"Quarantine Diaries" is an editorial series in which EDM.com invites members of the music community to contribute guest posts about how they're coping with the pandemic. The goal of the series is to provide a platform for these individuals to share their own experiences and perspectives and ultimately inspire anyone experiencing pitfalls contrived by the impact of COVID-19. The thoughts and viewpoints expressed are those of the author, Miriam Nervo of NERVO.
I’m going to start with my mindset. I think this pandemic has really changed a lot for me. It’s changed a lot in terms of the way that I greet strangers moving forward, and the way I take wearing masks, which is very seriously. I think from now on whenever I’m feeling a little under the weather, I’m going to wear masks around—anywhere. Even if I’m at a gig and I have a cold, I’m going to wear a mask! Because I think it’s really responsible. It’s taught me how to be more responsible when it comes to germs and the spreading of germs. So I think that’s a real positive to take out of it.
My mindset has been good, at least at the moment. I had one wobbly week where I was getting so frustrated because I also had the virus. So everyone in my household had the virus, except my baby, and there’s 5 of us here—my boyfriend, my in-laws, and my baby. Our baby did not get the virus, but we did. So we had 11 days of feeling quite rough, and we all had a fever of around 38° (100.4°F). Mine was at 38.5° for two days, my mother-in-law’s was at 38.8° for about 8 days, and there were 4 days there where we were really, really, really worried about her.
There were some scary weeks, and all we were told we could do was really just sit there and pray.
We were told not to go to the hospital until someone had problems breathing, and my mother-in-law did have problems breathing. And so did my boyfriend. So we all had a range of horrible symptoms. I lost 100% of my smell and my taste, and so did my boyfriend. We all had a slight cough, fever, and sore throat. And fatigue really hit us.
How has it affected motherhood? I think it’s been a real positive. I’m spending 24 hours a day with my gorgeous daughter and I’m having a lot of 1-on-1 time with her. And I’m just seeing absolutely every little development, which I adore! I get the biggest high out of seeing her try to articulate a new word and then 2 days later being able to say that word—it’s a luxury to see every little step. I think working moms don’t often get to see that. They might miss things like first steps or first words, and things like that.
In terms of our music, I will say that after I got over the worst of the virus, I have been at my computer a lot—at least 8 hours a day. The problem with the music is my sister and I normally prefer to start all of our ideas together. Just because it’s quicker, we do better work together, and it’s just much better and faster. So we’ve been doing quite a bit of work separately, but because we’re on opposite timezones, it’s been quite hard to be focused together. Because every time I wake up in the morning, it’s late at night for her. So making music has been a lot harder. We’re not normally on different continents.
Even though I’m at my computer and I have access to it for a lot of hours, I find that 1) I prefer to make music with my sister, and 2) I like to be really focused and away from all distractions. Normally, I think all of us in quarantine are trying to be aware of other people, and not ruling the roost. I don’t want to be making too much noise and I want to respect everyone’s space. Making music is quite loud and I like to be locked away for at least 4 hours without any distractions, and that is pretty hard when we’re confined to an apartment. So I’m hoping now that we’re allowed to go outside with our daughter for an hour or two, I’m hoping that can be the time when I say, “Okay guys, I’m now sitting at my computer for two hours. Don’t expect to hear from me.” Because when I’m making music, I can’t have distractions like my telephone. Or the fridge!
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The first week of quarantine—I hope you don’t mind me saying—but I actually enjoyed it. Because it was a forced holiday. I got a lot of work done and I was doing things like exercising from home through online classes. But then we did catch the virus and that really shocked us.
We were sick. We were really sick. For 11 days, we were out.
And then when I was getting better, my partner was ill so there was a good two and half weeks where we were just focused on looking after everyone who was sick. It was really scary and I’m so thankful that we’re better now. And I’m thankful we’re getting an antibody test, so that’s good I guess, isn’t it?
I think the most important thing is to have a positive mindset. Because you can very quickly think all doom and gloom with this pandemic. Because there will be an aftermath from it that will affect a lot of people. And I think we need to take it back to basics. One thing we need to realize is that we don’t need much. We don’t need to go out every weekend and blow lots of money. You can stay at home, cut your costs a little bit, and have a great time at home. And then of course pick the nights you want to go out. But if money’s tight, I think what people might be able to do is learn that eating and doing some fun activities at home is feasible.
I also hope people try and do something great, like learn a language. I’m taking Spanish classes every day for 1 hour and I have 1 hour of homework, which—believe it or not—2 hours a day of focused Spanish classes takes a lot of effort. But I feel like I’m making progress. I’ve also been doing things that I’ve needed to do forever, like clean out my Dropbox, drives, holy moly. Things that I’ve been wanting to do for literally 10 years.
So set some goals for yourself. If you have distractions, I think that’s where you need to rely on the team and hope your partner or someone else can help out. And if not, you’re just going to have to be Super-Parents and try your best to keep your head and spirits high. I hope that people coming out of this pandemic will have more understanding. Today I went for a walk, and I saw a lady who was going through the bins. And I felt so sad. Because I just kept thinking, “What is she looking for in the bins?” She was in a bin but didn’t have food scraps, so she was obviously looking for clothes or home-wears or something that perhaps she could use without spending money. And it just broke my heart. There might be a lot more of that and we need to help people who have been hit hard by this pandemic.
Everyone keep your head and your spirits up high, and help others who really need it. And have patience, because I think we’ll need a long time to recover.
I hope this wasn’t too sad—I’m actually happy that people are starting to be allowed to walk out into the sunshine and to be able to be a bit more social again. And I think, with music listening, at least for the moment, a lot more of it will be happening through your computer speakers. So have a glass of wine, or a beer, or a water, or whatever, turn up your speakers or headphones, and have a nice little party for 1 or 2!