When we did as a family our two week hotel quarantine, returning from London to Sydney, on about Day 8 I lost the plot. We had been strictly self isolating in London for about 5 weeks already, this was when you couldn’t get a takeaway coffee and the newsagencies were even closed and we were lining up for 2 or more hours to get groceries. Basically you left once every 4 days or so to get groceries and that was it. Then we flew home, masked and gloved for 30 hours and then straight into the hotel room, no fresh air or sunlight for two weeks. I’ve got pretty much every tool in the book. And by Day 8 I broke. It was something Arran casually said, and it ended up with me nearly hyperventilating in the bathroom by myself I was so desperate to get away from my family for a minute. It took a phone call to a dear friend, to point out, I needed to somehow be left unattended, for two whole hours, even if that meant to sit in the bathroom by myself, and just have some time out. Now when you have 2 rooms that you eat, sleep, live, work in with other people 24 hours a day, and a bathroom, the bathroom it is. That 2 hours, literally saved my mental health. It got me through another week of hotel quarantine with a teenager whilst working. On a laptop off an esky lid.
I was reminded of this mentoring a student who is in self isolation in Melbourne with her family. And slowly losing her mind. So I wanted to share this for anyone feeling like they cannot crawl around inside their own head a minute longer. Even if it’s a cupboard, have an agreement with your family or flatmates that they leave you the HECK alone for at least two hours. We must carve out our escapes in this strange time in the world, however we can.
Written with empathy,