Don’t Let #Quarantinspo Stress You Out

Is everyone living their best isolated life except me?

Michelle Woo
Forge
Published in
4 min readMar 31, 2020

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Shot of a little girl having fun baking with her mother in the kitchen
Photo: PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

LLast month, I gave up Instagram, that magnet for pride, envy, and avarice, for Lent. I lasted 25 days, but when the coronavirus hit and we all began sheltering at home, I ached for more connection to the outside world.

So — Lord, please forgive — I logged back in. I figured, hey, time had lost all meaning anyway, and Instagram-induced FOMO couldn’t hurt me now that we were all home and bored and doing the same damn things. Right?

And yet as people settled into their quarantined lives, Instagram didn’t look particularly humble. My feed was flooded with glasses of perfectly whipped Dalgona coffee and color-coded spreadsheets of daily homeschooling schedules. There were pushup challenges, Zoom karaoke sessions, freshly Kondo’d closets, ’80s kitchen dance parties. And then there was the bread. So many loaves of well-lit, crusty, freshly baked bread.

“How will you use this moment in your life?” one post asked.

Until then, I hadn’t thought much about it. I’d assumed I’d probably read an unhealthy amount of news and stress-twitch as I tried to work with two young kids at home. But after that deluge of Instagram #quarantinspo, I couldn’t help but wonder if all my peers would emerge from this…

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Michelle Woo
Forge
Writer for

Author of Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down (Chronicle Books)