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What LOST’s Desmond Can Teach Us About Quarantine

For a lot of us, our first exposure to the concept of “quarantine” came from the TV show Lost. Now, as many of us around the globe are in self-quarantine due to COVID-19, it’s hard not to think about the ABC sci-fi series and its own unique quarantine situation. It’s especially hard not to think of one character in particular: Desmond Hume (played by Henry Ian Cusick).

Lost spoilers below.

Desmond’s introduction on the show is one of Lost‘s great reveals. In a subplot from the first season, the characters Locke (Terry O’Quinn) and Boone (Ian Somerhalder) stumble on a hatch door buried in the middle of the jungle of the remote island where their plane crash-landed. The unlikely duo decides to excavate the hatch, but they initially keep it from their fellow survivors. Boone, on his death bed, reveals the hatch’s location to the island’s de facto leader, surgeon Jack (Matthew Fox), and the season finale involves a mission to open it and find out what’s inside.

That final episode ends with tantalizing tease: Jack and Locke peering into the hatch before the credits smash and we realized we’d have to wait a whole summer to learn what was in there.

Jack and Locke peer into the hatch in the season one finale of Lost.

ABC/via Giphy

So what was in there? The opening of the season two premiere introduced us to what seems like a totally unrelated series of events: normal scenes of a man starting his day. However, we quickly learn that this man is actually down there in the hatch—a strange, bunker-like place frozen in a ’70s aesthetic—and that he’s about to be confronted by the survivors of Oceanic 815, after years in isolation. We also learn that stamped on the inside hatch door is a curious word: “Quarantine.”

That means Desmond is under the belief that his bunker home is protecting him from some unknown illness on the island—an illness the survivors might now have. Because this is Lost, it would take us way too long to explain the truth of the matter, and frankly, we’re not even sure we know the answers ourselves. Suffice it to say, Desmond’s story is one of the most fascinating and heartbreaking on the show, and how he came to be on the island—and what becomes of him later—are worth the hours of investment.

What we want to do here instead is take a look at his morning quarantine routine. Because it’s actually a pretty good model for what we should all be doing every morning.

First, Desmond starts his day by hopping out of his bunk, pressing some buttons on a computer (you do not have to do this as you are not trying to “save the world” in your quarantine), and then heads to his record player and puts on some tunes. The song he picks in the season two premiere is “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” by Mama Cass Elliot—the perfect sort of breezy, infectious, and upbeat tune to get you through another day of quarantine. The lyrics are also a little on the nose for self-isolation:

You’re gonna be knowing
The loneliest kind of lonely,
It may be rough goin’,
Just to do your thing’s the hardest thing to do.

But you’ve gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

As the song plays, he washes the previous night’s dishes, and then hops on his exercise bike. We watch his mini fitness routine, which includes pull-ups and sit-ups. Next, he pops into the shower, does a nice little scrub-down, then heads back to the kitchen to make a breakfast smoothie. We’re not entirely sure what’s in this thing; it looks like a combination of protein powder, cherries, and peaches. But he’s doing his best with what he’s got.

That’s about when things veer off into Lost territory, since we next see Desmond inject himself with some sort of mysterious medicine, and then the hatch door explodes and he’s thrust into action. But don’t worry, he makes sure to change into his work jumpsuit first! As the experts say, the best work-from-home practice is to treat it like you’re going into the office anyway; that includes getting dressed.

It’s a pretty simple scene, and honestly, not one we thought we’d ever need to look to for inspiration. But it’s 2020, the year where absolutely nothing makes sense. So why not let a moment from Lost inform us about the dos and don’ts of quarantined life? Thank you Desmond, for this vital bit of informative pop culture. May we all be as fit as you by the end of this.

Featured Image: ABC