Day 23: Self-isolating in self-isolation

Wednesday, 8th April

For the past couple of days I have been self-isolating in self-isolation. I have made myself a little office space in the guest room upstairs where I can close the door and work. No more carrying my laptop around the flat looking for a quiet place. It means I am not so available for my family, but I am really enjoying having my own space and my own work to concentrate on.

A new « normal »

It also means I have a less time for this diary. But in a strange kind of way, my brain is no longer so frantically trying to get to grips with the situation. We are settling into a new kind of « normal » for the time being. I heard in one of the many podcasts I listen to that those who are dealing best with this whole, strange new world and its implications are the people who understood long ago that nothing is immutable. Life is fluid, ever-changing, and when you accept that rather than hold on to what you know, you’re better equipped to adapt and evolve. And be happy.

The glass half-full

I guess I’d better see the glass half-full: a Portuguese friend of mine has just informed me that schools in his country aren’t going to open again until September. Edvard Munch’s « The Scream » emoji springs to mind. Or maybe, since I cannot change the situation, I should see this as a time when I can get closer than ever to my children in a whole new way, learn to trust their ability to be autonomous so we can live and work together?

I spend the morning working, then take the kids out for a stroll in the blazing sunshine. It feels like June. We turn off the heating, open our windows, and clap for the health personnel at 8pm, like every evening.

Drinking an e-beer with friends

After dinner, we meet with our Lyon friends online. It is good to talk and laugh about how we are all dealing with the confinement in our own ways, with or without kids. One friend, who suffered heart failure two years ago and has since recovered but remains vulnerable, says with an ironic smile that it feels just like another convalescence – but without the visits. Another, whose sister is a doctor, has been very worried by what she has heard. And a third recorded this wonderful piece with a friend :

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