“Day four in the Big Brother house.”
I keep expecting to hear Marcus Bentley’s slow, measured, comforting voice to enounce from some hidden microphone in my bedroom. Self-isolation feels a bit like the Big Brother house.
So, why am I self-isolating? Well, I have recently returned from travelling in Italy and, on the advice of both Public Health England and my workplace, I have been told to stay at home in quarantine.
I arrived in Italy on the very same day that the first news of the escalating Coronavirus crisis broke there, and I rode a tidal wave of escalating media panic from the north of the country to the south always, seemingly, staying one day ahead of the lockdowns: from Turin and Milan, to Florence, and then Rome.
Now returned home, I am fortunate that I have remote access, so I am able to continue working but, nevertheless, it feels a strange experience being in self-isolation.
Thankfully, I currently show no symptoms of the disease but, at the same time, I feel like I am in a sickbay, which psychologically makes me feel a bit of an invalid. I am over-analysing every slight splutter and sniffle; and overdosing on the comfort of milky, hot drinks.
The outside world suddenly seems a rather remote place, which I only have a tenuous connection to. On day two of my self-isolation, I received a phone call from a cold caller who, upon admitting that she herself was ringing from self-isolation suddenly morphed from nuisance stranger to new best friend.
I feel as though I want to be able to use this unexpected enforced time at home fruitfully: write that bestselling novel; learn how to do marquetry but, instead, I am spending most of my time just waiting.
Waiting and hoping.
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny is feeling a bit stir-crazy in self-isolation.