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Diary of a quarantined sociologist - day 4/5
By Sarah Burrage
Posted on 9/15/2020 7:28 AM

Day 4. Or is it day 5? It was flagged with me today that I may actually be getting out of my designated quarantine a day earlier than I originally thought, so I may have messed up my dates/times up pretty good. In either case, today I was in full Eloise mode sitting in my ivory tower and looking down at the people below.  I was not an ‘Eloise’ kid growing up in that I didn’t read the story books, however, the premise as an adult intrigued me for sure. Did you know this book was originally released as a book targeted for the adult reader? Titled Eloise: a book for precocious adults. There is definitely something to be said about the ideal of living on the ‘tippy top floor’ of a hotel with all of its creature comforts, which is definitely how I felt today.  Never was this made clearer to me than by my two sisters with toddlers and busy jobs.

After sharing a video of the breakfast that was conveniently delivered to my door while Iron & Wine played gently in the background, my oldest sister very poignantly texted: “I know it must really suck travelling across the world in COVID, getting COVID tested and being stuck in a hotel room for 14 days alone...but I gotta side with [other sibling]... I’m a bit jealous. Meals cooked and provided for you, unlimited uninterrupted sleep, no mound of laundry or dishes...there are worse things!” Point made. With all the amenities provided, all the creature comforts bestowed, I had to reflect on what bothered me the most about being forcibly confined for 14 days. Of course, a sense of isolation and confinement can be challenging for people who suffer from anxiety or who struggle with their mental health; all significant issues. Witnessing a loved one struggle with their own anxiety and OCD for many years brings this reality close to home. However, it is also important to recognize that everyone is different, in which a persons’ triggers can be largely unique from others. For my loved one, being confined to a hotel room may not bother them as much if they could still exercise and play Mario Kart. That said, we all don’t know how we will respond to confinement until it is something that we experience ourselves. Confinement can be troubling, isolating, and a real issue for some people. Another loved one, for example, suffers from claustrophobia. Should the situation be reversed they fully admitted that they may have never flown back to Australia until the mandatory quarantine rule was removed. Looking at my own personal circumstances, however, I find myself with little to complain about. 

Last night we had individual pizzas, salad and mud cakes delivered to our door. I had two Facetimes with friends, a care-package delivered, and had a good night's sleep. This morning started with a good workout in my ‘personal fitness center’ followed by coffee on my ‘terrace’. My room is large and spacious, I’ve had different Spotify playlists going throughout the day, I feel healthy and well, and have enjoyed my established routine. Friends have delivered Uber coffee, messaged me consistently to check in, and shared login details to their Disney plus and Prime accounts (please don’t tell Disney). Thus far I do not exhibit any COVID symptoms nor any psychological effects of being in isolation. When looking at other examples of stories of confinement and isolation, I just cannot relate. Stories like Room put me to shame. Even the Remarkable Kimmy Schmidt makes me feel guilty for complaining. So today, today I admit to being Eloise. Day 4 (or 5) is one that is loaded with perspective. Granted it is only early days, but I count myself very lucky for how well I am being treated, for the positive mindsight that I still find myself in, and for the supportive friends and family that surround me. Throw in a pug named Weenie and I’m all set.