It’s the third week of quarantine here in Dubai, and we are now on a 24 hour lock down. We don’t have that privilege that they have in the UK, where you’re allowed out once a day for exercise… we can’t even go to the supermarket without obtaining a permit from the police first. Not that I can actually go… only one person from each household is allowed to leave, and with no supermarket in walking distance, and seeing as I can’t drive, that nominated person from this household will be boyfriend.
This was what upset me most, actually. I mean, until that point, I think I’ve been coping with quarantine quite well. But with this new announcement, I just struggle with the lack of independence. I will have to rely entirely on boyfriend to do a food shop… My main concern is that he will not buy chocolate or any treats, and I’m sorry, but chocolate is essential – for my mental wellbeing.
So, here I sit, on my third coffee of the day, hair tossed up in a bun, listening to boyfriend play FIFA for like the 100th hour, writing another blog post about lockdown to kill some time and distract me from eating more snacks…
I would actually sell my soul right now, for warm caramel cinema popcorn. Or for one of those non dairy fancy pants coffee’s that come in the pastel coloured teacups that I sometimes get on the way home from my workout. My workout… GOD. I even miss my workout!
Today has actually been my most productive day in a while. I washed the dishes. I had a coffee. Put on a laundry. Cleaned the balcony. Took out the rubbish. Hung out the laundry (well, we still don’t have a clothes horse, so basically, I just hung it from all sorts of random places in the apartment again). Put away the dishes. Scrolled Instagram. Scrolled Pinterest. Made a smoothie. Made boyfriend scrambled eggs on toast. Washed the dishes. Scrolled instagram. Sent my friends some Tiger King memes. Did the dishes. Did a couple of Joe Wicks workouts. Lay on floor asking myself why I did Joe Wicks workouts. Had a shower. Put on clean pjs. Looked for things to buy on Amazon. Gave up. Put laptop away. Made bf a smoothie. Decided to make another coffee. And now, I’ve sat down here, on the nice clean(ish) balcony with my laptop.
I won’t lie, I am feeling pretty uninspired because, as you can probably tell, I’ve hardly had a wildly exciting day. But with all the heavy stories non stop circulating with regards to the global ‘situation’, I just wanted to help lighten up the mood, for even just 10 minutes of someone else’s day. Someone elseout there who is sick and tired of people telling them that they should be using this time to learn a language, better themselves or write a book.
I’m pretty sure that some people out there will achieve these amazing things, and kudos to them – really! But at the same time, can you just stop rubbing the noses of everyone else in it, who is erring on the lesser productive side?
For starters, I have worked shifts for 6 years. Non stop flights spanning across every time zone you can imagine. Some times, I am awake for 32h at one time.Every morning (okay, it’s more like afternoon…) when I get up, I am well aware that most people have already saved the world like three times over while I was sleeping. But do I feel guilty? Not one single bit. Let the people in 9-5’s who get two week holidays off from time to time, and who get to sleep in their own bed every evening keep themselves in their 6am wake up routine. But over here? I will be catching up on the backlog of jet lag and years of missed night’s sleep to try and reset my body and I’ll be dammed if anyone tells me this behaviour is lazy.
As if quarantine is not annoying enough itself, I turn to instagram as I slurp my way through my
afternoon morning coffee. I don’t know why I do it, but as usual I find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media. With so much time to dwell on things, and as one of the only means of keeping in touch with friends, despite feeling EUGH after a long scroll, I just can’t help myself.
I’m whiter than white (as established in my last post), and I’m feeling kind of ugly. I mean, by this point, my foundation no longer even matches my (real) face. So imagine the distress induced, looking at these goddesses who are managing to get the sun from their south facing balcony, whilst I sit there, without a scrap of make up on my face. The ones who have all their face masks at home to beautify themselves and with tinted moisturiser that actually matches their body. The ones who are still doing their full face of make up because they aren’t cursed with hormonal acne and so, can afford to lather their face in foundation every day. NEXT.
And it’s only a matter of mere seconds, before you hit the workout videos. I mean, dear GOD. Someone please inform these poor souls on instagram that their workout really does still count, even if you don’t post it!
Scroll a little more, and you’ll reach the chefs. The one’s who have really come into their own in this crisis. The ones posting the recipes for their ‘super easy’ (yeah right) “Buckwheat and miso beetroot-cashew-squash celery cake”. The kind of people who then add, captions under the picture of said dish like, “You’ll probably have all of these food staples already in your pantry!”. No Romina, I’ll probably not.
Then you come to the attention cravers. The ones who are resorting to strong measure in order to attain their dopamine hits through that little double tap heart. I’ve seen quite a few since quarantine kicked off, but I have to say that there were a couple that really stood out for me. There are the girls who are fashioning themselves tiny DIY triangle style bikinis out of surgical face masks to flaunt on their balcony’s and Instagram, stories. I mean, pat on the back for them! How creative! No need to mention that there’s a worldwide shortage of the lifesaving masks…! The best one though, really, was the girl I had the joy of seeing doing a headstand FULL FRONTAL NAKED. That truly was quite original since I can honestly say it was the first time I witnessed that, ever – not even just on social media.
Scroll down a little more, and you’ll notice a defining pattern in who’s posting pics of themselves. Note, the natural blondes are still posting selfies, but the fake ones, well… they’re hiding, because no-one can get to a hairdresser and their roots are bigger than the Great Wall of China. Even the guys! The guys can be divided into two sections: those who thought, to hell with it, and shaved their head, and those who just aren’t posting pictures of themselves for fear of looking like Tom Hanks in castaway. And then I guess there’s that mid range group, the ones who also thought ‘to hell with it’ and immediately regretted the decision. They’ll just be offline until their hair grows in.
Combined, it’s enough to drive you demented! And I just want to reassure you all, the way I am reassuring myself, that we are all still worthy, regardless of how much or how little we are cramming into these days.
There are a lot of things that I feel like I ~should~ be doing with this time. Eating cleaner, for one. Taking the best care ever of my skin. Giving my nails a rest from gel manicures. Exercising more. Reading books. Learning a language. applying for jobs. The list goes on and on and on. And some days, I am trying to do these things. Other days, I am just watching back to back episodes on Netflix til the TV asks me if I am still watching.
We can compare ourselves to everyone else and feel guilty, while we still sit and do nothing… or we can embrace the less productive days and call it rest.
More so than usual, there’s many people affected by anxiety. People who usually wouldn’t worry too much are freaking out about the future – their jobs, their health, their situation, etc. Then there are others who are afraid, constantly watching the news and panicking with each update. Then there’s the lonely, who are feeling terribly isolated without friends, family and work around, living with no real human interaction or physical contact. And if any of the above sound like you, then who cares that you’re not the Mary Berry of baking!? I can’t even boil an egg! Take each day as it comes, and if all you can muster is to shower and put on clean pjs for today, then that’s okay too! Just sign out of your instagram so you feel less guilty for doing so.
‘Til next time I get bored…