People think we are a little crazy. After all, there are currently only 30 COVID-19 cases in the whole country of almost 45 million, so surely we are a little ‘paranoid’ to choose self-quarantine…everyone is out and about without a care in the world… Why should we act any differently?
Why Stay at Home?
Our reasons are numerous. There has just been an influx of returning holiday-makers from Europe in time for the new southern hemisphere school year, we have plans to see a friend next week who, while very healthy, is still in his 70s, and of course, the Argentines are very much like Italians… and we all know how tragic the situation is there.
But more than anything else, it’s simply because we can.
I know this is a luxury. Many have to venture outside to attend to various jobs – both medical and otherwise – that maintain and continue our modern existence. It is these people I salute and wish to help! It’s our little way of trying to ‘flatten the curve’, decrease the potential exposure, however small, so we can all get through this. We can stay in when others can not…and so we should. In other words, we’re helping out, by opting out.
Philosophy In Action
War, famine, and, yes, disease have always existed. To expect that we would never know any of these extreme human experiences during our lifetime is hubristic at worst and naive at best. So, knowing that events like this will occur and that their presence is completely out of our control, what can we do? How should we act? These are the sort of questions we should be asking, just as the great philosophers of the ancient world would have done.
And we know what they would say. They would tell us that it is in moments like this that we define our character, improve our moral and philosophical comprehension, and understand our roles as individuals in a greater society… if we choose to do so, of course.
So, how do we attend to ourselves and to our community? To make the best out of a bad lot?
How to Self-quarantine… and Enjoy It
My original idea was to put it off as long as possible, to try to keep everything normal and routine. But while we were hoping for the best, we were also quietly planning for the worst. Once we stocked up enough goods for a quiet retreat, we made the choice…time for a ‘Staycation’.
No more school. No more activities. No more social gatherings. Just me, my husband, and my 4 year old daughter in our modestly sized apartment. All. Day. Long.
At first, the thought terrified me. It seemed like we would go crazy, filled with cabin fever…how would we cope?
The strange thing though, is that it’s been absolutely lovely.
First off, since making the decision, we have a lot of peace of mind. The stresses.. And viruses… of the world stay outside our walls. We immediately relaxed.
And with no outside distractions, we’ve focused on what really matters…each other. We spend our days practicing writing, art, and music with our little girl. We take time to make all our meals together and sit down properly at the table. We go for rides in the courtyard (double plus as her hands are only touching her bike and nothing else!) We all manage to get our work (or play) done.
And of course, there is lots and lots of reading…
In fact, it is at times like this that I’m very grateful for my own copy of the Essential Classics, so I can indulge in the greatest lessons, stories, and inspirations from the ancient world… Surrounded by my books, I figure I’ve already got a lifetime of reading to keep me busy and stimulated.
it’s really a opportunity to read as much as I like! And what a wonderful way to pass the time…
We’ve also got a slew of movies and shows to catch up on. Can you believe I’ve never watched the BBC’s I, Claudius? Well, there’s no time like the present…
The Antidote to Fear
Fortunately the philosophies and histories from the ancient world can provide great relief in fearful times. We can appreciate Stoicism, for instance, like never before… to realise what is in our control and what is not.
This is a chance to try to live like many of the greatest minds from the classical world. To read and wonder with our feet on the ground and our loved ones close by. It is at times of crisis when we need the classics the most, for the perspective and wisdom they can provide.
And so dear reader, I will conclude by saying I sincerely hope this whole event passes quickly and that you and your family are well. In the meantime, I wish the classics can bring comfort to us all… oh, and wash your hands.
Stay safe readers!

Kindest Regards,
Anya Leonard
Founder and Director