Today is the 10th day of my self isolation after I got back from my trip to Germany. I am not sure what my feelings are. At times I am constrained, only due to lack of exercise and movement , but other wise, I am happy and have not a moment of boredom. I kind of have got used to the me time I am getting now. And, to think about it, I have been enjoying this “being with self” for an extended period now. My stay in Germany was also by and large, self isolation.
People close to me were very happy that I was contained in one place and I could not go out. They were concerned for me as I am those adventurous kinds who would jump into situations without any regard to pain in the legs, with a walker, or a stick , but will not miss out on any fun activity. Having said all that , I can also happily be with myself without complaining. I have learnt to do that. When you have an active mind who needs to go out. And your creativity kicks in and you figure out ways to fill in your days with meaningful activity. I had my hands full when I could move out of the house and yes, even now i continue to keep my days occupied!
On day one the 14 days felt intimidating. Then I realised I was jet lagged and I slept at odd hours woke up late in the afternoon and was up most of the night.The fear of the virus had gripped me and I kept imagining a sore throat, it did not help that my sinus was acting up and the constant back nasal drip kept setting of the alarm with a dry cough. Well, I had Vitamin C tablet with me that I had picked up off the shelf from a medical shop , and I did not realise was dissolvable, while popping the first one into my mouth, direct! And… it was effervescent, I ran to the bottle of water and took sips to dissolve the extremely sour and pungent tablet. And I could get some relief after a good five to six swigs of water. It made me forget my nasal drip woes and I sat and had a good laugh at my expense. Then I remembered two oranges that I had sneaked in from Germany ( the ones the security officers were bewildered about); I ate them in quick succession. My idea was, incase I was invaded by the virus, I should drown it in Vitamin C so that it does not have the strength to fight my immune system. Being my sole company for a long period made me read each and every WhatsApp message and wise informed me came up with solutions.
I had just returned from Germany, as you know, and I was still suffering from the OCD of cleanliness and the self help drug was still very active in my blood. So the next day, after I woke up from my jet lagged sleep I felt my house keeping help was doing a shoddy job with cleaning the bathroom. I set out to clean it to teach him a lesson. But soon, I realised he would not be coming to work due the COVID19 as he was asked not to travel by train to reach our apartments. ( Fair enough!) I consoled my self with the fact that the bathroom did get cleaned well by me.
Amazon was still alive at that time and I quickly sat down and ordered more cleaning material to clean the stubborn water spots left on the glass. My paranoia with disinfectants and OCD for cleaning was a deadly combination and the next day ensured all the surfaces being wiped clean by the freshly arrived disinfectants from Amazon.
Till now we were still having our woman Friday and my evening cook coming in for work. They had strict instructions- sanitise hands as soon as you enter, go straight to the wash basin, wash your hands, don’t come near my room, talk to me from 6 feet distance, so on and so forth. They are well trained and good sincere workers and things were running quite smooth. Hubby dear also stayed back at home as his company policy did not allow anyone to go to work, if any one of his family members had travelled into India, from abroad. And things were smooth. But just on the 3rd day of my isolation we got to know about the Janta curfew and my maids would not be able to make it to work. A sense of panic set in and maids and me collectively decided that they would cook for Saturday and Sunday for us.
But… on Monday we got to know they will not be able to come at-least till March 31st and the penny dropped!!! We would be without food if my husband dosen’t cook. He is a fantastic man, very good and successful man, highly intelligent, but he had know clue about the kitchen and did not know the C of cooking other than making lime juice and tea for himself.And poor man was saddled with the daunting task of cooking three times , cleaning the kitchen and the vessels all at the same time. None of which he had done much earlier. And I donned my mask , stood without touching anything with a sanitiser ready in my hand to clean surfaces I may accidentally touch, and gave him instructions. Right from how to chop each vegetable, how to set the cooker, how to knead the dough, all the time keeping in mind how to make it simple and easy for him. Every time he picked up the knife, my heart missed a beat. Not because he might throw it at me, but my fear that he might hurt his finger. I felt like his mother who was looking out for her eight nine year old child learning to cut vegetables for the first time. It took him ages and I just got so tired standing there watching him patiently, curbing the urge to grab the board and do the cutting myself. But not bad, from how we started, we have managed the last few day very well, and he has been following my directions to the T and dishing out tasty dishes. He has been cleaning up the house too on alternate days with my son pitching in with the laundry, watering the plants and filling up the bottles with drinking water.
As my days of isolation are nearing to an end, I dread getting back into the house and reclaiming my responsibilities of running it full swing. Now, I wake up at whatever time I please and sleep whenever I feel like. Though to be fair to myself, i try to go to bed latest by 11:30 pm , but I lay awake in the dark room with my brain racing with thoughts, ideas, stories , anxiety attacks and many more imaginative things which feel so real. All this with my eyes tightly shut trying to sleep with a prayer chant on my lips. Talk about multi- tasking! I read, lie down whenever I please, just clean my room sparkling clean and the bathroom ofcourse with the new disinfectant wipes if you please. Talk to my friends for hours, attend all the zoom calls from different groups and empathise with all my friends who have suddenly got transformed into a ‘Bai’ due to this rampant spread of the Pandemic.
But them today I realised, its only a matter of four days before I transform into Hemabai and take over the chores of the house, only with the hope that having experienced it , my boys will help me with my load!