Don’t Let #Quarantinspo Stress You Out
Is everyone living their best isolated life except me?
Last 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 crisis with killer triceps and a command of conversational French, while I crawled out of my cave like Encino Man, clutching my last roll of toilet paper.
Was I even quarantining right? Why wasn’t I using my downtime at home to take up macrame, or finally learn TikTok?
It might seem that today’s social distancing measures put us all in the same boat: Our social commitments have been wiped from our calendars, we’re stuck inside much of the time, and suddenly, we have all this time. But on so many levels, we are experiencing this pandemic completely differently. While some are coping by being creative, working toward their goals, or making a variety of crepes, others (like myself) are finding it excruciatingly hard to focus. And millions more are in desperate situations, facing illness, job loss, family strife, and other crises.
So it was a relief to see the call from some to lower the bar for success right now…