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What I Learned in Quarantine: 8 Celebrities and Designers Reflect on Their Time in Solitude

As the world retreats into self-isolation during the fight against Covid-19, for many the solitude presents a rare time for self-reflection and enlightenment. Here, eight designers and celebrities share what quarantine taught them.

Zuhair Murad
Fashion designer

Zuhair Murad

Zuhair Murad. Supplied

“Before self-isolation, my mind was always running, but now I’m taking time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll definitely start making more time for things I neglected in the past and prioritize different aspects of my life in a balanced manner – take some time off from the office, and travel for pleasure and not always for work. Before the crisis, the world had failed to truly see how important we all are to one another, from healthcare organizations to grocery store workers. I hope that after this time, we continue to support each other and teat each other with equality.”

Haya Abdulsalam

Haya Abdulsalam

Haya Abdulsalam. Photographed by Gianluca Fontana for Vogue Arabia

“I’ve always been a quiet and peaceful person who appreciates quality time with myself and family, so staying home hasn’t been a challenge. That said, I consider this quarantine as a wakeup call to look after my health and pay more attention to daily habits and try to change them positively. I hope, post Covid-19, humanity reconsiders our actions towards the environment and makes cautious choices onwards. People across the globe need to unite – we’re all in this together.”

Elisa Sednaoui
Actor and model

Elisa Sednaoui

Elisa Sednaoui. Photographed by Alvaro Beamud Cortes for Vogue Arabia

“What is hard for me to assess at this time, is when I will feel comfortable again getting on a plane, and how social interactions will evolve once we have arrived at a stage of containment. The long-lasting impact of better hygienic care will be positive, because I think viruses are a real threat now – we need to be better equipped for other risks. I pray that we all use this opportunity to make the profound changes needed to create a world that is kinder, better structured, and with more empathy and wisdom in our approaches. I hope we will not allow time to just get us back to the starting point.”

Edgardo Osorio Aquazzura
Footwear designer

Edgardo Osorio Aquazzura

Edgardo Osorio Aquazzura. Courtesy of Aquazzura

“Isolation is a great time to reflect on your life. It has made me realize that sometimes we push too much, run too fast, and it’s good to be alone with ourselves and reboot. It has made me realize how much I love and appreciate my work and how being in contact with people makes me happy. I’m much more grateful for everything, every day – life, health, and freedom are gifts. I hope people will learn from this and be kinder and more appreciative for everything. We need to think more about others and what’s best for our community and not just for ourselves.”

Caroline Scheufele
Chopard co-president

Caroline Scheufele. Courtesy of Chopard

“Social distancing is a totally new experience for me as my business means I’m always traveling and meeting clients. I’m taking this time to take a break from my busy schedule and to meditate and connect with myself, which is unleashing a new wave of creative thinking. From now on I will make sure to cherish every single moment because we never know what tomorrow could bring. I hope we all start to appreciate the present more and the small joys of life that we usually take for granted. During the lockdown, as humans slow down, Mother Nature has regenerated and cleaned itself – clearer skies, water, and air and chirping birds. I hope that people will be more responsible towards nature and more aware of the importance of sustainability.”

Peter Philips
Creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup

Peter Philips. Supplied

“I’ve been embracing my time alone in confinement. I’m keeping myself busy, and I’m just with myself, thinking, reflecting about the past, present and future. I’m not sure how life is going to change after this, but I’m open to embrace whatever it does bring. I hope for balance in everything, for everyone.”

Maya Diab

Maya Diab

Maya Diab. Supplied

“Self-isolation has taught me a lot. It taught me to be more positive, help people, never give up, and keep smiling. From now on, I won’t abide by superficiality under any circumstances. I hope that the entire world overcomes this virus quickly, and that we stop losing people. Our current life is dangerous and difficult for all humans. I pray to God to decrease the number of deaths, that we pass this stage peacefully, and that the planet steps into the future with health and stability.”

Amina Muaddi
Footwear designer

 Amina Muaddi

Amina Muaddi. Photographed by Pierre-Ange Carlotti for Vogue Arabia

“It’s important to have a positive mindset. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with this situation, like everybody else. I procrastinate more than I’d like to and I have anxiety, but when I look at the big picture, the only thing that matters is health. This time has taught me to make more space for my personal life, my family, and for travel – to find work/life balance. I hope that in moments like these people realize that kindness, love, and selflessness are fundamental qualities in an individual. Sometimes in life we need each other’s help, we depend on comfort and reassurance, we crave love. But we can only receive what we project so it’s important to carry these traits and vibrations in us. My hopes are that people will keep feeling grateful long after this period.”

Originally published in the May 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia

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