Home alone and 23 phone calls

On the 19th, we read about how planning a trip to reunite with our loved ones has become more complicated since the pandemic struck. With the arrival of the new variant, another reality is also on the rise: as of 21st December, there were an estimated 13380 active coronavirus infection cases in Stockholm, or for mental visualization purposes: 1 in 178 people in the Stockholm area are expected to be currently isolating at home.

After my antigen test revealed that I was one of those, I had to cancel my travel plans and self-isolate at home by myself for seven days. Coping with these news can be challenging. Here are some of the things I have found useful for myself:

  1. Food delivery. Usually the first one or two days of the infection are the ones you feel the weakest. Besides following some useful information from 1177, make sure to get groceries delivered at home with some nutritious food that can keep you going (Foodora for example has a contactless option to protect the drivers).
  2. Binging on my favorite TV shows. For me, sickness and long flights are the perfect excuses for some guilt-free TV marathon. In this occasion, while laying in bed I remembered that I never finished watching “How I Met Your Mother”… (I said guilt-free!).
  3. Buying presents online – with a twist. By making it impossible for me to go shopping and send presents, I decided to try something new: Goodgifts is a charity where you can buy your relatives a present that helps other people. Or why not donating a covid-19 vaccine?
  4. Staying connected – with my own boundaries. If you are like me and think that there should be an official ban on videocalls with more than three people, the prospect of a Christmas online can feel terrifying. Zoom fatigue is a real thing. Researchers from the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab shared some tips to make videocalls less draining. My favorite: avoid analyzing yourself all day by switching to the “hide self view” option on Zoom.
  5. Getting off-screen time. In one episode of HIMYM, Robin has some sort of mental breakdown: she steals the wedding cake of an ex-boyfriend and starts eating it in her living room. Failing to persuade her to stop, Lily encourages her to finish the cake in one go: in this way, that day wouldn’t be remembered as the day of a breakdown, but as the day she ate a whole wedding cake by herself. While I reserve my opinion on this depiction of a hysterical woman, the hyperbolic reinterpretation of the “if life gives you lemons make lemonade” proverb encouraged me to take on a challenge: 23rd of December won’t be another day of isolation in front of a screen. Today, I will instead do 23 phone calls to people I care about. You could also do 23 plans for after your quarantine, or 23 drawings… it can be anything that helps you unwind 🙂

Picture from Alexandra_Koch on Pixabay


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