Diary update: two weeks of social distancing


Work schedule changed. Physical activity changed. Moreover, if cooking was just a nice relaxing activity for me before, now it is mandatory. I have the chance to play even more in the kitchen and this keeps both my body and mind healthy.

After first receiving the message that I couldn’t go to the office anymore (I am doing an internship within ING Labs Amsterdam) because I live in the Noord-Brabant area, I was honestly a bit relieved, but I also felt that something big was coming. Few hours later, the project lead specified that I could still come to the office if I have no symptoms. I am not in the age-risk group, but I might be a carrier and I was commuting daily, travelling on four trains that have many senior people. I made the responsible decision of staying at home. This was my internship so far: one week into the office, the rest of it at home.

My routine changed drastically. The four hours I was spending on reading while commuting, now are used for working more. I haven't used my bike for two weeks now and I barely get to make 3,000 steps in my 32 square meter one-room apartment with no terrace or garden. I planned some workouts. I am cleaning my house more often. I am going on walks late at night so the chances of physically interacting with others are low. I use video calls more than ever. Saturdays are now used also for extra work knowledge, giving the fact that the restaurant where I was working had to close for the time being.

The internet exploded with resources about remote work and self-quarantining and there are many interesting things to watch and read, like this to get acquainted with the main character in this very-like Black Mirror episode, this and this one for math lovers. What I didn’t find yet, is any food-related articles.

Staying at home is a chance to try new foods, cook what you like and make experiments (as long as the fire alarm doesn’t go off, you’re fine). Establishing what you will eat helps both buying only certain things (please avoid panic-buying; be honest, it ends up in full trash bins with food that went bad) and keeping your body healthy.

What I personally tried are simple one-pot dishes, which left no space for boredom in the kitchen. What I tried so far: golden broth (a traditional soup from Northern Ireland), sweet potato & onion soup, spiced sweet potato soup, salmon with sweet potatoes, tomato soup, Thai chicken curry, Madeira pork (or other wine - I used sparkling rose), homemade cheeseburger, sausages with zucchini and mushrooms, tuna salad, pasta with sea food and some Romanian food. 

What’s next for me: salami &vegetable risotto, chicken with beans, sweet and sour pork, spicy meatball stew, salmon with avocado salsa and beef in red wine.

Since I don’t have an oven yet, everything that doesn’t require one gets on my list! What’s more, if you don’t find any bread in the supermarket and you don’t have an oven also, you can easily make naan bread.

A kind reminder as a conclusion: wash your hands and face, avoid going out, eat healthy, stay in contact with your friends and family via video calls, take some free online courses and reach out when you feel that this period starts to become overwhelming.

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