Quarantine: Four Things To Keep and Four Things to Drop

I won’t belabor the point by describing how weird this time of quarantine is for everyone. We are all aware of how strange things are. Yet, even in all this unprecedented societal upheaval, we are learning a few things about ourselves. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a personal list of Four things we need to keep from our COVID-19 Quarantine days and Four things we need to drop or get rid of. I’m sure your list will look a little different than mine but that’s okay. It will be good to compare how others are responding to this. Let’s get started, shall we?

First Quarantine Thing To Drop:

Anxiety and worry. A worldwide pandemic has the power to make worriers out of all of us. Some are handling it better than others, but most of us, if we are honest, have struggled with some form of anxiety over the last month. I don’t believe the end of the pandemic (whenever that might be) will eradicate anxiety but I imagine our collective spirits will feel radically better when it’s been put behind us. Let’s all commit to trusting in God a little more and worrying a little less in the future.

First Thing To Keep:

A Slower Pace. Personally, our family is enjoying the nationwide shut-down, and I realize we are in the sweet spot with both of us getting to work from home and our kids being a little older and more independent. I love being at home with my family. I love not having to stress about a commute, spending too much time in the car, and other things like that. Life, in general, has slowed down and I find that to be refreshing and good for my soul.

Second Quarantine Thing To Drop:

Isolation. On the flip side, it’s not fun being isolated from other people. I hate not being able to see the rest of my family: my parents, my brother and his family. Not being able to meet in a church building has been a big downside to this whole quarantine thing. There is a disconnectedness to it that you can feel permeate just about everything.

Second Thing To Keep:

Online Connection. I’ve been spending way more time on social media simply to keep in touch with people. It’s been fun and rewarding to see how other people are coping. This pandemic happened at a time when we can still connect, though not in person. Technology has made that possible and that is something to be thankful for. I’m seeing more real connection, instead of the typical and more superficial stuff that happens. I hope we can keep an element of that after we have put COVID-19 behind us.

Third Quarantine Thing To Drop:

Toilet Paper Hoarding. This is just stupid. I’ve literally not seen any toilet paper in a store for the last three weeks. Why do times of crisis bring out the dumb in so many people?

Third Thing To Keep:

Neighborhoods Coming Alive. This has been beautiful to witness. I don’t know if other neighborhoods are like this, but ours is alive with activity. To be clear, people are maintaining their distance but we are seeing more people out and about: walking, running, playing with their kids, than ever before. It’s fantastic. My family has been playing street hockey for the last week or so. While we are out there, we see dozens of people come by on their afternoon strolls. Everyone seems happy and everyone smiles and says hi. I hope and pray we don’t lose this when things are “normal” again.

Fourth Quarantine Thing To Drop:

Online Church. Church is not the building. But, meeting together with other believers – in a building or not – is beneficial to a strong spiritual life. We need to be with each other. We need to sing together and pray together. I cannot wait to be back in my church, with my church family, singing and praising God.

Fourth Thing To Keep:

Online Church. That’s not a typo. One thing I’ve loved is seeing how aggressive and creative church staff have been in trying to connect with their people. Short devotional videos. Special music. Church services. You name it and it’s probably been attempted. And it’s awesome. When we are finally able to be back in church, I hope we can keep some of this going forward. I think it connects us throughout the week with the church in a way we just weren’t doing before.

Conclusion: That’s my list. As I said, I’m sure your list will look somewhat different. Let us know in the comments what you want to keep and drop from the COVID-19 Quarantine era. Thanks for reading.

Phill Lytle

I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my church, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, 80s rock, the Tennessee Titans, Brandon Sanderson books, Band of Brothers, Thai food, music, books, movies, TV, writing, pizza, vacation, etc...

4 thoughts on “Quarantine: Four Things To Keep and Four Things to Drop

  • April 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I especially liked the two approaches, or ways of looking at the whole online church thing. My list would probably be very similar to yours. Well done! And very encouraging. Thanks, Phill!

  • April 14, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Personal quarantine things to keep:
    1. Daily walks
    2. Consistent painting (my artwork)
    3. Preparing more meals at home.
    4. Checking up on friends and relatives.

    Personal quarantine things to drop:
    1. Loneliness of sheltering in place.
    2. Excessive hand washing.
    3. Worry (easier said than done).
    4. Not singing in my choir.

    • April 14, 2020 at 11:50 am

      Great list! There are definitely things I miss but I think it’s a good exercise to see what things we can learn from any experience. This one is particularly educational, in my opinion.

  • April 14, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Four to Keep:
    1. Street hockey with the boys
    2. Being less picky about food
    3. Making instructional videos for my students for certain things
    4. Trying new things

    Four to Drop:
    1. Online teaching
    2. Online teaching
    3. Online teaching
    4. Online teaching


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