IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONNECT AND CREATE, I’LL BE TALKING TO WOMXN ALL OVER THE WORLD ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE CHANGED DURING QUARANTINE…
Nav Gill is someone I know from Instagram. The former editor of HYPEBAE, and now editor of EDITORISALIST MAGAZINE, is self-isolating at home in Peckham, London with her housemates. “I’m really glad I have them around, I think if I lived completely alone, I’d really struggle.” When not working, her time is spent hanging out, cooking, watching movies, and playing board games.
As someone who worked from home before the pandemic came into effect, Nav’s day doesn’t look too dissimilar to what it was before: “I guess it’s mostly affected me in terms of being able to physically see family and friends, and being able to go out for a coffee, a meal or a pint. Those activities really helped me form a routine and break up my working life but having nowhere to go and being home all the time has really blurred the boundaries of work and personal time more than ever.” Making sure to shower and get dressed every morning – even if it’s just in loungewear or whatever random T-shirt she finds lying around – ensures that Nav is ready to tackle the working day, which usually ends at around 7pm just in time for dinner with the aforementioned flatmates, all of whom use the time to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. “I’m a genuinely awful cook who lives off snacks and takeout but luckily my housemates are great at cooking and plan our weekly dinner menu incredibly well – I’m probably eating far better right now than I would be otherwise.”
In an attempt to stay inspired Nav loses herself in movies, documentaries or TV shows, and logs onto Wikipedia, Instagram or Tumblr, escaping into internet spirals. She also states that it’s been particularly nice to step away from the screen and revisit some of the hundreds of books they have around the house, especially as a writer, “you can’t be a good writer if you’re not an avid reader.” True that.
Before quarantine, Nav stats that she very rarely walked around without having a purpose or place to go, but now “ambling around outside is one of the things I look forward to most.” She’s taken the downtime to rediscover her neighbourhood: “wandering around without an end location in mind has led me down so many cute streets and shown me places in my area I’d just never come across before.” Of course, popping down to her local cafe for an americano such as Coal Rooms in Peckham or Goodcup in Nunhead are no longer possible, but now she is now having that coffee date with a friend over Zoom instead. An evening spent at The Gowlett Arms Pub has been replaced with a video conference pub quiz or karaoke in an attempt to feel like she’s doing something, and still connected with people.
“I’m pretty active on social media and it’s been really nice using this as an opportunity to connect with friends not only locally, but internationally,” but is social, and perhaps Instagram in general, helping us navigate through this with ease, or is it hindering the real emotions? “I think it’s a little bit of both; scrolling through Instagram or Twitter has helped me keep up with how friends are passing time and engage with them over that, even if it’s just telling them their sourdough looks excellent. Social media can be good for many things, but it’s true it can also be a form of aspiration or escapism – people for the most part use it to show off their highlights reel, and I think what’s really inspiring is seeing how this situation is opening up a new side to that.” We’re still seeing the same perfected posts and outfit pictures that people may use as a mask to hide their true anxious selves, but what Nav has noticed – as have I – is that more and more people are opening up online, sharing their true thoughts and feelings during this period. “It’s been particularly refreshing, and I hope that authenticity, honesty and vulnerability are values we all take with us once we’ve emerged on the other side of this.”
Nav is aware that she is incredibly lucky that this hasn’t directly affected her too much right now. She has her “dreamy housemates, who are always there to laugh with, vent to and importantly – binge-watch Peep Show with,” an avid online presence and social life, and her crystals that are deflecting all the bad vibes and fuelling her with good energy. #POSITIVEVIBES all round.
Follow Nav on INSTAGRAM.