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.