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10 Things I Learned While in Quarantine

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

1. The refrigerator needs an automatic lock during “grazing” hours. 

Now that was way too easy to just walk a few steps and grab a few more squares of chocolate or make yet another cup of coffee or just one more handful of chips. Or even worse, later evening snacking. It’s okay to do sometimes. No one has a perfect diet all of the time. But 3 months of that and it might mean it’s time to go clothes shopping. What great timing as the retail stores have finally opened! But not really great as now your glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, fat storage and therefore inflammatory markers have elevated. Time to rethink and readjust the calories going in vs the calories burned.   

2. Oh how I’ve missed my gym: Why walking is not the same as cardio and weights. 

Walking outdoors in the fresh air rain or shine on bike trails or nature/wooded dirt trails all year long is one of my favorite things to do. It’s invigorating yet calming, it can be socializing yet a time for self-reflection and contemplation, and it’s just holistically balancing for body, mind and spirit. While walking is a perfectly healthy form of exercise, it does not even come close to the metabolism boosting effects as my cardiovascular and muscle strengthening classes at my gym – that just opened up thankfully! When the body engages in both cardiovascular exercise (aerobic) and muscle strengthening exercise (anaerobic), the fat burning that occurs is exponential. When muscles become stronger = increased metabolism = increased fat loss = increased energy = improved mood = deeper sleep. Always, always appreciated when the body feels healthier.  

3. What’s wrong with Monday night drinking? 

Nothing. As long as it doesn’t sequence into Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’ve talked to many people over these last few months about their “new habits” during quarantine and one of them is their coveted nightly ritual of having alcohol instead of weekends, few days per week or socially. In fact, alcohol and tobacco sales increased as did prescription of psychiatric/mental health medications for conditions like anxiety, depression and insomnia. Is regular, nightly drinking of adult beverages really that bad? Yep, for many reasons. Your liver, your brain, your gut, your respiratory and immune systems, your joints, your skin, your mood, your sleep, your energy and your waistline may not respond favorably in the way you’d like. Alcohol is always best in moderation or avoided for some people. But you knew that already. 

4. The media has a gluttonous need for your attention and approval. 

The media is highly dependent on you to watch, listen to and read their stories. And they will go to many lengths to keep you tuned in. They are fantastic for delivering essential information that can help you in countless ways. They are also fantastic at manipulating you into feeling fear and anxiety. Be objective, open-minded, do your research and know the facts.  How quickly the “15 Minutes of Fame” of the Coronavirus has been upstaged by other more significant and catastrophic issues – business obliteration, economic downturn and changes and relentless racism. As the world turns, we will continue to witness transformation.  


5. Puppies are adorable, they make you really popular…and yet they are destructive little buggers. 

 If I had known what I was getting into (and what would transpire) when I decided to adopt a German Shepherd puppy, I don’t think I would have gone for the plunge. This sweet new creature adds a drastic overhaul on your life, time, schedule, home, car, yard, budget, sleep, shoes, social life and more. The cuteness remains constant. The destruction of things in my home and car have left me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. I’m certainly not the first or only dog owner to feel this way in these beginning stages. What I’ve learned is – besides supplying copious amounts of chew toys and exercise – when you consistently give them your time, energy, attention and love, their loyalty and unconditional love shows up almost immediately. Compare that with human strangers you’ve just met where the bond takes far more time to develop. This sweetheart puppy learns quickly, is easily trainable, is incredibly affectionate, “defends” me with her bark and has repeatedly confirmed my decision that it was the right one to make. As so many dog owners understand, dogs really do make the best loving companions.   

6. The realness and authenticity of human faces are meant to be seen and enjoyed.

It’s just not the same human experience when talking with another person wearing a mask. As a doctor, I understand physiologically and immunologically why this practice was initiated. While it remains a controversial issue to wear one, not only does it create a physical barrier, it can lead to an emotional and psychological barrier as well. The eyes are known as the windows to the soul. I believe that our faces are known as the windows to the heart. Without seeing the whole face in its entirety, the human connection becomes deficient or lost. With a mask, you can’t see a heartfelt smile nor sense the emotions beaming from that person’s face and presence. Someday, these masks will fall away for good and I look forward to the day when I can see everyone’s unique and beautiful smiling faces.     

7. The arrival of Summer (and next year 2021) has never been more anticipated.