Self Quarantine | What This Self Away Period Basically Means

So, you’ve stocked up on tinned beans and toilet paper but what on earth will you do with yourself when you Self Quarantine? Provided your Coronavirus Symptoms are not too severe, of course – while holed up at home in Nairobi for days on end, what’s next?

Basically, our social lives are shrinking by the day. First, with the banning of events for more than 1000 people or so. And then this week’s Kenyan government decision to extend the ban to events of more than 100. Gyms, schools, and offices are bracing themselves for a full shutdown.

But, whether you’re ill or not, it appears most of us will have to spend more time at home in the coming weeks. And with this in mind, I’ve compiled an elaborate explanation of things to do at home in case you have to Self Quarantine option.

Often, if you’re not in official self-quarantine but forced to stay home because your company or university has shut down, taking a walk in the fresh air is always a good idea. For example, take a leisurely stroll along the lake, neighborhood or a hike through other unfamiliar landscapes.

What is Self Quarantine?

Self Quarantine or Self Isolation means staying home and not leaving to go anywhere unless you need medical care. Many COVID-19 patients are advised to self-isolate at home while they recover.

Whereby, the Practice of Self Quarantine, as we know it, began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from Plagues and Epidemics.

For instance, ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words Quaranta Giorni which means 40 days.

Under its delegated authority, any National Quarantine Division is empowered to carry on with the best isolation methods.

Like to detain, medically examine, or conditionally release individuals and wildlife suspected of carrying a communicable disease.

Read more about the History of Quarantine

In general, under individual levels, Self Isolation and Self Quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.


  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

For your information, the list of quarantinable diseases is contained in an Executive Order of the President. It includes;

  1. cholera,
  2. diphtheria,
  3. infectious tuberculosis,
  4. plague,
  5. smallpox,
  6. yellow fever,
  7. severe acute respiratory syndromes, and
  8. viral hemorrhagic fevers.

The viral hemorrhagic fevers include Marburg, Ebola, and Congo-Crimean.

Read Also: Ebola Virus | Everything you Should know about It

Many other illnesses of public health significance, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, are not contained in the list of quarantinable illnesses. But, continue to pose a health risk to the public.

Quarantine Station personnel respond to reports of ill travelers aboard airplanes, ships, and land border crossings. Particularly, to make an assessment of the public health risk and initiate an appropriate response.

Some tips for Self-quarantining at home include:
  • While at home stay away from others. If possible, you should stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items. After using personal items, such as silverware, dishes, towels, sheets and more, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze and then throw it into the trash.
  • Postpone all non-essential appointments until you are out of isolation.

What is Social Distancing?

Of course, while it may be disappointing to hear that so many sports events, cruises, festivals and other gatherings are being canceled, there is a public health reason for these measures.

These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease. Allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time. Therefore, canceling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social distancing.

In simple terms, social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

More social distancing practices include:
  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in-person
  • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings

People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine.

Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.

You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country. Or rather, the world where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly.

And also, if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person.

Self Quarantine Involves:
  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

Once your quarantine period has ended, if you do not have symptoms, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to return to your normal routine.

How do I Help Lessen the Coronavirus Impact?

First, for people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected.

Isolation can take place at home or at a hospital or care facility. Special personal protective equipment will be used to care for these patients in health care settings. It’s important to know what to do if you feel sick. 

More so, the New Novel Coronavirus Pandemic is making everyone aware of handwashing and protecting others from coughs and sneezes. Along with those essential steps, practices such as social distancing, and self-quarantine and isolation when appropriate can slow the rate of infection in a city, town or community.

The pandemic can seem overwhelming, but in truth, every person can help slow down the spread of COVID-19. By doing your part, you can make a big difference to your health, and that of others around you.

What is “Flattening the Curve?”

What ‘flattening the curve’ means is that you’re using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection. As an example, hospitals have room, supplies, and doctors for all of the patients who need care.

A large number of people becoming very sick over the course of a few days could overwhelm a hospital or care facility. Too many people becoming severely ill with COVID-19 at roughly the same time could result in a shortage of hospital beds, equipment or doctors.

a graphics showing cornoavirus disease progression

NB: This image was adapted from the CDC.

On a graph, a sudden surge in patients over a short time could be represented as a tall, narrow curve.

While on the other hand, if that same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate, for example, over the course of several weeks, the line of the graph would look like a longer, flatter curve.

And in this situation, fewer patients would arrive at the hospital each day. There would be a better chance of the hospital being able to keep up with adequate supplies. Particularly, beds and health care providers to care for them.


According to the official guidelines by NPR on Self Quarantine – you’re to stay at home. For example, if you’ve been in contact with someone who is ill or you’ve traveled to an affected country.

Also, I can’t think of a better way to distress and cope with mass panic. Than chilling with a nice glass of wine. Order wine to your home from some of the local wineries or even from Dial a Drink Kenya.

Trying to stay positive and proactive appears to be all we can do at the moment. Above all, make the best of your time at home!


Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and have understood more about the meaning of Self Quarantine. And if this Research Blog was helpful to you, please don’t forget to Subscribe for more updates direct to your email address.

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Feel free to share your thoughts with other readers in the comments box below this article. Also, read and learn more about What is COVID-19 Coronavirus? And Coronavirus in Kenya Case Reported by the Ministry of Health.

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