Life in Isolation

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Being in lock-down has easily messed with most of our heads, one way or another.  And we’re all definitely dealing with this global pandemic in our own unique ways.

For me, I’m somewhere around 4 weeks into this isolation, as I had a bit of a flu the week before the order came through from the UK to self-isolate and then our company decided to have the department work from home for the foreseeable future.

Working from home wasn’t a big change for me.  For the past six months or so, I’d already been doing it a couple days a week since the local satellite office I’d been working out of closed down.  It was a bit of a learning curve at first, as I had to get used to maintaining my productivity on a little laptop instead of the usual two-screen set up in the office.

Obviously since the lock-down, it’s gotten harder to deal with things as we literally cannot see our friends and loved ones.  We can’t even just pop to the local cafe for a bit of chill time with a good book, to still be around other people even if not actively interacting with other.

For better or worse, all that changed this past week as our company put our department on furlough leave effective from April 1st… for the next 12 weeks.  This means we’re still employed by the company, but only receiving 80% of our salaries based on the guidelines set out by the UK government.

At least I’ll still have my job in the end of this.

But now the issue is how the hell do I fill my days without having the daily work routine to fall back on?  Even if I was mostly working from home before the pandemic hit.

We’re all thinking of different ways we can keep ourselves active and productive, and we’re all seeing on social media how others are keeping going – online exercise or dance videos, home repairs or gardening, cooking up a storm, and so forth.

But do we have to be productive?  Should we feel bad if we’re just using the time to relax, watch loads of Netflix, and (probably) eat way too much food?

Do We Have to be Productive During a Global Pandemic

I keep telling myself as I eventually drag myself out of bed each day that I’ll de-clutter or reorganise the flat, get back to writing (today is a first in a very long time..), do an online class of some sort, go for a bike ride, try to get into yoga, or a dozen other activities I’ve thought of.

But have I?

Not really, other than a couple short bike rides to grab some groceries from a large supermarket a bit farther away.

And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as I’m taking care of myself on a daily basis.  Even if it’s something simple as giving my head and beard a trim to feel better, or making my favourite food for dinner.  Or even watching some trashy show online.

More than anything, I’m trying my best to keep myself sane and in a relatively good head space without letting the never-ending stream of bad news get the better of me.  And most importantly, not letting the loneliness take over.

It hasn’t been easy.  The more I hear about how bad this pandemic is around the world, the worse it’s made me feel.  And there’s been days where I haven’t been able to keep a reign on my emotions.

And that’s okay as well.  We’re all going through a never-before seen circumstance, and it’s perfectly natural to feel sad or down about it all.  We need to keep informed, but it’s better to not overdose on too much of the news in one go.

All we can do is take care of ourselves, keep in touch with our loved ones electronically, and do our best to keep our spirits up while we self-isolate to help flatten that curve and get past all this.

Today has been a good day for me (so far…), and here’s hoping to many more over the next several weeks or months while we go through this period.

Sending out lots of love to you all.

3 thoughts on “Life in Isolation

  1. Good to read you again Martin. Good to hear you’re ok. Nicely balanced piece, heartfelt and am sure speaks to many who are sharing this moment.

    Stay well and look after your mind xx

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