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Guidelines for Self-Quarantine Before a Journey

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Prioritize safety now for enjoyment later on.

With a couple of weeks until my upcoming cross-country flight to finally reunite with my immediate family after nearly two years, I am gearing up for a combined seven-hour journey with layovers both ways. Although the prospect may not sound particularly enjoyable, the opportunity to embrace my mother again makes it all worthwhile. Despite my family being fully vaccinated, it’s important to remain cautious given the ongoing pandemic. To ensure added safety, my sister has recommended that we all practice self-quarantine leading up to the trip.

The purpose of following this isolation protocol is to allow any undetected coronavirus infections to run their course within our bodies before placing ourselves in crowded environments. Similar to post-testing isolation, this involves staying at home, limiting social interactions to the bare minimum, and opting for delivery services for essentials such as food and groceries.

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Personally, I do not often experience feelings of loneliness, so this phase does not bother me. However, if you are more socially inclined, it may be a challenging period. Engage in activities that keep you occupied and pass the time. Dedicate attention to your well-being by engaging in workouts, delving into a book you’ve been wanting to read, or catching up on a series you’ve been meaning to watch. If you crave social interaction, video calls and text conversations through platforms like Signal, Discord, or similar apps can bridge the gap.

At the conclusion of this isolation period, I intend to undergo a drive-through COVID test for added assurance. If you have not undergone this testing procedure yet, it is a relatively straightforward (although not particularly comfortable) process. Tests are readily available at most pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS; simply drive up, request a test, answer a few questions, and you’ll be provided with a swab. Follow the instructions to swab your nostrils, wait a couple of days for the results, and hopefully receive a negative outcome.

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