There isn’t much to celebrate when one is isolating, but recently I found good reason to feel almost victorious after my time was done.
In our part of the world, like many others, we were under a lockdown during the Christmas season. This meant that all gatherings, indoor or outdoor were banned, many businesses had to switch to curb side or online orders only, others had to close their doors again and we were encouraged to stay at home with our household members.
Just prior to Christmas, I had to go into isolation because of a positive contact. I wasn’t surprised and I wasn’t too upset about it since numbers were skyrocketing and I was beginning to feel unsafe in my work environment. Quarantine meant a month away from things since Winter Break followed and I was okay with that. Time enough for the virus spread to settle down a bit perhaps. Certainly, that was the intention behind the restrictions.
Thankfully, running errands and such wasn’t much of an issue in that my husband could still go out. That being said, quarantine did prevent me from Christmas shopping as much as I’d have liked to with just a couple of ‘free’ days prior to the 25th. Not ideal, but no one on the list was missed since I had already picked up some things prior. One must plan ahead during this pandemic of ours, that’s for sure. I will say that by Days 11 & 12, however, I was getting antsy to go out and do something, not that there’s much to do under lockdown. Even going to town to get our mail would have been a welcome outing at that point.
The other piece of isolation is having to work from home. While it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, it does have some definite benefits such as later alarm times, no travel time or worry and no need to pack a lunch. Even one’s outfit doesn’t need to be as carefully thought out, no masks to try and match, and best of all, no sanitizer! I’ve really come to detest continuous applications of the liquid barrier though its safety merits keep me going back for more much to the chagrin of my raw hands. One of the downsides of being shut in is that you miss out on the socializing, limited as it is now. Nothing replaces face-to-face contact, especially in my line of work. For me personally, my work is not nearly as effective from home either and our poor internet connection doesn’t help matters at all. There’s nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of something when your video chat and/or meeting freezes and repeatedly kicks you out. Actually, it’s nothing short of maddening! We even had to replace our computer since the old one crashed and couldn’t keep up with the demands of our programs.
The real bonus of my time off, after my isolation and well past the holidays, was that at the very end of it all, I was able to do a socially distanced visit with my parents since I hadn’t really been around anyone else in close to a month. It felt REALLY good to see and visit with them, especially given that it was my mom’s birthday. As luck or fate would have it, her birthday was exactly one day before I was due back at work. A blessing indeed! We celebrated with cake and coffee (and gifts of course!), all the while following COVID-19 protocols of hand washing, distancing, etc. (I always feel the need to add that disclaimer.).
Even though it’s been close to one WHOLE year since this devastating virus fired up, it’s still surreal to think that an occasion such as a birthday in which one looks forward to having cake and coffee with their loved ones is a most fortuitous event. I mean, we’ve always been grateful for each and every occasion that passes wherein we are all here to partake in it, it’s just that it is that much more precious and meaningful now. While true togetherness remains a thing of the past for the time being, I will happily take every minute in which I can get a taste of it at least. If that feeling of being together can be achieved from going through a period of quarantine, then so be it.
Given that I am now in round two of isolation after three and a half days being back at work (once again, not surprised), I look forward to another brief hello to my parents in a few short days. Undoubtedly, that lone thought helps to make the time more passable. Who knew there could be such a positive to come from an otherwise shrouded and lonely time?