Quarantine experiencies: 8 mexicans tell all

Experiencias de la cuarentena

How have you experienced the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been the most difficult thing about staying home? What lessons have you learned? These are the experiences of 8 Mexican friends who live the quarantine in different parts of the world and who share their experiences, fears and illusions every week by video call, but above all they learn from each other to be able to overcome with laughter and much affection, this difficult time we are living as humanity.

Adriana lives in Germany

In Germany there was never a very strict confinement because here we continued to attend the office. The home office did apply, which is an incredible thing because in this country they had the mentality that it is a very unproductive way of working. This helped a lot, changing the mindset that you can also work from home and be efficient because we save commuting to work since traffic becomes very heavy. Besides that, everything was always very open and did not affect us as much. In this country the medical service is very good so we never had the fear that if something happened to us, what would we do? What was very difficult was school because education is not digital at all. Everything is still very traditional, so the shift to online was very difficult, especially the first two weeks. Children had to adapt to another way of learning.

What I have learned:

That working at home can also be done and that we cannot take anything for granted because a virus can come and change your life 100%. In my case, not being able to travel to my country was very hard. I have valued many things about Germany such as its social and labor system because here there was not so much unemployment or salary reduction. Maybe I won’t be able to like many things from Germany but we have many others that I didn’t value before.

Life in quarantine

Nora lives in the CDMX

I have lived the quarantine very happily in my house despite the fact that we are in a very small apartment. Fortunately my daughters are already grown up and they help a lot. Cooking every day didn’t make me so happy either but I tried to lighten that part and started preparing new dishes. I tried not to stress about cleaning and work. But the most difficult part was fear due to the uncertainty of not knowing what was happening with the virus. And I think the biggest fear was that something would happen to my mom, although she has been very guarded and cared for. And the truth is that I do miss meeting with family and friends. I miss the kisses and hugs. I am also overwhelmed by the economic part, which is a global issue.

What I have learned:

Many times when you live in certain circumstances you say: «I am going to value everything» but time passes and you forget. So I think this is a lesson that I personally have to relearn because I have to enjoy everything around me. In the material aspect I realized that I can live without much and what I really value is the bond and the affection of people. It does not matter if you are in affluence or in poverty, what’s important is the emotional part and the bond you have with people.

Rosa María lives in Los Angeles, California

What I felt at first was very scary. More than anything because my parents don’t live here and it was hard not being able to see them because they come visit me often or I go to Mexico. As for what I experienced here at the beginning, there was a lot of collective fear because they started sending me text messages about going to the store because everything was already closing or supplies were running out. I was trying to be calm but I was very scared. Then I started to listen to what was happening in other countries, the looting and I was very concerned. But we have tried to lead a normal life and maintain my children´s routines and my husband´s work.

What I have learned:

The positive is that now I have a super clean house, very tidy. I have been like Marie Kondo cleaning and fixing everything, finishing projects and starting new ones like gardening. I have already harvested lettuces, tomatoes, parsley, basil and even watermelon. I did a lot of things around the house because I am a person who needs to have a busy mind so I won´t be thinking about the bad things. For me meditation is work, doing things, keeping my mind busy. This pandemic marked me in a positive way because I always valued moments, but now I do it even more. I love memories and now more than ever. The moment when I can be with my parents and my friends again is going to be something very special.

Elsa lives in Orlando, Florida

Before Covid came to Florida, I had listened to the stories of my sister who lives in Italy, but I never thought that this would happen to me too. I used to say to my husband: «Disney and Universal parks will surely close» and he would say «No way, why would you think that?» and when we least think expected, it happened. I think my sister prepared me a little. I was never afraid of getting sick but I was worried that my husband would get it because he always gets sick. Then I started to get very upset about all the events that got cancelled, like my son´s high school graduation. It was very hard for me because it´s sad that he lost those experiences. I was also very scared that my husband would lose his job, that terrified me.

What I have learned:

That I value my family more than ever because I could continue to be locked up with them for two more months, since they are all easy to carry and they have all cooperated at home. We maintained a routine, we eat breakfast early and then everyone does their own thing. In the afternoon we prepare dinner together and do activities together like watching movies.

Gaby lives in Cholula, Puebla

As a mother of a child with special needs, this pandemic has been very complicated because therapists can´t come to my house and school could not be done online. If you ask me what´s my biggest fear, it´s losing mental clarity. Although I don’t believe much of what´s happening, I do take my precautions. It´s hard to see how it´s affecting the economy and relationships too, because being at home all the time comes a time when you need your space. Personally, I am doing fine, but the problem is that I don’t have help of any kind. I don’t have a helper, a therapist, or online classes, so my job tripled, since I do home office as an insurance agent. I didn’t really experience having free time this quarantine.

What I have learned:

To value life at 100% and everything we have. Enjoy life more because I realized that we have nothing certain. I am not much of controlling things but I do see that we are very vulnerable to news and to the system. After this ends I want to be more sustainable. I would love to have a house with a big garden and an orchard, chickens and even cows and that if something happens again we wouldn’t have so many problems. I also believe a lot in ties, in embracing the other and I wouldn´t like this to affect personal relationships. Because contact, caresses and tenderness nourish us as human beings.

Martha lives in Norway

For me all this was super surreal. I never imagined that something like this could happen and Norway would be in lockdown. But personally it wasn´t so difficult because we were given the option of staying at home, it was never imposed. The shopping malls were opened but most people made the decision to stay home. The second reason it was not difficult for me is that in Norway we tend to be at home a lot because of the weather and we are not much of going out to restaurants or the movies. But when I was at home my work tripled. We fully entered online classes. Thank God my husband kept his job and my daughters were busy in their online classes. Since my family lives abroad we started with video calls to connect everyone and we did fun things like dancing.

What I have learned:

The confinement took a lot of stress out of me from running errands all afternoons. I learned to be patient because when I finished working a very long day, I would go to the kitchen and find dirty dishes. I had to talk to my the family and asked them to help me out to help out with the dishwasher. I learned that I don’t need so many material things because I am a very compulsive buyer and my daughters too. So we saved a lot of money by being at home. We used to go to the mall often and spent money on unnecessary things. I really miss hugging, seeing my friends in person and I hope that we don’t lose the habit of hugging because it is very uncomfortable to say hello without contact.

Elsa lives in Monterrey

I have been quarantined at home with my children and husband and it has been a time of many changes. My children have online classes with normal hours and my husband switched to home office. My routine is the one that has been modified a bit because I am a full-time mom and I do not work in the office, but independently selling essential oils. Yes, I was afraid, first of getting infected and secondly, that my husband would lose his job. But I realized that there is one thing that money cannot buy which is freedom … It doesn´t matter if you have money, cars, the best house, brand name clothes, great bags if you can’t go out and use them.

What I have learned:

It has been difficult not to see things with fear and uncertainty. When I have had to go out I see everyone with gloves and face masks, which is frightening. This time of quarantine has helped me to appreciate all the things I have, everyone around me and to take nothing for granted. This has been a very enriching journey of introspection that has helped me to know myself more, appreciate and be more grateful. Thank God my husband continues to work and we are all healthy. The only negative part, in my case, is not being been able to hug my parents, my brothers, my friends and I had to cancel some trips.

Paulina lives in Mexico City

This seem like a bad dream, I feel that time has stopped. When I started listening to what was happening in China and Europe, I never thought it would happen in Mexico and so quickly. In my case, my routine did not change as much because I was already doing home office but it was difficult to share my workspace with my children and husband, who stayed at home. And of course it made me very scared to start seeing everyone doing panic shopping and to hear how many people were getting sick. I felt that I was living in a terrible Apocalypse movie. I miss seeing friends and family and miss the freedom of going out without the paranoia that you can catch the virus.

What I have learned:

It has been a huge life lesson, valuing health, our loved ones and the connection we have with them. I have learned to be patient with my children and husband and discovered that we can live in harmony since everyone has cooperated at home. It was also very rewarding to share meals and movie nights again, as we never had time before. I´ve learned to let go of control because this left us with the lesson to flow with life and to live in a simpler way because we do not need so many material things or a full agenda to be happy.

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