Cracking the Toptal Interview
Get it for free now
March 20, 2020

Quarantine — Day 1

COVID-19 forced me to quarantine for 3 weeks. This is my personal journey.

Two days ago, Bogotá decided to go on a mandatory 4-day quarantine as the number of infected by COVID-19 grew to more than 120. Yesterday the number went over 158. The president declared a 19-day quarantine starting next Tuesday.

As for every other person on this planet, this will be a pretty extraneous situation for me. I decided to document my journey and be transparent about how I take this process, what I learn from it and how I adapt.

But why?

I’ve watched too many films to know you should keep a journal of the apocalypse. Besides feeling like Will Smith wandering lonely in NY or Matthew McConaughey going through Gargantua, there are a few other reasons to put this down on a journal:

Supporting

I’m pretty sure this won’t be the worst situation I’ll ever face in my life. This journal will be evidence for my future self; evidence on how I can mentally deal with whatever life shoots at me. I suggest you do the same - if not on a blog, do 1 min recordings on your phone. Be honest about how you feel and how optimistic or pessimistic you are on the situation. In the future, you’ll be thankful for doing so.

Teaching

I’m also on a mission to teach everything I learn. From technical development to personal growth, I’m sure someone out there feels identified with whatever I have to say. I hope to inspire someone with my story.

Tracking

Finally, I want to track, with data and evidence, what my personal situation looks like. I’ll be closely tracking my expenses, web surfing behavior, time allocation, portfolio loses and potential earnings. This will hopefully help me recover faster when this all comes to an end.

Day 1 Analysis

Where am I at?

Let me start with my current stance on the coronavirus.

As it’s the case for many more people, the timing of the virus attack was particularly bad. Last December I was offered to join the Kindle team at Amazon as a Software Engineer. I was supposed to start in May and join their offices in Madrid. I decided to sell everything (my apartment included) while I waited for my residence and work permit. I also gave a 2-week notice to my company as I was going to use the remaining time to prepare for the move.

Needless to say, none of that will happen short-term except for me leaving my stable job. I’ll need to live for the next weeks in my almost empty place, working a few hours a week doing side contract work and hoping Spain (and Colombia) recovers from this sooner rather than later.

Despite everything…

…I’m very optimistic.

My situation is nothing compared to those who have lost loved ones. I’m not even complaining; I’m just stating the facts of my initial state in the quarantine. Above all, I’m extremely privileged and I’m thankful for it. I have shelter, food, savings, a loving wife and family. I can also work remotely (as I have for the past 4 years) writing software all day if I want.

As I get to constantly practice gratitude, I take most life situations very comfortably. It sounds cliche, but I really focus on appreciating what I have rather than complaining about what I don’t.

Roadmap for the quarantine

I have an ideal roadmap of how I plan my days to go into quarantine. I might or might not accomplish everything; you’ll audit the log, too.

  1. Above all, I’ll avoid reading the news. I know what the situation will look like in the next 3 weeks: there’s a virus, we’ll need to quarantine, end of the story. Whether they find a cure, the number of infected grows, or the economy keeps collapsing, it won’t matter to me. Most importantly, I don’t want any of that to have any effect on my daily mood.
  2. For my own sanity, I’ll keep this log up to date, paying close attention on how my mind and feelings evolve or mutate. I’ll be honest about what I feel, day by day.
  3. I’ll strive for daily personal growth. That means learning something new on whatever topic I find interesting.
  4. I normally workout every day at 5:00 am. Being deprived of working out in the park sucks, but I still need to keep active. My plan will then be to workout at home for 20mins, every single day.
  5. The secret to living is giving. As I recognize my undeserved privileged position, I feel obliged to help those who are most vulnerable these days. I’ll commit to financially help at least one person every day during this quarantine (and hopefully after that, too).
  6. If there’s something I get depressed about is losing time. We all do it: surfing IG watching memes, browsing non-sensical YouTube videos, clicking on every Reddit and HN post, only to feel like trash at the end of the day, for yet another 24 wasted hours. I won’t allow the quarantine to make me think I can lose time, I’ll waste no more than 90 minutes a day mindlessly browsing the web.

Data Report

Time management

In summary, I spent a good chunk of my Friday reading news and I can only remember one important fact: President Duque declared quarantine for the whole country. That took me 1 minute, but I spent close to 3.5 hours mindlessly consuming news. This needs to change.

Have you ever thought about how much life you waste reading news?

Highlights

  • Avoid news: No
  • Write blog: Yes
  • Personal growth: Yes. Kept reading Before you know it - John Bargh.
  • Wake up 5:00 am: No. Woke up at 7:45 am.
  • Workout: No
  • Help someone: No
  • Time wasted < 90 mins: No. 200 mins. (this sucks)

Finances

  • Spent: 100 USD (groceries for some days)
  • Stocks Portfolio (24h): -2.81%
  • Stocks Portfolio (since day 0): -2.81%
  • Cryptofolio (24h): -3%
  • Cryptofolio (since day 0): -3%

Stay tuned.

Reach me out on twitter @caroso1222 if you have something to say, but please be aware I stay away from that place as much as possible.

Logo

I'm Carlos Roso. I'm a Software Engineer and digital nomad at Toptal. Previously Software Architect at Crossover. In love with open source and design.

More about me
Join the newsletter

I write about remote work, software and personal growth. Subscribe to enjoy my articles every once in a while.