Japan imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all incoming travelers when we moved there – even with a COVID-negative test upon arrival at the airport. For us on Yokota Air Force Base, that meant confinement to a hotel room with short “morale walks” outside the building. We completely underestimated how bad it would be. At first, it seems like no big deal. You have food, water, shelter, and even a TV right? NO. It’s awful. Highlights include back pain, drinking and napping at strange times, short attention spans, and barking at movement out the window.
Day 1 Japanese Quarantine: Arrived in Japan! Scarfed some dinner that a sympathetic soul left in the fridge for us and went to sleep.
Day 2 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 1am – Randi wakes up and stares out the window waiting for the land of the rising sun to raise the sun; is defeated and goes back to bed.
- 3:30am – Keith wakes up for good and begins to burn bacon on the electric stove. Is the elevation different? Do the smoke detectors work? Discovered that our kitchen supplies are nonexistent or strange…large soup ladle? check. frying pan? nope. Spatula? nope. any kind of baking dish? nope. But hey, we got a ladle!
- 5:30am – Randi arises again with Viking anger because Keith snored and we kept waking as we slid to the center of the mattress.
- 6:31am – Randi has her first cocktail of the day since it is 5:30pm on the east coast. It’s whiskey. Might help with the spite.
- 7am – 1pm – Binge watched Billions on Showtime, ate 3 meals and lots of snacks (quarantine does weird things…we were hungry) and boredom sets in
- 1pm – 5pm – More boredom, staring out the window trying to determine the mask policy, see airplanes, and watch Mt Fuji fade away into the clouds
- 5:30pm – Like the magi a new unknown coworker drops off beer, wine and the holy grail….tin foil to cook with
- 5:31pm – beer
- 5:32pm – 8pm – More boredom but its time for our 15 minute walk outside…..the one with fresh air and life
- 8:15pm – Our morale walk is over and we must return back to our cell
- 8:30pm – Randi calls it a day, which really feels like 2 in 1
- 10:00pm – Keith retires as well with little left to accomplish and it started raining so there is no activity outside the window to bark at
Day 3 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 4:30am – Keith arises and curses the clock, but hey, made it one hour later today
- 7am – Randi arises and curses the clock
- 7am – 8am – Keith looks at cars outside the window and says “one day”
- 8am – 3pm – Randi studies Japanese, Keith works out and blogs, the fridge is visited 9-13 times
- 3pm-5pm – Randi naps, Keith plays video games in order to time travel
- 5pm – 7pm – slow chewing to extend time, but we discovered you can get margaritas delivered!
- 7pm – 7:15pm – nightly walk in the prison yard
- 7:15pm – 10:30pm – Billions from bed….because what else is there
Day 4 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 7am – Keith arises and declares gloriously “it is late!”
- 8am – Randi arises and says “shit this is going to be a long day!”
- 9am – 10am – Randi naps, Keith orders pizza delivery
- 11:45am – Pizza is delivered, small traces of sauce and extras found on an undercooked center. yay.
- 12:30pm – Ping pong played on coffee table
- 1pm – Randi quits after losing 1,000 – 1….I let her get one
- 2pm – Billions
- 3pm – 5pm – naps? Randi did homework? Keith learned Sanskrit? time and substance just passes by
- 5pm – dinner consisting of three ingredients (chicken, mushroom soup and red onion) = gross. We had not figured out how to get groceries yet.
- 6pm – yard time while the warden was still on duty
- 8pm – 9pm – Billions
- 10pm – sleep….because we had an exhausting day, right?
Day 5 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 7am – rise and shine Keith…start pounding coffee
- 8am – Randi arises and declares “it’s wine Wednesday!”…it’s Saturday Randi chill
- 8am – 4pm – Billions, Randi homework, barked at cars, opened window several times, sneezed three times
- 5pm – sushi delivery! We are officially in Japan now
- 6pm – walk. Highlights of our days are definitely the walking.
- 6:15pm – 8:30pm – second dinner for Randi because why not
- 9pm – bedtime
Day 6 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 7am – rise and shine…no shine….just rain
- 9am – Randi rises and again says “wine Wednesday!”
- 10am – No not wine…Randi drinks from her whiskey cocktail from an IV drip bag (seriously)
- 11am – 5pm – Billions, meals, and Randi has given up on closing the bathroom door (in her defense it requires a doorstop to stay open)
- 6pm – load dishwasher…..I have never felt so alive
- 7pm – Billions
- 8pm – try on Bengals jersey in anticipation of next day’s game
- 9pm – bedtime because the alarm is going off. Wake up time set for 4am (NFL Sunday!)
Day 7 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 4am – Bengal Sunday time for the Zoom tailgate
- 5am – 9am – Enjoying Joe Burrow and hating on Randy Bullock and referees
- 9am – 10:30am – nap
- 11am – lunch and afternoon walk to work out the nap cobwebs
- 12pm – wine Wednesday…that’s right she made it to noon
- 1pm – 4pm – worm hole
- 5pm – A sympathetic soul delivers chili…its not Skyline but it smells amazing…we gorge
- 6pm – grocery delivery made since all we do is eat and sleep
- 7pm – 8pm – Billions
- 8pm – 9pm – Randi stares at ceiling and determines it looks like a bunch of bird feet on sand or desert wadis (Deep Thoughts moment)
- 9:30pm – we both realize we are walking like old people and groaning about our backs
- 10pm – Billions and bed
Day 8 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 7am – Living on a Prayer plays loudly because we are halfway there!
- 10am – Randi sews a dress sleeve into a mask
- 11am – We find a lucky Japanese “penny” on the ground, a true sign that we are almost-ish out of quarantine
- 12pm – leftover chili for lunch (hope we have enough TP)
- 1 – 3pm – Randi works on Japanese, I learn video editing software
- 3 – 7pm – Entered a black hole of time to include dinner, a walk, grunting about aching backs and quarantine brain
- 7-8pm – We do not have baking tools so we re-engineered tinfoil into cupcake pans and made banana nut muffins. Had to substitute butter. They did not turn out.
- 8pm – Randi uses leftover tinfoil and makes a bird from it and flies it around the room making cawing noises…it does not fly
- 9-10pm – Billions of course
Day 9 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 7am – Used our new frying pan and plastic spatula that another sympathetic soul delivered….it was life changing
- 8am – 2pm – Another black hole of time in which either nothing occurred or we time traveled with back pain in trade
- 2-4pm – Randi watches Fire of Destiny on Netflix while Keith car searched, home searched and learned more video editing
- 5pm – Ordered delivery food, lamb shanks and Sapporo…yes please. Randi gets a pina colada because she finished her bourbon drink at breakfast
- 6pm – Billions…yes we are finally on Season 5
- 9pm – surrendered to the day excited to get COVID nasal-assaulted tomorrow…Randi for sure will wear makeup because she gets to go outside and see people
Day 10 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 6am – Awake and ready to donate my COVID-free snot to escape quarantine.
- 8:30am – Randi and I walk outside 100 yards and into a converted school bus. The nurses were confused by our excited faces for nostril interrogation
- 8:32am – The excitement is over for the day and we walk back to our room; we felt alive for 2 minutes…it was glorious. Randi feels connected to all of the nurses because we haven’t seen anyone in weeks.
- 9am – 5pm – Went for a walk, watched tv, shot tin foil into a trash can pretending to fade away like MJ23. 6pm – Taco night in Room de Wilson
- 7 – 9pm – Billions, Japanese learning, video editing learning, taco release, and barking out the window when a tuned up Skyline drives by
- Wake up time set for 6am (Bengal Thursday Night Football)
Day 11 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 6am – Awake and in Bengals jersey far too early for my own good.
- 9am – 1pm – Crushing defeat at the hands of a truly disgusting team. Burrow looked great so my day is filled with hope and little sorrow
- 2 – 4pm – Randi mostly avoids me by learning Japanese, school work and of course her drip of pina colada
- 5 – 6pm – Dinner….delivery style….yet again
- 7 – 8:30pm – Billions….I swear last episodes
- 9pm – Surrendered to the day, crippling back pain, too much celebration of hitting double digits of solitude, and Randi had counted all of the ceiling tiles
Day 12 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 5am – Why God why am I awake!?!?!
- 9am – Setup a car buyer to get Randi’s new whip (Diahatsu Mira Gino)
- 10am – Planned a music video for Randi’s new car once it arrives and she is drifting
- 11am – New towels arrive, dishwasher pods and toilet paper (got scary for a minute)
- 1pm – Randi took a picture of a tree…that’s something
- 2pm – Finally finished Billions….now what?
- 3 – 5pm – Waiting to order dinner
- 6pm – Dinner…it wasn’t good
- 7 – 8pm – Japanese learning for Keith, homework for Randi
- 9pm – Conversed in perfect Japanese…..”the girl is eating”
- 10pm – Bedtime…watched Norsemen on Netflix
Day 13 Japanese Quarantine Update:
- 8:45am – All new record sleep, what did I do to deserve this?
- 9 – 12 – College football, Japanese tv which is amazing
- 12pm – Sushi for lunch thanks to a friendly contact-less drop off
- 1 – 2pm – Japanese “oto nanoshto hashitamus” The woman is swimming. Dammit teach me how to ask for a beer!
- 2 – 6pm – Black hole of time consisting of walks, attempting to roll our backs out using household items (pitcher…nope…soup can…nope…) and complaining about said backs
- 6pm – Dinner (pork loins, potato and asparagus in our mini kitchen)
- 7 – 9pm – Norsemen on Netflix…if you like Vikings its hilarious Wake up time: 5:30am (UGH)
Day 14: FREEDOM!