Self-Isolation: Week Two

Week two in self-isolation and it’s not been bad at all. Haven’t run out of the necessities, food and TP specifically, and, thanks to our provider, am grateful not to have to join the masses who seem programmed to get right out there and ignore the warnings they are hearing daily. I would have thought that one week later, things would have changed significantly as far as people taking seriously the many specific precautions with regard to social distancing, but apparently not so.

Woman looking out window

Photo by Kate Williams kmw152 / CC0  via Wikimedia Commons

Cheers to Premier Stephen McNeil for coming down hard and announcing fines for those who flaunt the rules and continue to congregate in groups. Now that no more than five people can be together in any setting and that public parks and such gathering places are off limits with threats of sizable fines for not obeying these rules, maybe this week will be different. If people were truly not aware of what we’re being told by those in the know, one could, maybe, understand why they appear so willing to defy any and all rules. But they would have to be on another planet for that to be so as we’re being made aware daily of each and every new development, including the rise in numbers of those infected by the virus.


But here in self-isolation, while amazed and, yes, anguished by what’s happening in our country and our world, we feel fortunate knowing that those in command appear to be doing exactly what is necessary to keep citizens as safe as possible. Watching too much coverage of the number of those infected (in all age groups by the way) and worse still, of the quickly rising death tolls, especially in Italy and France, is more than enough to cause anxiety. Let’s face it, though: isolation is by far the easiest situation in which to find ourselves, demanding very little of us, especially those of us who have people who care about us checking in regularly, dropping off groceries, etc. and generally making the days quite bearable.

It’s actually a time when you can get back to playing the ukulele, for example, if you haven’t picked one up in years, or trying a new recipe, or catching up on your reading or letting the kids cook supper. I, for example, blanched two tomatoes this past week. I can’t remember when I last blanched a tomato. In fact, I’m not sure I ever blanched one, but since all the canned tomatoes had been bought up by some hoarder, I simply had no choice.

We’re very fortunate to have performers willing to give us an hour or two of entertainment on Facebook or YouTube and, thanks to the internet, we can receive or send videos or pictures of just how we’re coping with isolation, we can call, Skype or email friends and family so that even in isolation, there is communication and connection. That’s all good.


If all else fails we can tune into Donald Trump who seems to be everywhere — castigating reporters at press conferences and delivering fake news at a great clip. I believe he was at his very worst when asked if he had anything to say specifically to the American people who are quite concerned about the situation re: the corona virus. His response “I would tell them what a terrible reporter you are.” Case closed.

By Sunday evening, however, he had retreated on that, no doubt having been told by his handlers what a terrible faux pas it was. Suddenly he had a message of hope and concern for all the country, reassured everyone they would “win this war” and revealed that he had known all along how bad the situation would be.

Donald Trump looking out a window

Photo by Shealah Craighead / Public domain

Trump also continued to use the term “Chinese virus” as he has been doing for sometime now. Interestingly, one report Sunday suggested that Italian doctors had been treating people for a very serious pneumonia as far back as November, suggesting that it might very well have been the precursor of COVID-19. Considering the tremendous toll the virus has taken in Italy, it seems a strong possibility.

His best line was in connection with a story about an anti-viral cure for another pandemic that could very well work against the coronavirus, although his chief medical adviser had indicated this was not a possibility, at least at this particular time. Trump, undeterred, announced:

Well, I’m a smart guy, My uncle went to MIT, and I have a good feeling about it.

I mean you have no choice but to laugh!! Isolation does have its moments!

Featured image: Painting by Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916). The Hirschsprung Collection, via Wikimedia Commons.



Dolores Campbell, a lifelong resident of Sydney, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Cape Breton Highlander, the Nova Scotian, Cape Breton Magazine, Catholic New Times and The Cape Breton Post.