5 Stages of Quarantine

by Ashley Van Spengen

Now this may seem… well different compared to the other blogs written, and that’s fair, because this one is a a bit more personal. Perhaps a bit more fun, rather than educational, but maybe it’ll bridge a gap between CAL MEDI’s employees and customers.  

We had to temporarily shut down for a few days to sanitize and clean, while the majority of our staff had to take the dreaded COVID-19 test, and quarantine. I was among these staff members. So I did what any employee would do when they’re told to take any test. I didn’t want to do it, but I did anyway. I didn’t leave the house, just worked on a project I had been working on for a bit, checked emails, sent emails, etc.  

I should tell you all, I felt no symptoms. In fact, to test out my theory, I held my breath as long as I could, I ate a spoonful of sugar, followed by a spoon full of hot sauce (I don’t recommend doing it, but I knew I still could taste… after a large glass of milk), there was no coughing or sneezing, nothing. But I knew I wouldn’t be allowed back into the store unless I provided a test… so my significant other and I went to get a long q-tip shoved at the back of our throats and, wait… 

The thing about waiting is that, it means there’s nothing I can physically do to advance the progress and process in which it takes. So I just… have to… wait. Ugh. I may be a patient person, but I actually HATE waiting, waiting in line, waiting to see a doctor, waiting for results, waiting for a bag of popcorn; and being told to wait, is like telling a girl she should smile more…. just… don’t. Don’t do it. 

But I’m not writing to tell you that waiting is one of the worst things ever. Which it is, but that’s not the point. The point is: The stages of Quarantine. We’ve got five stages, just like grief.

There's Denial. Of course YOU wouldn’t get this dreaded sickness. Thats stupid, to even suggest you would, and no one near you showed symptoms so, no, no you couldn’t have it. And you can go back to work after the weekend. No problem. In the meantime, you’ll work from home, check your email… over and over again (Heads up, it hasn’t changed in the last five minutes since you last checked.) So you’ll also finish a project stating ‘If I finish this, I can get it signed off on, get it posted, and I won’t have to bring x device next week’, so you do, and you send it off… and wait. 

(Mika Baumeister)

Okay, still waiting, what can you do next? Well since there’s nothing you can do, might as well watch that show or movie you were meaning to, right? This stage we call the Binge. Games, shows, books, movies, doesn’t matter. You’ve already done your work, you surely can go back Monday, might as well have this time to chill, relax. In my case, She-ra Princess of Power, and Charming, because you’re never too young or too old to enjoy animation.

(Emily Sea)

Monday’s gone and passed, with news on the Sunday night saying ‘even with a negative test, you must quarantine till the 18th. Well… damn, you’d don’t want to be lazy this whole week, right? That's where Exercise comes in. You tell yourself, now that you have all this time you can work out a bit, stretch your legs, get that blood flowing! My coworker told me that they got into walking, while myself ordered a game called Ringfit (It’s a lot of fun if you do have a Nintendo Switch [Not Sponsored]). So we’re bulking, toning and well… I’m being my healthiest self, they played sports in high school, and they go to the gym (when it was open). This is also the stage where excessive cleaning, and organizing happens… watch out some of you.

( Hello I'm Nik 🎞 )

Purchasing (Yay, online shopping). Not sure if I should tell you this, but I just bought 8 hand sanitizer, 7 wallflowers, a pair of 6 (and a half) boots, five bottles of hand soap, 4 face masks, 3 moisturizers, 2 pairs of hand masks, and 1 box of baby feet booties. I may have ‘treated’ myself a little too much… but most of it’s for sanitization, and the other is for… well honestly a spa day. 2020 was difficult! Everyone deserves a spa day one in a while. 

(Ben White)

I find this is where this will be different for people, but if you know grief you know this stage. Bargaining. The ‘Ugh, I just want to go back' stage, the ‘I don’t want to be home anymore’ stage. The one stage that you roll your head back and the most unholy, like a creature from the depths of your stomach rises to your throat and lets out it’s guttural cry, and you just want it to be OVER! You can’t stand being at home alone all day any more, and you keep telling yourself, it’ll just be a little longer, but you know in your heart, that could be a lie, and why did 2019-2021 have to be this way! I just want to go baaaaaaack, there’s only so much I can do at home and only so many clean pj’s to wear, and only so many messes I can handle cleaning up before I go crazy! So you beg… but they won’t let you back unless you test negative again, just for a precaution. Fiiiine.

One day we shall return to somewhat normalcy… and sure, our store has only been short staffed for a little amount of time, and I’m no doctor, but I think we can all acknowledge these stages in some sense. Maybe, you’re stuck in a stage right now. As COVID-19 stretches on, we have to remember to have patience, and be kind. Some may be struggling with the stages of grief, or mental illness, or in general, illness, but we’re all still human, and we just need a helping of compassion through this mess


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