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Quarantine Diary, Day 4: It’s hard to get out of bed because…..why?

Z ack Dinerstein and Lisa Tauber @lisatauber, both 35, moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Tel Aviv a year ago for her job at Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services (he is a web developer and former podcast producer). Newlyweds, they recently went for a romantic getaway to Paris — only to find up their return that France had been added to Israel’s list of countries from which travelers must stay in isolation. Now, they are among 80,000 people confined to their homes, and they’re letting us follow along.

‘Am I more tired because I’m doing nothing?’ (Lisa) It was really hard to get out of bed Saturday morning. In part because I have a lingering sinus infection (I caught it before we went abroad — I swear!) and in part because: Why? I know the things I want to accomplish today: make French Toast, do some laundry, watch The Shining (to keep things interesting). And that’s it. That won’t take that long, so what’s the point of getting up at a reasonable hour?

Zack wanted to do some yoga, but the energy I usually have in the morning was sapped. Plus, hate yoga. So I stayed in bed longer, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, and listening to Zack’s heaves as he flowed through his back bends.

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Day 4

Day 4! Image by Zack Dinerstein and Lisa Tauber

I think about the tasks ahead — the cooking, the clothes, the TV, and I instinctively know that if I don’t move my body now I won’t move it all day. Am I more tired because I’m doing nothing? Probably. But nothing just seems like the right thing to do right now.

Zack’s heaves get louder and I get jealous. Jealous of the extra energy he’ll have. Jealous of all the suntanned Tel Avivians enjoying 70-degree weather and going to Purim parties. Wasn’t it supposed to rain this weekend? I was readying myself for schadenfreude when everyone else would be stuck indoors, too.

Was French Toast a bad idea? It tasted delicious, but now we only have one egg left. And only about a cup of milk. We have more being delivered from the grocery store tomorrow, but I don’t like this feeling of scarcity. What if I want to snack on cereal later?

In quarantine, there is no impulsive snacking.

‘We literally cannot hide from each other here’ (Zack)

The plan on Saturday was to watch The Shining, which Lisa had never seen. She wanted to know just how scary it is.

Well, that all depends. How much does that movie actually resemble our current life situation?

I am (mostly) joking about the next two weeks leading to a double homicide. But I do feel a real curiosity about what this forced proximity will bring to our relationship. My brother joked that quarantine may be the lead cause of breakups in 2020. There’s probably something to that.

Lisa (along with, it seems, most of the Western world) has been obsessed lately with “Love Is Blind,” the Netflix show where strangers, one male one female, “date” while sitting in separate isolation pods, only able to hear the other’s voice. The goal of the show is to see if two people who have never seen each other can fall in love based solely on the strength of their personalities. After a few days, the couples either “I do” or “I don’t.” Meaning, they get hitched or move on to the next prospect.

Day 4

Day 4 Image by Zack Dinerstein and Lisa Tauber

On the surface, I thought that show and our situation had a lot in common. Isolated couples, forced to remain in a confined space where emotions can run high.

But on closer inspection, they’re actually total opposites.

“Love Is Blind” is about the fantasies one creates about someone they’re dating when they don’t really know them. On the other side of that wall, mystery person X is perfect. They’re patient, understanding, with a heart of solid gold, and features chiseled lovingly from marble.

Isolation with your partner (and one could argue, being married) is the opposite of that. We literally cannot hide from each other here. For the next 10 days, I’ll never be more than 25 feet away from Lisa. Every terrible joke I make, kindness I forget to do, or unintended noise I emit… she’s on the blunt receiving end of all that.

In fact, quarantine is like being SUPER married. But marriage in a tiny crucible, add a little heat, and you get a little intimacy diamond, with all the positive and negative trimming that come with.

I’m confident isolation would be a TERRIBLE way to get to know someone, in any meaningful way. Thank god we’ve got a head start in the “this is who I really am” department. Let’s see how this goes. Thankfully, there are no hedge mazes nearby.


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