What’s Quarantine Like for a Frequent Traveler? An Interview with Champion Surfer Zane Schweitzer
Ask someone “What’s new?” these days and you’ll hear a whole lot of “Nothing”s.
Those of us who aren’t essential workers and have been fortunate enough to avoid illness, have been hunkered down at home for the past 6 weeks. It’s been quite a change of pace for everyone and especially for frequent travelers, who are more used to living on the road than staying at home. SteadyMD talked with one of our members, Zane Schweitzer, World Champion Surfer and frequent traveler, about his experiences coping with quarantine, and what it was like to travel during the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
As we approach nearly two months of social distancing, how has quarantine impacted your life?
Over the last decade, I’ve been traveling six to ten months out of the year, so this time with coronavirus, I’ve been able to be home with family more than I have in many years. I’m grateful for this in many ways as my family isn’t getting any younger. I’m trying to look at the bright side of the whole situation and take this time to recharge mentally, physically and spiritually. Normally, I’m always on the go, whether it be traveling, training or competing, so it’s been nice to slow down a little and catch up with things and projects at home.
What was it like to be traveling internationally during mid-March, when the outbreak was starting to seriously impact the U.S.?
By the time I arrived to my final destination in Bali, things were starting to get serious, it seemed. It definitely wasn’t the best timing for a competition in Indonesia, but I took all precautions I could to travel safely. After communicating with my doctor through the SteadyMD app, I got to understand a bit more about how this virus is transferred. I learned that the virus can be transferred on surfaces and through the air, so I kept my distance from people (especially people that may fit into the demographic for being vulnerable to the virus), constantly washed my hands, and avoided touching my face in between wearing my mask and gloves. I also kept a sanitizing spray bottle with me and was constantly spraying down the area around me, along with my hands.
Because of the pandemic, did you face any new obstacles while traveling?
Through my travels to Indonesia and on my way back, airports that would normally be scattered with traffic and many people resembled a ghost town — quiet and empty. Airports like Tokyo, Singapore, Denpensar, Jakarta, and even Los Angeles and Honolulu had noticeable impacts from the coronavirus. Besides the very low traffic, the people that were around were all wearing masks and gloves, including all airport staff and security. All of the airports I visited abroad, besides Los Angeles and Honolulu, took temperature checks seriously for everyone walking through the terminals and security.
The biggest obstacle I faced was on my third day in Indonesia when I heard from my family back home that borders were starting to close and that Hawaii would be closing all flights into the islands very soon. Because of this, we canceled my trip and I got home ASAP in order to not be stuck abroad. It was a scary reality to face knowing that there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to get home. Many people were faced with a similar challenge, and because of this it was terribly difficult to change or book new flights. I ended up having to purchase an entirely different flight home, as all airline hotlines were shut down due to too much traffic.
How are you coping with social distancing?
I’m grateful that my fiancé decided she would be my partner in this with me, regardless of me just arriving home from Indonesia. But, because of this now we both can’t visit our families and are on mandatory two-week home quarantine as advised by our governor. I respect this quarantine, as well as the fact that even though I feel healthy, I may potentially be carrying the virus, so I want to take every precaution to socially distance, and take this moment to breathe and take a break from everything. It is hard to not hug my parents and my grandparents, along with my baby niece, but it’s for their safety. At least I know we are all safe together on the same island.
What habits or routines have you found to be helpful during this change of pace?
My daily habits have changed quite a bit. My fiancé and I are focusing on keeping our diet healthy and getting a lot of super foods and nutrients from whole foods and plant-based foods, along with fresh juices. We’re also keeping up with our supplementation. Our local gym, along with most businesses in Hawaii, has shut down, but we continue to get our daily exercise in at home with elastic (resistance) bands, as well as in the ocean.
We have also been extra cautious not to come into contact or exchange any items with anyone while keeping at least 10ft from others. One of the biggest daily changes we’ve made is to our process of sanitation. We keep a spray bottle of disinfectant at the front of each of our doors at home, and in our cars to spray down our hands, feet, and handles of the entrances and exits to make sure we’re not bringing home or taking away any germs.
What’s the first thing you’re excited to do once quarantine and social distancing restrictions are lifted?
Once home quarantine and social distancing is a thing of the past, I’m excited to reschedule my wedding and marry my fiancé with all our loved ones together celebrating!
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