The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

Time spent in quarantine: Challenges and tips

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 17 March 2020, 15:10 Last update: about 4 months ago

Since last week, people returning back to Malta from travelling abroad need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine because of the Coronavirus spread.

Those who do not follow the rule now face a fine of €3,000 for each time they breach the quarantine conditions

Spending 14 days indoors is no easy task. The Malta Independent spoke with two people who are in such a situation, both of whom asked for their last names not to be published.

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Marion 

Marion is currently in quarantine in her family home in Gozo after travelling to Malta from Rome. Marion usually splits her month working in Malta and in Italy, but once COVID-19 hit Italy, she flew back home. “I was tested originally at Fiumicino airport in Rome and again at the Malta International Airport once I landed. In both cases I had no signs of a fever,” explained Marion. 

She began her time in quarantine before the government made quarantine mandatory. “I have had no symptoms whatsoever, so this quarantine is precautionary. I’m asthmatic, so I would think that I would have felt the difference in breathing were I to have the virus.”

Whilst Italy has had a total of 27,980 Covid-19 cases, Marion explained that the town she was staying in still has no new cases so far. “We are all aware that Italy has been hit badly, but we need to remember that not all towns have been hit by the virus. Italy has taken the precaution of a lockdown to contain the virus.” Marion will be spending time in quarantine working online and reading.

“Staying indoors for so long can be daunting, knowing that you can’t go out, not even for the grocer or for just a simple walk along the coast is difficult. I understand that this is crucial for each and every one of us. There are some who won’t make it if the virus is transmitted to them. Why not try to protect them then?”

Maria 

Maria is a Maltese national who was working in a publishing company in Oxford in the United Kingdom. She arrived in Malta on 15 March and has quarantined herself at home. “Before I left the UK, the UK government was not doing much to help the situation, and at that point in time no measures had been implemented, even though the situation was getting worse.” She said that once she arrived at the Malta International Airport, she could tell that Malta was taking the situation more seriously than in the UK. She had to fill out a form regarding her flight details and also had her temperature scanned.

Maria will be in quarantine with her father at home for the time being. “I’ll be working from home, catching up on reading and watching some series, while also completing a 1,000 piece puzzle. The situation is unfortunate, but I’m trying to remain positive, stay safe and keep others safe too.”

Roberta

Roberta was on honeymoon with her husband in Myanmar and were bound for 10 days in Vietnam, when Vietnam government issued a statement that it would stop issuing visas upon arrival.

"It was also reported that the resort we would have stayed at in the Maldives reported a customer infected with COVID-19. So we decided to cut our honeymoon short, and head back to Malta," explained Roberta.

She said that they were screened at a couple of hotels where some of the staff even wore masks. At that point, Myanmar had yet to report any cases, but they had closed trading with China and also India. Whilst in Myanmar, she explained that it felt surreal to enjoy the holiday whilst back at home, Malta was taking on stricter measures.

"We enjoyed our honeymoon and everything went according to plan. The day we were supposed to go to Vietnam was quite stressful however, as we had to take quick decisions and then change them just as swiftly to make sure we find flights to get back home when that was the only option we had left. I won't deny that I shed a tear on the flight home!"

Roberta and her husband arrived back on 14 March and decided to follow a schedule and prioritise things which they have been meaning to do at home but never managed to find time for.

"Since I was technically on leave, I decided to take a few days off and then cancel the rest to work remotely from home. We have planned a thorough spring cleaning of the house from top to bottom, to catch up on reading, watch movies and try a few new recipes." She said that whilst her husband will experiment with a cheese-making kit he received as a Christmas gift, she will take the time to write on her blog and plan some home décor changes.

Both are able to work from home, herself as an SEO of a gaming company, and her husband an engineer in the medical planning field. 

Whilst his work requires a lot of manuel interventions, he is still able to carry out much of it from home. "I am entirely digital and have often worked remotely, even before the virus forced me to."

Roberta said that it is important to take this time as a blessing in disguise. "How often have we complained about not finding enough time at home to do what we really want to do? Well now that you have it make sure you make the most of it! We're lucky enough to have the entire world at a click of a key! Use this time to listen to educational podcast, meditate, start a journal grab a book, cook and clean the house."

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