8 TIPS FOR COVID-19 QUARANTINE
As I write this, I only have four more hours of quarantine left after my move to Taiwan. To be honest, it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
ANNOUNCEMENT - I have decided to make a permanent move to the small island of Xiaoliuqiu and the top destination for freediving in Taiwan. I will start running freediving courses in February 2021, so keep an eye on my socials for more information.
via GIPHY Obligatory begining quarantine gif
I think it was not that tough because I was well prepared and below are some tips that helped me through it.
TOP 8 QUARANTINE TIPS
- Check quarantining rules of country of destination
- Space Rules - apartments preferred over hotel rooms
- Exercise and Movement - healthy body = healthy mind and also helps to stave off quarantine weight gain
- Habits and Goals - a lot of time to form new habits and check off to-do boxes
- Gratitude Practice - to keep positive mindset
- Get your food delivery account activated
- Get Into a Routine
- List of important things to pack
But first - a quarantine joke:
The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out!
via GIPHY WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!
1. CHECK RULES BEFORE LEAVING
My wife went to Hong Kong two weeks before I left for Taiwan and we both had major problems which delayed our departure date, even though we felt we were really diligent researching the rules.
Here are some issues to pay particular attention to:
1) PCR TEST - how many days or hours before do you need to have the test taken? How do they count the days and hours? Do you need to bring the national lab accreditation with you?
2) HEALTH FORMS - Do you need to fill out and file any health forms online before departure
3) TRANSIT/LAYOVER RULES - because of infrequency of flights these day, long layovers are quite common; our original itineraries, my wife had a 22 hour layover in Dallas and I was to have a 20 hour layover in Narita. However, Japan only allows transit when departing on the same calendar day and I was suppose to depart on the next calendar day.
4) HOW DO YOU GET TO QUARANTINE PLACE FROM AIRPORT? Can you only take a taxi? Do you need to prepare cash for the taxi?
CLIA certification of accreditation required by HK government
I would call the embassy or consulate of the country of destination as some information is not online. The transit rule in Japan was nowhere to be found in English, but my daughter found it in Japanese and my wife found it in Chinese. American Airlines customer relation wrote to me:
“Along with our full personnel staff are trained to verify pertinent entry and exit regulations by the use of a sophisticated data base which we subscribe to and provides us with up-to-date information on the requirements and regulations for nearly 200 countries.”
Yet in the previous sentence they wrote
“…documentation requirements are the full responsibility of the traveler who should verify with the Consulate of your desired travel destination prior to departure.”
Next time, I would call the embassy/consulates and airlines well before leaving making sure there have not been any rule changes and call again a day or two before departure.
Thumbs down to American Airlines (in 2004 an American Airlines employee used a racial slur on me, which after a perfunctory investigation concluded it didn't happen).
2. SPACE RULES
No, I’m not talking about Star Wars or Star Trek.
I was very fortunate because I did not stay in a hotel room. Instead, my wife’s friend just signed a lease on a new apartment and they had not moved in yet and let me stay there. It had four rooms and a terrace, so I didn’t by any means feel trapped in the place. So Air BnB > Hotels.
Having a spot with direct sun outside is also good. My place did not have that great of a sun exposure on the terrace. I knew sun was important to regulate sleep but I still haven't gotten over my jet lag during quarantine, my typical sleep pattern is sleep at 7pm and wake up 130am.
With the expansive space, I never felt trapped by any means. I think I would have gone crazy in a tiny hotel room otherwise.
3. EXERCISE and MOVEMENT DURING QUARANTINE
I am normally quite active, if I am not freediving, I’m swimming in the pool, at the gym or atleast taking walk.
I did bring a TRX and jump rope with me so I could get some regular exercise, but got lazy and didn’t use them that much in the first few days. Because I spent very little time moving around and a lot sitting or lying down, I developed back pain; back pain which I had not experienced in a LONG time.
I then got into a quarantine workout routine of jumping rope and TRXing and stretching on a yoga map and worked that pain away.
You don’t necessarily need to do TRX or jump rope, there are plenty of videos on YouTube which can give you a workout or yoga if you have limited space and/or equipment. Just anything to break a sweat and get some movement in.
This would also be a great time for you freedivers out there to do dry training! Apnea squats anyone? I wish I had brought my EQ training tool.
And I’m sure we are all aware that this movement and exercise has a positive effect on our mental state.
4. HABITS & GOALS
With lots of time on your hands, it's a good time to develop your daily habits.
I had goals of getting back into a daily meditation practice, breath exercises and fasting and intermittent fasting again.
Before I went into quarantine, I had a huge list of to-do boxes on various projects I was working on. My two weeks of quarantine was THE MOST PRODUCTIVE, two weeks I have had in a long time, and I don’t think I could have done that in the real world.
5. GRATITUDE PRACTICE IN QUARANTINE
I have a daily gratitude journal app on my phone called The Five Minute Journal . Everyday in the morning and night, I enter the three things that I am grateful for and what will make today great. I don’t do this most of the year but I do during particularly hard times mentally or if I just start feeling blue.
This helps keep my mind positive and from going insane during quarantine.
6. GET YOUR FOOD DELIVERY ACCOUNT ACTIVATED
A food delivery app like Food Panda or Uber Eats is likely your only way of getting some decent food. I was fortunate because I had access to a kitchen and my wife ordered some veggies and meat for me from a local department store and could cook mostly, but you don’t want to have any problems with your credit card or whatever when you arrive.
Or if you are fortunate to have a kitchen, a grocery delivery account opened and activated.
7. GET INTO A ROUTINE
I am a creature of habit, and life seems to pass by swimmingly when I get into a routine.
Once I settled into a sleep schedule (it took me a few days) I would wake up, make coffee, do a few hours of work, and then meditate, nap and workout. After the workout I would get a few more hours of work in before settling in with some Netflix, YouTube or reading a book or listening to The Freedive Cafe Podcast before crashing. I didn’t have anything regular with meals as I was getting back into the swing of things with intermittent fasting.
8. THINGS TO PREP
- Thermometer - in Hong Kong and Taiwan we had to take our daily body temperature
- Ear Plugs - just in case your neighbours are a couple and doing some horizontal bed workouts.
- Entertainment - You’re gonna have a lot of downtime on your hands now that you aren’t socializing, commuting, out shopping or anything else….prepare you Netflix account, bring your Kindle and iPad etc.
- Utensils - cuz save the planet of course, also just in case food delivery forget to give you some, like they just did to me two hours ago.
- Yoga Mat - cuz you’re gonna need to stretch
- Chargers & Batteries - I ran out of double A batteries for my mouse on Day 1. Thank goodness my wife’s friend could drop some off to me. And make sure you have a charger, even if you have ordered one online somehow, you’ll at least have to wait a day or two for it to arrive at your hotel.
- Coffee/Tea/Hydration packs - I don’t think coffee delivery has really taken off in most places so if you need your daily dose caffeine and are of moderately discerning taste, bring your own tea leaves and coffee grinds (and a French Press). Being in a small room for 2 weeks, my wife felt it was hard to stay hydrated and was fortunate that I forced some Liquid IV on her to aid hydration.
- Alcohol - when Las Vegas was locking down and only essential businesses were allowed to open, well, liquor stores are essential businesses and I never felt that to be so true until I was deep into quarantine. Fortunately, I had a friend drop me off enough to give me a light buzz for 3 days and in return she got something that you can’t get in Taiwan, FUNYUNS…..So make sure to hit up the Duty Free Shop when you land. And I made a video of when I exchanged Funyuns for booze called The Great Funyuns Hostage Exchange.
This quarantine was possibly the slowest two weeks of my life, but surprisingly, it was not THAT bad. I even think I should quarantine myself whenever I get back logged on “things to do” in the future.
There were definitely some low points, loneliness and monotony, but following some of the tips above helped greatly.