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  • Writer's pictureNgoc X Doan

Quarantine struggles and ways to care for your wounds

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

During these past few weeks, we still stayed sheltered in place in Los Gatos, CA. It had been almost two months since we arrived at our hosts' home. We are grateful because our hosts are so kind to us especially during the pandemic.

We also started planning our trip back to the east coast. It will be an interesting trip - no doubt. For those who are thinking of doing a road trip as the pandemic is dying down for the summer, I will share a list of travel essentials during Covid-19 pandemic.

Health wise, we gained a few pounds after sitting and eating all day long during quarantine. After 5 weeks of relaxing and staying in one place, we weighted ourselves and knew we needed to change our sedentary habits. We decided to get back to our old routine with modifications since we no longer have access to the gym. We knew we needed to exercise at the end of the day before eating dinner. We went on walks, bike rides, and used our hosts' gym equipment. For three weeks straight, there was no sign of losing but only gaining more weight! However, it felt good to be active again.

As promised in my last post, I added tips on how to treat wounds for speedy recovery and minimize scar appearance. After I fell off my bike, I did my research on how treat open wounds. Mark also had experience from falling off his mountain bike in high school. The best part about falling off my bike is that when I have kids, I will how to treat their cuts properly!

What to do with fresh wounds?

  1. First step is to make sure your hands are clean. Wash your hands with soap.

  2. Use a gentle cleanser, such as Cetaphil facial cleanser to avoid stinging sensation, to clean your wound.

  3. Use two fingers to gently rub in a circular motion. Try clean as much dirt and debris as possible. It's best to rinse with room temperature water.

  4. Apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to prevent infection. Check the expiration date since most ointments were given to me were expired. In general, we do not get cuts often, thus, these ointments sit on the shelf longer than the expiration date.

  5. Cover with a bandage - correct size matter. You do not want adhesive to touch and irritate your cuts.

  6. Repeat these steps. It's best to change bandages twice a day during first week. Re-bandage after it comes in contact with water. Wet bandage will irritate your skin.

  7. Avoid eating shrimps, seafood, and chicken as these proteins may cause irritation.

  8. Do eat a lot of leafy green vegetables, fish such as Salmon, lean pork, egg yolk, take turmeric pills, and drink a lot of water.

  9. The most important way to heal your open cuts quickly is to sleep as much as possible. Deep sleeps will help your cells go into rebuilding mode.

What to do with closed wounds?

Once your cuts have closed and stopped bleeding, you want to begin caring for the new skin tissues. This step is important if you want to minimize scar appearance.

  1. Apply petroleum jelly like Vaseline to keep your wounds moist. This helps your cuts heal faster to avoid scab formation. Once scabs are formed, it takes longer for your cuts to heal.

  2. Keep wounds moist by covering with bandages at all time. Airtight bandages will keep the moisture locked in and prevents your wounds from drying out. Dry and flaky wounds will cause irritation and itchiness.

  3. Apply scar ointment twice daily and sunscreen to avoid discoloration and hyperpigmentation.

  4. Extra scar treatment: if you have fresh turmeric roots, you can cut a small slice and apply its juice on the surface. Note: turmeric juice can stains easily. Try to clean excess juice and cover with a bandage after application.

Things I learned while taking care of my cuts

  1. As cuts are starting to heal, they get uncomfortably itchy after the first few days. It was not easy to keep my cuts from drying out.

  2. Large cuts close fairly quickly during the first 48 hours to stop the bleeding.

  3. Raised scars form in areas that you extend and flex daily.

  4. Applying bandages twice a day for a month can be damaging to your skin. I stopped applying bandages on most wounds after a few weeks. I wore clothes to cover those spots in the sun.

  5. Your surface cuts may heal in a few weeks but your ligaments and tendons take an unpredictable amount of time to heal.

Food for the past three weeks in San Jose.

Most were made by our hosts. They are so good at cooking and baking! We also made a few runs to get boba tea. Mark really likes Happy Lemon's green tea and mango! Tastea also has good green tea drinks with salted cheese. We got at least 4 boxes of mochi ice cream from Costco. We finished them in two weeks. They were delicious!

Food and drinks in SF. Not pictured: Burmese Superstar - cumin lamb. We waited 2.5 hours to get the food. It was not as good as we remembered since it was a takeout order.

Stocking up snacks before hitting the road again = Boomchickapop popcorn! We bought 10 bags from Costco. They had a BOGO deal - why not?! Can you find a mini version in the last photo? Isn't it adorable?!

The first time we visited Golden Gate Bridge in 2015, we wanted to bike across it but we did not get a chance. We are glad to say that we biked to the other side of the bridge and back! It is a 5.5 miles from where we parked our car and tiny home. It was scary biking across since it was windy - roughly around 15 mph to 20 mph. Despite the wind, we were lucky it was a clear sky day.

Mark was sharpening one of our hosts' knives. He's actually great at it! Let us know if you are interested in knife sharpening service!

I visited my aunt's home before we left Santa Clara County in California. I felt so loved. She gave me medicines and food for the road. My job is to deliver her gifts to my grandparents in Boston.


Mark finally got a vacuum after weeks of researching and debating. We were glad he got it because our car and trailer really needed it!


After realizing that I cannot sit all day long, I decided to pick leaves 15 minutes after each meal. It felt great to be productive and somewhat helpful to the family at the same time. It was great for the first week. One day, the amount of leaves on the ground was unmanageable after a windy night. It took me 2 days to pick all the leaves by hand.

Week 15-17 Random Tidbits

1. We saw a Massachusetts plate for the first time in Monterey, California!

2. Do you remember the family of ducks from my last post? Mark saw them again during his bike ride. They were so much bigger a week later.

Left (first image): Before

Right (second image): A week after

3. After working, Mark played games at different spots around the house - shade spots are key.

4. We waited 30 minutes outside of Target in SF to use the bathroom after our Golden Gate Bridge bike trip. There were also a lot of closed roads around Golden Gate Bridge. We saw cars that parked illegally got ticketed. Be careful if you are planning to visit touristy places that are closed during coronavirus pandemic. Read signs carefully and/or opt for a drive by if you cannot find any places to park.

5. We're going to miss this view. Our home and "luxury" hotel for the past 7 weeks!

It's a wrap for weeks 15-17. We are planning and getting ready for our grand trip back to the east coast! It will definitely going to be interesting to find public bathrooms and places to rest at night for sure.


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