, coffee, milk, vinaigrette, fruit, drinks, snacks, jam, condiments, butter. On Day 1, place orders with online shops or ask friends to drop off. Do on Day 1 to avoid the lowering of your morale.
- Needs to ask: On Day 1 phone the hotline and ask for hardware and cleaning materials, including hangers, dishwashing liquid, household cleaner, cloths, bucket, etc.
- Comforts: On Day 1 phone your hotel’s hotline and ask for a duvet (not a dog blanket), and other soft furnishings they may or may not give you.
- Entertainment: Come with enough reading, playing, and entertainment matter to keep you busy; take Netflix, watch inspiring films.
Make the best of your holding pattern.