Quarantine

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Quarantine. Now there’s a word we can all relate to! That hasn’t always been the case. In other years, working my way through the alphabet, the letter Q was a struggle. I would page through the dictionary, searching for inspiration.

There are several pages of Q words, many more than for the letter X, for example. Still. I’d bypass quadrant, quadruplet, quadrangle, and a host of other similar-sounding words. Their meanings are clear or, if not, right there in the dictionary for me to enlighten myself, but they did not inspire. I rejected quarrel, queen, quest and several other common words that just didn’t seem to apply to me. A topic has to feel comfortable to be something I can write personally about.

In other years, I’ve written about questions and quotes. I wrote two blogs about quiet, and at least three with the word quick in the title. In 2019, my title was “Quilter,” and I wrote about my friend, Gwen, and the quotations she used in her lovely book of tree quilts. I have written, not surprisingly, about quitting.

Quarantine is a word that I knew the meaning of, of course, but that would give me little to write about. Before this modern-day pandemic, that has become so familiar we refer to it simply as “Covid,” quarantine came up mostly in medical dramas or science fiction movies. It was something used historically, before the availability of childhood vaccines and antibiotics, and before we understood how diseases spread.

We’d have to reach back to before the middle of the 20th century, to find a time when Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough, and Measles might cause a person or a home to be quarantined. The “great influenza” was even farther back. In school, we learned about leper colonies, and asylums for tuberculosis patients, but it seemed like ancient history, harkening back to a time of ignorance. Leprosy seemed as unlikely as the bubonic plague, and none of it was anything that would affect me.

Then Covid happened, and the whole world was effected. I don’t think there’s a person alive who hasn’t been touched by the disease. It has changed our thinking about many things. Crowds seem dangerous. Masks and vaccines have become political talking points. Words that had rarely been heard outside of a hospital are now part of our daily news, and a standard part of our vocabulary.

Now, when the term “quarantine” comes up, we all have thoughts on the subject. Most of us endured it, in one form or another. Some people hated the isolation, and some fought it every step of the way. Others thrived in the quiet “alone time.” No matter what your feelings about it, it’s undeniable that what was once a quaint, old-fashioned word has now become a fixture of our modern vocabulary.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

2 responses »

  1. Yes Cindy, quarantine is a word for you banded about by many of us. My daughter and I were in self isolation when she tested positive after being in the company of two others who had the disease unknown to them at the time. Yes Cindy, quarantine is a word for you banded about by many of us. My daughter and I were in self isolation when she tested positive after being in the company of two others who had the disease unknown to them at the time.Good work getting to Q. Now you have only nine more posts in the A-Z challenge

    • Oh, so scary! My daughters each tested positive, at different times, and at different ends of this country. Both had already been vaccinated, which I think kept them from becoming seriously ill. I know some very healthy people that the disease killed. It’s frustrating when you take every precaution, and still get exposed! I’m glad your daughter cme through all right, too!

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