Editor’s Page: The Start of Our Quarantine Diaries

What I didn’t expect when my family started staying home.
Laptop on a countertop
welcome to my work-from-home office in my less-than-inspiring messy kitchen. crucial office supplies include the baby monitor, bottomless cup of coffee and a mute button on my zoom meetings.
photos: christi Young


A month ago, we sent our May issue of HONOLULU Magazine to the printer. On my editor’s page, I wrote about life on the fifth day of the statewide lockdown and how the developing situation with the coronavirus forced me to rethink my typically skeptical instincts. Reading it now, the words feel ancient. What did I know?


Since then, 16 Hawai‘i people have lost their lives. Thankfully, the number of new cases reported daily are now in the single digits. Still, we face another month inside our homes, with local stay-at-home orders extended to May 31.


SEE ALSO: These 6 Types of O‘ahu Businesses Can Reopen on Friday, May 1


I knew I would miss pau hana get-togethers, dinners with my very close extended family and just regular runs to the store. But there are a few things I never expected when coronavirus shut down the city. That yeast would become the must-have-and-can’t-find item for a whole new batch of comfort bakers. That I would miss H-1 traffic, when I would listen to podcasts in solitude. That I could go more than three weeks without wearing a pair of high heels, something I didn’t do for even one day both times I was pregnant.


Arrow pointing from a dining room table to a home office
my current commute. i actually miss traffic.


I also did not realize what a big deal weekends would be. My 4- and 9-year-old daughters and I have been staying at and working from home for seven weeks now. There are days my husband, the only person reporting to work, finds all three of us, along with the dog, dancing in front of the door upon his return; the girls are excited to have a playmate who won’t utter the words, “I’m trying to work,” and I’m celebrating a few hours of uninterrupted writing time. Not to mention, we’re all going a little crazy in isolation.


SEE ALSO: Things to Do at Home: Take a Trip From Your Laptop

A kid-drawn menu for a play restaurant.
the menu for our only “dine-in” experience since stay-at-home orders went into effect. the 9-year-old, familiar-looking hostess told us we would have to wait 20 minutes for our table, despite being the only people in the “restaurant.”


That is why weekends have become a real reason to celebrate. For me, they’re two days to ignore the office, which is now just outside my bedroom, to focus on my family guilt-free and just to mark the days of the week, something that has become exceedingly difficult to do without the traditional boundaries of regular business hours, school drop-offs and kids activities. But what do you do when you can’t spend a day at the beach, picnic in the park or stroll through other neighborhoods, stopping for lunch and popping into local shops?


SEE ALSO: Things to Do at Home: These Super-Fun Hawai‘i Card Games Will Have You Smiling, Laughing and Learning In No Time

Two cans of local beer.
my current pau hana spot; the backyard. But without a commute, i stop in almost daily.


After a month, we’re all running out of ideas (and new shows to stream). So, we asked the HONOLULU team to start sharing stories about what they’re doing, or what other people in Hawaiʻi are doing on the weekends. We hope the stories give you inspiration or just a respite from your at-home grind. Watch for those to start next week. After all, we’re all in the same boat. Actually, I’d LOVE to be in a boat with anyone who doesn’t already know everything that’s happened in my house for the last 50 days, just for conversation—6 feet apart and masked, of course.