March 13, 2020 was when working from home became a thing with me. I had to cope with feeling cooped up at home by dabbling into various hobbies. A year later, there’s a vaccine out there and more of a silver lining.

It’s April 1, 2021

We are all well over a year into a new lifestyle. Mask wearing is not only the norm but a fashion trend. Hand sanitizer stations are bountiful all across town. And being a hero is the easiest feat, just stay home so you wont spread a virus to a loved one. But the bigger question is, how long can someone be a hero for?

Just go out into the city(any city) and you will see groups of folks without a mask. Some may be vaccinated and many are not due to belief systems overriding public health related facts. And to the many who are wearing a mask, is it a KN95, an N95, is it triple clothed, home made, or a thin sheer of polyester? Wearing an efficient mask properly is the best way anyone can ward of the coronavirus but that’s not always followed by the masses at large. Again, how long can someone be a hero for?

As of now I have been a hero for one whole year. I wear a kn95 mask constantly, I stay more than 6ft away from folks, and I have sacrificed seeing loved ones for the most part.

I am also happily working at home. I wear black jogger sweats, a comfy colored shirt with a fleece sweater to work daily. I telework with ease and am grateful to work with amazing cohorts! For my new living arrangements, I didn’t have my own desk space so I ordered a portable desk and back support pillow to be able to work anywhere. My zoom game is on point because I always do my hair and makeup before most meetings. This was not my life a year ago though but, like most others, I acclimated to the times.

January 1, 2020- March 12, 2020

Manan Singh Kotohara threw a wonderful Bollywood style NYE party January 2020 at Karma DC!
I had a spectacular time hanging out with the MASTI group, who are the nicest folks you will ever meet.

It was January 2020, and I was full of high hopes. I started the new year, VIP style, at an amazing New Year’s Eve party thrown by Manan Singh Kotohara at Karma DC. I found the cutest sparkly dress at Burlington coat factory for only $16.00 and wore an older Tory Burch purse. It was a rare experience to dance and sing on stage and to mingle with performers behind the scenes. As always, Kotohara does throw the best South Asian parties in the Washington D.C area!

Most weekends before quarantine, I would go hatchet throwing at Stumpy’s in Towson on the weekends, play flag football in a Volo sports league on Sundays, and was part of a Baltimore Free yoga group that convenes at a local Under Armour facility. I still miss those days but I rather be a hero if you know what I mean.

This was the day I got my face smashed in by an aimless football from our quarterback!

February was my favorite month! I was invited to the Washington Film Institute’s Red Carpet Oscar party that year, on my actual birthday and I was thrown a deluxe red carpet Oscar themed birthday party on the same night by the MASTI group. I concluded my birthday month with a weekend trip to Brooklyn to see one of my closest friends and with a chair dance exercise class with another close friend.

March 2020 was an unusual month. There were mixed reports about what the Coronavirus was, where it was spreading and who would get affected. I lived my life as usual until March 13th though. On this month, I was employee of the month, on air talent for a fundraiser, and was mourning the loss of one of my closest friends. He was not only my roommate but was a shining light to anyone’s life he touched.

March 13, 2020 – March 31 2021

It was Friday the 13th, when I grabbed my work laptop, cell phone, and other accessories home with me that day. It was the last day I saw my cohorts without a mask on, in a close pow wow. Looking back, I realize it’s the smallest things we all take for granted.

I used that weekend to stock up on canned food, water, hand sanitizer, masks, and whatever else was recommended as a quarantine necessity. I traveled to multiple Walmarts, Big lots, and even ordered some kitschy items from Etsy too.

I also used that weekend to revamp my vision board with more plausible goals. Let’s just say that the goals I made before would’ve worked in a Covid quarantine-free environment.

Don’t judge me for my water and toilet paper collection! I rationed my supply so well that I was also able to make care packages for some people who really needed it.

I am proud to say that I accomplished half of my goals for 2020. Although I was home most of the time, I was awarded ample time to learn new skills and to reconnect with so many friends.

Here is what I accomplished:

  • Learn video editing software
  • Improved nature photography skills
  • Wrote nature poems
  • Walked 1-2 miles a day around the neighborhood
  • Read 1-2 books a month
  • Daily yoga with ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ via Youtube
  • Followed self development podcasts on finance, mindfulness, and the news. I highly recommend Rob Dial’s podcasts.
  • Learned to cook new recipes
  • Connected with old and new friends through zoom
  • Lived in the city
  • Reconnected with loved ones
  • Covered the first 100 days of quarantine via Social Media

Quarantine rules were stringent in March. Movie theaters, places of worship, malls, and so many other locales were closed to the public. Covid cases and death rates were rising rapidly as the months loomed on. Each month afterwards, quarantine rules waxed and waned depending on politics, cases, theories, and whatever else was going on with the news. I stuck to my gut instinct which was to keep safe at all times and to stay home often.

In that time, I hosted several online happy hours with friends on Zoom, Google chat, and on Facetime. It was a wonderful way to reconnect and goof off with friends who lived all across the country. We talked about Cobra Kai, Tiger King, played online karaoke, and got to know each other better with silly Q&A games.

In later months, I moved into the heart of the city and also married my better half. When you know, you know.

We used quarantine to grow as people and to find joy in the little things in life.

I can also say we mastered Amazon, Instacart, GrubHub, and all sorts of delivery apps like a freaken ninja.

As a whole, it truly has been a year since Covid Quarantine. Although we were indoors mostly, and there were times days blurred. This quarantine period was a year of gratitude, and growth.

How have you handled working from home? Did you learn any new recipes? What did you learn from your quarantine experience? Comment below!

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