‘I’m on a 14 day quarantine. This is what it’s like.’

A day in the life of self-quarantined Erik Braate

HOUSTON – Today is day 10 of my 14-day self-quarantine. I have four more days to go before I’m able to begin my integration back into society, as much as that will be possible. Yes, my quarantine has been disruptive. But in the larger scope of the novel coronavirus pandemic that is currently unfolding, I’m quite thankful. I could have it a lot worse!

Before I go further, let me be clear. I am not sick. I feel fine. I have not had a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. But I did travel to South Korea and Japan with my husband between Feb. 22 and March 6. While we were in South Korea, the country had its steep spike in coronavirus cases. We washed our hands whenever we could, used hand sanitizer relentlessly, didn’t touch surfaces, didn’t touch our face, and stayed away from crowds. In spite of our precautions, though, the Korean outbreak was enough to spur our self-quarantine when we got home, just to be safe.

Wearing a mask in Seoul, South Korea, amid the novel coronavirus spread in that country in late-February.

Thankfully, it looks like we did not contract the virus. But we’re still quarantined through Friday, March 20.

The quarantine has been easier than I imagined. I think it’s because I mentally prepared myself for it and put the whole thing into perspective. I told myself that two weeks would go by quickly and that it would be behind me before I knew it. And, so far it has worked out that way. Time has flown by!

I’m fortunate to be able to work while I’m at home. It’s a huge diversion from the isolation and has made a big difference. Not only do I love my job, but staying occupied makes the days pass quickly. And I feel like I’m being useful. That‘s important.

I can’t report weather or traffic on air, but KPRC 2 has set me up with remote access to my work computer, so I’m able to help Frank with the weather forecast. I can also contribute web articles to Click2Houston.com. I even tried my hand at producing a news package for today’s 4 o’clock news. Talk about operating outside my wheelhouse! My package won’t win an Emmy, but it was a fun — and sometimes frustrating — task. For someone with minimal shooting and editing experience, just to finish is a victory.

Even though I’ve stayed busy, home does start to feel claustrophobic after a while. So, after checking with the experts to make sure it was okay, I began venturing outside once a day to get in a quick run or walk. when I go out I don’t touch anything and I don’t go near other people. I stay distant. And as long as I stay well, I will keep doing it because it is immensely therapeutic!

The two-week quarantine has been a great learning experience. In the end, I think my extreme isolation will serve as good preparation for the inevitable, widespread, and extreme social distancing that is now gripping our nation — for who knows how long.

These are really crazy times we’re living in. Rest assured, though: We’ll make it through to the other side!

Watch Eric’s full update below:

KPRC 2 meteorologist Eric Braate talks about what being on self quarantine is like.

About the Author:

Meteorologist, runner, triathlete and proud Houstonian.