Back in Quarantine

My sister Rachel is getting married next Saturday, July 25th, and I can’t imagine not being with her on that magical day. So here I am, on my third COVID-19 quarantine. Like much of the US may be feeling (closed bars, moving “back” to Phase 1), this quarantine feels like I have taken a step backward. I am not allowed to leave “my house” except for an emergency medical reason. No walks. No runs. No grocery store trips. 

Quarantine feels different in different cities. In DC, it felt like being undercover in the center of a quiet city full of possibility. In Hammond, it felt like a country retreat. In Geneva, quarantine feels “real,” particularly after the lovely yet stern conversation I had on Monday with the Canton of Geneva representative. I had to confirm my physical address, and together we counted the days until end of quarantine (just to make sure our math was on the same page). 

I am a planner, and I had a plan for this quarantine. 

  • Live in a neutral ground AirBNB with outdoor space (The Hamlet, which is family-run, is exceeding all of my expectations) 
  • Stay on US schedule (sleep in, work late) 
  • Have socially distant meetings on the terrace with my family and Swiss colleagues 
  • Spend morning hours (before the US wakes up) on creative thinking 
  • “Do Zoom” per usual 
  • Be open to what 24/7 with my husband would teach me (different from our previous quarantines, which involved space on different floors, versus sharing 700sq ft)  
  • Eat healthy 
  • Don’t drink too much 

My plan is working, other than the creative thinking, which as has been the case throughout this pandemic, is harder than it has ever been. 

I have also already learned a few things that I did not expect. 

  • I love being in Geneva “in my house.” I know this is not my house, and, I am not in a hotel and not at any other person’s home. This has never before happened in my life, and it is quite lovely.  
  • Birds help me stay sane. I feel like I am living in a tree house, with the wall to wall windows open (thank you Geneva July weather) and a constant chirping concerto, allegro at dawn, adagio at dusk. 
  • I think about leaving “the house” more than I would if I were not prohibited from doing it. (I guess like a child thinks about doing the things her parents have told her are forbidden). 
  • Smood is the most dangerous food delivery app I have come across. I can order McDonald’s (which I will not). I can order Lake Geneva perch and steak tartare from the neighborhood restaurant (which I have). There is an unlimited wine selection. And groceries from Migros are available. 

This time in Geneva brings home what I love. Not seeing my family for seven months was painful (it felt like losing part of myself). Home is laughing with my sisters and hugging my Mom (who is immune to COVID-19).