Two weeks imprisoned in a hotel room is a daunting prospect at best. After all, it’s not like there’s much to do, so how will you keep yourself occupied for the duration?
Prior to flying to Australia, I deliberately kept aside two series I wanted to watch the new seasons of on Netflix. Also, I packed three books so I would have those to pass the time. I’m now half way through quarantine, so I thought I’d report on the reality.
Occupied With Work and Food
Thanks to the pivot to home working for the pandemic, the place I work at were gracious enough to allow me to work remotely from Australia. The planned two weeks of that turned into just one, due to flights moving thanks to outbreaks in Adelaide.
I elected to keep to European time, which meant starting work at 6:30pm Australia time, which was 8am back home. I would then work through to 1:30am / 3pm. The slightly shorter hours are because I skipped my one hour lunch break. No point having that at 11:30pm where I am!
Three meals per day are provided by the hotel I am staying at, which is the same for everyone in quarantine. Working until 1:30am means not a lot of sleep before room service deliver breakfast around 7:30am, so I found this tiring.
Food is the other event of the day. After breakfast, there is lunch (complete with garbage bag, as rubbish has to go out at 3pm), and of course dinner (which comes with the menu for the next day). Considering what I have eaten, it’s not surprising I’ve put on weight!
To the credit of the hotel staff, they have also tried to help keep things interesting as the days pass. On four occasions now, there have been single A4 sheet brain teasers left for collection outside the door.
As well as the two above, there was a simple find a word and one with Penguins. I’m sure these would have kept children quiet for a while and it put my mind to the test a bit too.
How About Some Exercise?
When at home, I do 30 minutes or so of Yoga each morning to a Yoga With Adriene video on YouTube. I also walk and run approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) each day, or around 15,000 steps. That is pretty much exactly half walking and half running, throughout the entire day. I figured quarantine would mean more Yoga and two blissful weeks off any walking or running.
However, shovelling in what feels like 4,000 calories per day made me rethink things. I started doing a little walking in the room, in what began as a little test, but what turned into me competing with myself.
Day one – 26 steps and 0.01km – no surprises there. The next day increased to 1,130 steps and 0.7km, followed by 2,816 steps and 1.8km. After that, I thought screw it and decided to see what I could really do!
On the fourth day, I made 5km (8,515 steps), followed by 6.6km (11,277 steps), 9.1km (14,133 steps) and 12.1km (18,206 steps) on day seven. That’s going to remain the record for walking back and forth in a hotel room by me, as it does get boring! Luckily I listen to my running music playlist, so I can bop along as I go. Today I listed to Jessie Ware’s latest album and made 8,418 steps and 4.9km, which is far more reasonable!
What About Netflix And Those Books?
Apple TV sent me an e-mail at the end of October extending my free trial of the service, which I had completely forgotten about, so I checked out a couple of things on that. I binged through Long Way Up with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, as I really enjoyed their other “travelling around the world by motorcycle” series’, Long Way Round and Long Way Down.
I also checked out Greyhound, the new Tom Hanks movie which is great, and two episodes of For All Mankind, the alternate history TV show following the US Space Program if the Russian’s had landed on the Moon first. There’s not much else on Apple TV that will keep me occupied, so I’ll be cancelling the subscription before it charges in February.
Book wise, I’m half way through Skyjacked, a pulpy thing from 1970, which I read when I go out on the balcony each morning. I worked out there is full sun for about 45 minutes from about 8:30am, so I go out and catch some rays to keep up the tan and vitamin D!
On Netflix I had deliberately not watched the new seasons of Star Trek Discovery and The Crown. Yet to start them, but with half of quarantine still to go, I might get to them. If not, I don’t mind as I can just as happily watch them when I get home.
People! The only humans I have seen are the South Australia Health staff on day one and day five when they came to give me my COVID-19 tests. Otherwise, I get two phone calls each day – one from a nurse asking a set of questions to ensure I have all I need and am not getting sick, and one from the Police confirming I haven’t gone AWOL.
Other than that, my friends have been lovely with lots of text messages, Skype calls and Zoom calls. One is even in Adelaide and came by to drop off some treats and got the picture at the top of this post as we briefly spoke balcony to ground. Of course there is always social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.
Today I spent a couple of hours on the phone organising new broadband and mobile for my parents as well, taking advantage of being able to make local calls to sort things out. It’s not all relaxation!
While being locked up is somewhat unnatural, there is plenty to keep a person occupied. You just need to have some kind of plan and ideally a variety of options so it feels like you can switch to do other things whenever you like.
It helps that I have a bunch of interests that don’t require me to be outside. Those that are used to being out of their house as much as possible would probably go quite a bit more stir crazy. Also, I imagine it’s difficult for those who must have others around 24/7. For me though, it’s fine.
What would you do to keep occupied during hotel quarantine? Any ideas of things I might not have thought of? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.