In the last couple of months, several words have taken on a new meaning. Corona used to mean a certain type of Mexican beer. Now it means a terrible virus that has shut down the world. Social distance used to refer to the space that an unfriendly or awkward person created between themselves and others. Now it means physically spacing yourself from others. And another word that has changed meaning is quarantine.

Quarantine by definition is a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that may have been exposed to infectious disease are placed. However, just like the words above, definitions have morphed and changed. It is still a period of isolation, but it now applies to those who are suspicious of being exposed to a disease. It is not just a reactive state of quarantine, but a preventative state of quarantine. (People now quarantine themselves to prevent exposure.)

And if you’re returning to Japan in 2021, then prepare yourself: you will be quarantined. But it doesn’t have to be a bad time — in fact, it can be a positive experience if you look at it that way. And that’s just how we approached it. 

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