As you’ve been told about a million times today alone, the world is experiencing a massive pandemic. Things are obviously crazy, tensions are high, a lot of lives and livelihoods are at stake. So, at this point, you fall into one of five self-quarantine, isolation levels. Which one are you?
Level 5: You’ve been in quarantine since well before it was an expectation. In fact, you’re a few weeks deep and there’s zero chance you’re going to catch this virus. You haven’t been past your balcony or front porch except to walk to the mailbox (and disinfect the mail, of course). You’ve been subsisting off of rice and noodles for days already, and have no qualms whatsoever. You video chat with everyone you know every day. If you have kids at home with you, somehow, you’ve already figured out a routine. You were born for this.
But, if your will to stay inside is waning, here are some new games you can try out.
Level 4: You’re doing a good job for the world. You’ve been working from home since you were told to, social distancing like a champ, limiting outdoor expeditions to almost nil. But you might just be on the brink of losing it. You’ve never worked from home before and your team is terrible at it. You’ve nearly thrown your computer at a wall during more than one failed Zoom call in which Jeremy was talking with his mic muted again. You’re sick of being stuck in one small house with your partner or your kids staring at you and asking what they should do, or maybe worst of all, in your house totally alone. You ran out of Netflix shows to watch. Your nerves are past frayed.
This is all understandable. There are so many other people out there who are also anxious, scared, and tired. You’re all doing the right thing, just keep it up. Here are a few things to consider for your social distancing, and here’s a massive list of free trials, online resources, and other fun things.
Level 3: You’re one of the critical workers still bravely going to work every day, then going straight home to self-quarantine after work. Care workers, medical professionals, hospital techs, and grocery store employees, I’m looking at you. Yes, you may still be going out to work every day, but it’s a sacrifice to do so, and after work you’re taking all the needed precautions and not seeing anyone you don’t live with (I hope).
Level 2: You could really do better. You’ve probably canceled some plans or trips (thank you), but you’re still taking unnecessary risks. Going to the grocery store once a week, taking daily trips to parks or landmarks just because you’re not working, and even getting together with one or two friends are still not self-isolating or staying in place. And in fact, they could be very dangerous! If you are infected but don’t have symptoms for days or weeks anytime you go in public you infect other people without knowing it (or they infect you). It’s not worth it. Stay home as much as possible. Settle for ordering delivery once a week and walking around outside your building or in your yard.
If you’re still not convinced, check this out.
Level 1: You haven’t changed your routine an ounce, and wish this whole situation wasn’t trying to derail all your fun spring plans like a real buzzkill. Somehow, you’re still going to work every day, and heading to a different friend’s house every night for dinner or parties. Even with all the bars closed down, you’re handing out beers and high fives to everyone who passes you on the street. You probably only wash your hands once a day, you monster.Hey, if this is you, you’re being incredibly selfish. You may feel invincible, but not everyone is. Even if it’s inconvenient, stay the hell home. Other lives are at stake, you’re not the only one who lives here on this planet. Please read this or watch this and just listen.
Annie Burdick is a writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon, but transplanted from the Midwest. She also works as a community inclusion specialist for adults with disabilities. Previously she's edited and written for magazines, websites, books, and small businesses, on an absurdly wide range of topics. She spends the rest of her time reading, eating good food, and finding new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.