Surviving Quarantine in France

If ‘we plan and God laugh’ was a year, that’s 2020. I started the year with so many travel goals and plans and the world literally collapsed before my eyes. It sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s exactly how I felt trying to survive the last 43 days within my four walls. France, like Italy and Spain was one of the European countries that suffered the most from COVID-19 with 128k cases to this day. What started as one simple case in January multiplied to 128k in 3 months. A situation that not even the French government could predict. With twelve more days to go for deconfinement, I really ask myself, is 2020 the 2012 we anticipated but didn’t get?

pre-quarantine happiness


Having just gotten back from Portugal, tensions rose as COVID cases increased around the world. However, life was still normal in France as everyone went about their usual day but taking precautions such as hand washing and sanitizing (I’d hope). Life was so normal that the #25plus2 celebration was still underway and dress shopping was first on the list. I labelled my 27th birthday #25plus2 because let’s face it, after 25, we all begin counting backwards. With a booked restaurant and an invitation to my first nightclub here in Lille, not even COVID was going to ruin my big day. Did I mention 2020 is the year ‘we plan, and God laugh’? Boy, was he laughing at me! Though I did get to enjoy an amazing birthday dinner and house party, everything in France just escalated from that day.

It was like:

All schools are closed! *blink* All businesses closed! *blink* Confinement begins! *blink*

It literally happened that fast. In the blink of an eye, the Republic of France, together with its overseas territories shut down to deal with this global pandemic. What started as a 15-day quarantine could end up being more than 2 months. Is the end near? 😥

surviving online classes

The New ‘Breakfast in Bed’

IÈSEG being closed for the rest of the semester meant that I’d have classes online. Online classes are a blessing and a curse. I get to wake up 5 minutes before the start of class, but I also have to stare at a laptop for 5 to 9 hours a day. I get to eat an amazing breakfast while in class, but it’s more difficult to stay focus when there’s no face-to-face interaction. With a couple classes left, one can only hope that my eyes don’t give out by the last day.

keeping myself busy

Unlike most people, I quarantined with me, myself and I. *cries in single* Trying to stay occupied was the biggest challenge especially when you’re unable to leave your house. Though you could, for short time periods, having to write a letter every time you leave is quite discouraging. So, the supermarket and my stove became my best friends. I suddenly started experimenting with recipes and gained a random fruit obsession. It’s one of the things I can truly say distracted me from everything that was going on in the world and give a little bit of hope that things would soon be better.

Special mention to the Université de Catholique who had multiple free food distributions throughout quarantine to help students during this pandemic.

Though I feel like I’ve been living the same day over and over, quarantine was the disconnect I didn’t ask for but needed from ‘physical life.’ It was an opportunity to really do some much-needed personal discovery and self-reflection. I wouldn’t consider it a ‘vacation’ as it’s still a global pandemic with thousands of lives lost and at risk but it’s interesting to see how we all had to adjust to this new normal.


What was your biggest challenge in quarantine? Share in the comments.

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