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Day 14 of 14 - Isolation...

This is #14.

Some of you might have guessed it: my wife and I have been in isolation for the last 14 days. We went on a so called "rotation trip" last month, meaning that we've been allowed to visit Finland for two weeks - right before the situation there got worse and returning would have been quite impossible, so timing has been on our side. After returning to Shanghai on 23rd of March, we've been put into quarantine. 14 days of isolation, staying inside the apartment, not being able to go out, having someone collect the trash once a day, ordering everything to our doorstep...

Let me be frank - we've had a couple of days to prepare back home in Finland so we did everything to make it as bearable as possible, providing ourselves with a lot of things that helped us getting through these past 14 days. We also mentally prepared for different situations, e.g. that we get tested and have to go to a dedicated quarantine-facility for two weeks or that one of us is positive and we'd be separated at the airport for two weeks, all of that...

But guess what, my overall verdict is quite surprising, even for me: I've seriously enjoyed this period. I've spent all day every day with my wife and I will miss that when she goes at work tomorrow. There was not one single day that we've been mourning how much better it would be to go outside. Sure, there are certain downsides since the weather has been amazing. But we've developed a good routine that kept us busy and in high spirits.

I want to share some of the things we've experienced in the past two weeks. First of all, there were the daily temperature checks at 10 am and 3 pm. After we've arrived at our apartment, two doctors from a nearby clinic visited us in hazmat suits, took our initial temperature and provided us with a medical "survival kit", containing two thermometers and several items for disinfection purposes.

A couple of hours after the visit we got contacted by another doctor from the same clinic, telling us what we had to do and for how long we were to be isolated. Very friendly, very helpful overall, no complaints. I can't deny that I felt a certain thrill every time I had to take my temperature. What's the right temperature anyways? How do I use the thermometers properly? Have they even been calibrated? Things like that...

We've been doing a lot of things to give ourselves structure, writing this blog was one of them, regular Yoga and HIIT sessions was another, having three meals at approximately the same time of the day helped as well. I've also developed a proper sourdough starter which provided us with some good bread and pancakes and we've been doing a lot of Sudoku and Word-Puzzles to keep our brains busy.

One treat that we took full advantage of was our balcony combined with a few days of warm and sunny weather. I suppose everything would have been much worse without it. Being outside on the balcony and "taking walks" in the morning, afternoon and evening while not being able to leave the apartment has truly been an advantage. Every apartment we're going to rent in the future has to have a balcony, that's for sure.

A great thing about China and Shanghai especially is the way you get your groceries. You can order everything from everywhere, you just need to know how. Usually, I've enjoyed going out to the local ALDI and get all the food myself. What a ginormous waste of time!!!

However, it didn't work immediately since some rules were still in place after we arrived, such as that the delivery guy was not allowed to bring the groceries to our apartment. They had to leave it on a shelf near the entry gate so someone had to carry it upstairs to our flat. This didn't go well at the beginning but after a few practice rounds we knew what we had to tell the delivery guy, what he had to write on the bag, etc.. So, all-in-all, I'm probably never going to carry big bags through the city again as long as we live here.

To keep it short and simple - we've enjoyed these 14 days of isolation. Keeping ourselves busy and active, finding out new ways to organize daily living and our supply chain and observing the "world outside" from the balcony has been an interesting experience that I am quite thankful for. I've learned a lot about what I need and what I don't need, we haven't gained weight or watched too many movies, my wife and I had great conversations about life and our future, we laughed a lot and had fun observing the busy world beneath us...

I'm not saying that I wish this situation to happen again anytime soon, but when you can't change the circumstances you temporarily live in, one thing remains true: life is what you make it!

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