How to Self-Isolate Prior to a Trip

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Play it safe for a while to have some fun later.

In a couple weeks time, I’m scheduled to fly cross-country to see my immediate family in person for the first time in almost two years. It’s gonna be a combined seven-hour flight with layovers both ways, which will probably be about as fun as it sounds, but I’m willing to endure it for a chance to hug my mom. However, we are still living in a pandemic, and while my whole immediate family is vaccinated, you can never be too careful, which is why my sister has requested all of us self-isolate from now to the trip.

The purpose of isolating in this manner is, in the event any of us have picked up the coronavirus without realizing it, we’re giving it time to run its course through our bodies before we put ourselves in a densely-populated situation. Just like how you self-isolate after a positive test, this means we have to stay home, keep all socialization to a bare minimum, and use services to deliver things like food and groceries instead of going to get them ourselves.

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Personally, I don’t really get lonely, so the notion doesn’t bother me, but if you’re a more social person, it can be a bit of an unpleasant period. You should endeavor to find things to fill the time and keep you occupied. Focus more on your health for a couple of weeks by working out, or get into a book you’ve been meaning to read or series you’ve been meaning to watch. If you need some manner of social contact, video calling is still a viable option, as well as text chatting through Signal, Discord, or other similar apps.

At the tail end of this period, I’m also going to get a drive-through COVID test just to make absolutely sure. If you haven’t had one yet yourself, it’s a very easy (if not especially comfortable process). Most pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS offer them; just drive up, ask for a test, answer some questions, and they’ll give you the swab. Shove that thing right up your nose, and they’ll tell you when to stop. Wait a couple days, and you’ll get your (hopefully negative) results.