Post-quarantine guidelines: What NOT to do

Giulia Giannetta, R3 News Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the majority of Americans to self-quarantine (hopefully). In Westfield, the streets are silent, and the once-booming downtown is now haunted by memories of what normal life used to be like. This quarantine will not go on forever, and once it ends, we’ll have to get off the couch, put some real clothes on, and ask ourselves one question: what do we do now? Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of what you should NOT do once it’s safe to leave the house. 

1. DO NOT immediately pack your bags and book a flight. The first thing you’ll want to do is leave the house, which you definitely should do. Running to the airport might be your first form of exercise in a couple of months, but it’s not the solution. The end of quarantine doesn’t mean your health and safety should be less of a concern. To avoid a resurgence of the virus, consider traveling to the backyard. I heard sitting in a kiddy pool with your eyes closed and going to Cabo are one and the same. 

2. DO NOT throw a huge party. While you may be excited to finally be able to see friends, this doesn’t mean you should see how many people your basement can fit. A large group of people increases the risk of spreading an illness, which is less than ideal considering the world’s recent health crisis.

3. DO NOT hug everyone you see. I know you’ll be overjoyed by your sudden ability to leave the house and have real social interactions, but you shouldn’t immediately embrace everyone in sight. While it may be a good idea to finally hug your friends, partners and even grandparents, you don’t need to hug the guy you stole the last roll of toilet paper from at ShopRite in March. 

4. DO NOT forget how to have proper social interactions with others. It will be strange going from seeing the same few people every day to seeing countless new faces. Our only connection to others during quarantine was through electronic devices, so once we’re allowed outside it’s important to prioritize face-to-face conversations. When we’re able to see other people, please refrain from using your phone and enjoy the real world; it is a thousand times better when it’s not behind a screen. We have had enough screen time for one lifetime. 

5. Lastly, DO NOT live in constant fear of getting sick. The paranoia surrounding this illness is something that has rapidly grown in the past few months. People are going to be more cautious than ever post-quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you should live your life in fear. If before the quarantine, you didn’t worry about getting sick every time you went out then you shouldn’t adopt that mindset now.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious, it just means you shouldn’t let the possibility of getting sick control your life. 

While the time and date that quarantine will end are unknown, it’s important to remember that social isolation won’t last forever. This list, although composed of simple suggestions, should be followed if you want to have a smooth transition out of the quarantine we’re all trapped in and by following these guidelines, we will all be able to come back to “normal” life stronger and better than before.