Quarantine - Day 4
I cope pretty well on my own and do not mind my own company (jokes ensue about others minding...) and I am extremely grateful that I do not have any mental health issues, nor (asthma aside) any serious health conditions. However, I am not going to sugar coat it, quarantine is not easy. The difficulties currently present themselves broadly under these categories.
The kindness that people have exhibited in supporting me during this time has been touching. Friends have dropped off treats at the hotel reception, sent notes of encouragement and prayers have been plentiful. I could not wish for more. However, in quarantine, it is easy to be selfish, it is easy to simply focus on yourself and become self-absorbed owing largely to the fact you are alone. But, the focus at the moment should not be on me, it should be on the person dying in hospital and this may be the most frustrating part of quarantine. You might think that writing a blog isn’t particularly consistent with this so-called hardship, because it encourages the same focus that I am complaining of. I agree, it is in a sense hypocritical and I could make excuses for it, but I won’t.
Two nights ago, I failed to sleep for any amount of time so simply got out of bed and deliberately stayed awake until 8pm last night (resulting in a 36-hour day) to try and create some semblance of a sleep routine. I think the issue stems from the fact that during the day, it is easy to occupy yourself. Work, the internet, TV, books, food, it’s not actually that difficult to burn through the hours of the day without any sense of drudgery. Also, owing to the thought of an impending death of a loved one, distraction during the day is welcome and deliberate. Add a sprinkling of jet-lag and sleep is evasive. Lying in bed, my mind flicks from thought-to-thought in an infinite chain, despite my efforts to find that empty field which leads to rest. Hopefully, my internal clock has now been reset.
Conceptually, 14 days is not that long and, in spite of its challenges, it doesn’t feel like a time period that overly bothers me. However, my anxiety stems from the inability to leave the hotel room if my father does not make it beyond the quarantine period. This sense of helplessness is frustrating and frightening. Couple this with that fact that there is no window to look out of, no natural sunlight or air and 14 days feels a lot longer. I am not exaggerating when I say I have lost track of time, despite only being four days in quarantine.
Being in quarantine and the anticipation of death should spark a lot of emotion. But, at the moment, I don’t feel any sharp emotion. Instead, I just feel a sense within that is empty, slightly broken and destructive, but all of this is current suppressed. To be clear about the situation, this blog is not to seek sympathy or to express any “life is woe” sentiment. If anything, I don’t like attention seeking and I am not bemoaning my current circumstances. There are a lot of people in a worse position than me. This is not appealing for a Facebook “I’ll message you babes” moment. Conversely, I suspect when I do break, it will not be posted on social media.
Like anything, as time goes on I anticipate that I will start to get used to quarantine and start to overcome the challenges it presents. It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are also a lot of positives of being in quarantine, which I will share in due course. In the meantime, for anyone reading this I hope you are healthy and safe and making the most of the surreal situation we currently find ourselves in. _________________________________________________________________________
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