What I’ve learned from living in my own COVID-19 isolation bubble


Sophia Bouwkamp

Bouwkamp taking a walk with her dog to escape home isolation for a little while.

Sophia Bouwkamp, Focus Editor

I have severe asthma and my brother does as well. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been on strict quarantine for the past eight months. I have become an observer of life. 

Before COVID-19 I was actively involved and constantly busy, but I will say at first the break was nice to take a deep breath and learn where I want to spend my time. I went from living a vibrant life with all of my activities and commitments to a complete standstill having an open calendar and minimal human interactions. I’m going to share important lessons I’ve learned, in hopes to help those struggling in isolation.

Stay Active. 

Walking to reach three miles, as a mental break from being inside all day allowed me to see people and relieve stress. Playing driveway tennis with my siblings and talking at a distance with the occasional neighbor passing also allowed for positive interaction. I also biked a couple of times a day, which was fun to be able to observe my surroundings and have fun with myself or if I was with friends. 

Find something that brings you joy and if possible you can share with others. 

Baking was a way to ease my stress while stirring the cookie dough or making the perfect homemade frosting for sugar cookies. My sister and I walked to bring friends cookies who lived not too far from us. 

Focus on what you can do. 

Focusing on what I am able to do, rather than what I can’t do, is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from COVID-19. While I could waste my time dwelling on what I can’t do, I look to what I can do, I can help the charities I love, I can get outside, I can call my friends. I am able to do a lot of things. I have moved my time to other places, from what I used to do. 

Set goals.

With all my walking in my neighborhood, the 14 min. mile dropped to 12 min, then by the time summer rolled around, I was walking 11 min. miles. This kept me thinking and engaged with how to walk faster with a mask and this created a drive to each time get my fastest pace. By the end of the summer, I broke my 11 min. mile. Make goals, it helps. Each day is not easy, but finding something to look forward to or even focusing on one good thing that occurred in my day, has helped me to know that I will get through this and there is another side. 

Think positively and put things into perspective. 

There are good days, and there are bad days, it’s life, but my good days are when I’m thinking positively and keeping busy while not dwelling on what “I’m missing out on.” There are always people that have it worse, and recognizing that and being thankful helps to keep going. While quarantined, I was brought into a world that I have worked closely with terminally ill children and their families, which has developed a deeper understanding of what they endure. They are in quarantine for upwards of 47 months, and it’s only been eight months; I have developed deeper empathy for those around me. Through this, I have established more empathy, while being challenged to create new ways to help those around me.