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By: Sarah Vasilakos

As a nurse living at home with her parents, quarantine can be a bit tricky.

Being an essential employee in a hospital, there is no option for me to work from home. Since I can’t socially distance from my coworkers or patients, us healthcare workers have to get a bit creative when it comes to quarantining. I leave a towel out at home so I can throw my work clothes straight into the washer, and go upstairs to take a shower immediately. I give my parents a quick hi, and my dog a few pets (after I’ve washed my hands), but that’s it.

Ironically, I had been planning to move out in May, but decided moving to an apartment during a pandemic wasn’t the smartest idea. Living with my parents, their health is one of my biggest concerns right now. I check my temperature daily, sanitize communal surfaces I’ve touched and haven’t hugged them in weeks. While we don’t always maintain 6 feet apart from each other, I have made it known my plan to stay with my boyfriend (who also works at my hospital) if I do start exhibiting symptoms or have a potential exposure at work without proper PPE. Working nightshifts though, I find there’s good chunk of time I don’t interact with them to begin with.

As for my personal life during quarantine as a nurse, it’s only changed a bit. Nightshift makes it hard to begin with maintaining a social life. I find myself taking this time to enjoy my inner introvert, and catch up on sleep. I’m reading books more, getting back into video games, catching up on movies, and even taking out old craft sets to finish that I haven’t touched in years. I’m also enjoying taking walks, biking, and playing with my puppy outside. I have plans to make a vegetable garden this May, and start teaching my puppy agility tricks in our backyard.

My friends and I have been having weekly video calls which have become a huge highlight of my week. I’m also lucky enough to be dating a guy from my hospital. We’ve made the mutual decision to semi quarantine together, since we both are not seeing any of our friends right now and work nightshift on similar units with Covid-19 patients anyways. This means that I am either home or at his place, and that if I do get sick, I’m staying solely with him for a few weeks, to protect my parents.

I never knew how important human interaction was until I stopped seeing my friends and hugging my parents. I’m very thankful to have someone to go through this quarantine with who understands 100% what it’s like being a healthcare provider during a pandemic.

I of course miss seeing my friends a ton, but I know they’re just a phone call or zoom video chat away and that we all will have a huge reunion when life returns to a new normal.

What is quarantine like for you?