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When March came and we collectively experienced a new lifestyle in the midst of a pandemic, our lives and perspectives shifted in many ways. Most of us had plenty of time to reevaluate what was most important to us, to take up new hobbies and to do a bit of daydreaming. Get a glimpse into what your fellow Berks Countians were thinking and feeling with their answers to our quarantine survey.

1. While practicing social distancing, what was most difficult for you?

a. Not being with family – 33%
b. Missing friends – 25%
c. Financial or job woes – 5%
d. Dealing with stress in general – 16%
e. The feeling of being isolated – 21%

2. What helped get you through the tough times?

a. My pet! – 26%
b. Zoom calls – 16%
c. Netflix – 11%
d. Calling friends and loved ones – 29%

Fill in the blank: If I knew in advance that I’d have to social distance and stay home for two months, I’d make sure to:

“Take more books out of the library before they closed!”
– Mary Ellen M., Birdsboro

“Go out to dinner with friends one last time.”
– Maria N., Reading

“Not change a thing. I became friends with myself!”
– Vanessa S., Exeter Township

4. When businesses were closed, the local place I missed most was:

“The Tavern on Penn in West Lawn. We live close by and love randomly dropping in for a drink after a long day at work or a sunny weekend afternoon (it's usually our starting point for a day of fun).”
– Kirsten H., Wyomissing

“Jimmy’s Barber Shop. I need a trim more often than every two months.”
– John M., Mertztown

“All West Reading bars and restaurants. I love their atmosphere, and I missed that so much.”
– Rachael R., Wyomissing

5. When I wash my hands for 20 seconds, I find myself:

a. Daydreaming – 37%
b. Singing “Happy Birthday” – 21%
c. Counting – 25%
d. Something else (what?): – 17%

Other responses included, to name a few:
Thinking of what I have to do next
Chanting a mantra
Humming the Jeopardy! theme

6. If I could quarantine anywhere in the world, it would be:

Germany – Donna R., Reading
“Home with my kids and their families.” – Cindy R., Lenhartsville
Italy - Angela F., West Lawn
“My home. That is where I felt the safest.” – Grace B., Fleetwood
“Ireland. It’s such a beautiful area and the people are so nice. I can’t imagine being unhappy living in a place like that, even in quarantine.” – Kristen R., Fleetwood
New Zealand – Carrie K., Sinking Spring
“Costa Rica, where people are happy year-round; they worship the environment; the best of the planet's ecosystems exist, and they forbid styrofoam! PURA VIDA!” - Aparna M., Mohnton
"A house with a view of the ocean." – Kristin G., Wyomissing
"In the mountains of Colorado." – D. Gabel, Oley>

7. Where do your find your priorities lie? What comes first?

a. Finances – 8%
b. Family - 70%
c. Friends – 3%
d. Self-care – 19%

8. Did you update your Bucket List? What’s your top to-do?

a. Travel - 75%
b. Make a lavish purchase - new home or car - 10%
c. Pursue a professional dream - 15%

9. If you could only have one live-in quarantine buddy, who would it be?

a. My child – 17%
b. My significant other – 60%
c. My pet – 12%
d. A close friend – 8%
e. My parent – 3%

10. Speaking of self-care, what’s your go-to for me time?

a. A good book – 42%
b. Music – 24%
c. A relaxing soak in the tub – 8%
d. Wine time! – 18%
e. Meditation – 8%

11. Many of us adopted a new hobby during quarantine? Tell us – what was yours?

"I worked on de-cluttering areas of my house that were driving me crazy."
– Laurie B., Mertztown

"I finally reopened the doors to old hobbies - reading, art and gardening!"
– Shannon F., Exeter Township

"Making masks!"
– Joanne S., Wernersville

From our BCL Account Executives:
One positive I discovered during quarantine was…

“It was nice to have the time to sit together as a family every night and have dinner together.” – Elizabeth Beebe

“Family. Between the support that we received from our family to the support that we gave to our family, we all looked out for each other.” – Sara Woodward

“Binge watching reruns of Friends with my son Ben was one of the best parts of my day. Laughter wins!” – Heather Pendergast-Baker