Day 8 in quarantine: Trying to stay ‘mentally busy’

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More than halfway through his mandatory 14-day quarantine, Joe Passenger said he’s doing everything he can to keep his family “mentally busy.”

It’s Day 8 in quarantine for Joe and his family.

They’re at the Pacific Star Hotel until 4 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, fulfilling a mandatory separation, after returning from the Philippines.

They are not allowed to leave their room.

Joe told K57’s Patti Arroyo Thursday morning that with so much spare time to think, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole of thoughts.

He says it’s crucial for him to keep his headspace positive.

“I start to think and then get angry sometimes, so I distract myself and try to think of something more positive or watch a runner outside to get my mind off things,” said Joe.

He said he stays off the internet and social media as much as possible and that he and his wife keep each other positive and focused on the big picture. 

Joe and his family are doing everything they can to maintain daily routines, so they can keep some sense of normalcy while quarantined.

He said his son does online schooling now, and Joe himself works from his laptop at the hotel.

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“Just keep yourself mentally busy and then in the morning you do your exercise and keep physically busy. The time goes by and I’m so happy that it does. We don’t try to look at the time. When the food comes, that’s when we know what time it is,” said Joe.

He described a typical daily routine for his family:

– 30-minute morning cardio together
– Breakfast
– Working and studying until around 11 a.m.
– Public Health staff checking their temperature and symptoms
– Lunch around 12 p.m.
– Back to work until 2-3 p.m.
– Then TV, Xbox, Netflix until dinner
– Dinner and a movie
– Sleep
– Repeat

“I’m not complaining. I remind myself and my son that we are far more fortunate than others, who have maybe never even stayed at a hotel,” said Joe.

But he did make it clear, “this is not a vacation at all.”

They have not been able to do laundry since they started quarantine, so Joe said they’ve resorted to washing clothes themselves.

“I’m just using one of the trashcans here [in the hotel room]. I washed it out and disinfected it. So I just wash the laundry in the trash cans and hang it out to dry.”

He jokingly said before getting on the air with K57’s Patti Arroyo that he had “just finished the spin cycle on a load of socks.”

Joe says neither he nor any member of his family is, so far, exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.

We’ll check in with Joe Passenger again on Thursday morning on K57 News Talk Radio, at 6:15 a.m.

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