It has now been eleven months since my COVID19 isolation began. Eleven months! That is just crazy. But then again, life during a deadly global pandemic is, in fact, crazy. Although it helps that we’re all going through the crazy together.
(Once again, I will spare you a month-by-month recap on this post, and instead I will direct you to all posts tagged as “lockdown” and “shielding” which includes all “x month of isolation” posts and a few related posts.)
Over the course of Month Eleven, I’ve been feeling that things are getting worse rather than better. I don’t know if that’s because things are getting worse or if it’s because I am growing more and more frustrated with the on-going isolation and the lack of human contact. I am feeling frustrated with the boredom, the loneliness, and the lack of freedom that comes with isolating.
Throughout this past month, I have remained isolated on my rural wooded estate, with two exceptions: (1) my running routes that take me a few hundred feet from the estate and (2) a little geocaching adventure that took me around the outer edges of the nearby village. But those journeys were all people-free, hence I was happy to make the exceptions.
As I noted last month, the Pentlands are now off-limits for me. Where last month that decision was all about the mobs of people visiting the hills just now, the bigger concern this month is the snow. It has been snowing regularly since early January and the hills are quite dangerous because of it. In fact, there have been a few small avalanches in the last few weeks, including on routes that I would generally walk. The weather should improve for Month Twelve though, so I hope that I will manage to get into the hills in the next couple of weeks.
But whilst Month Eleven saw me avoiding the hills, I did get out for a lot of walks around the estate. I have been trying to get out most days before I start work just to get a bit of fresh air. Despite this past month being cold and snowy, it has been really great getting out into nature – and a great way to break in my new walking shoes before I wear them in the hills for the first time.
Overall I am continuing to manage (mostly) well during this pandemic, especially compared to those who struggle with long periods of isolation or working from home – and those who don’t have the same privileges as I do. And I am continuing to spend time reflecting on how I am doing through daily journaling and blogging – including these monthly reviews.
And so, I begin Month Twelve of my COVID19 isolation period today. And I expect it to be another challenging month in some ways, but I am also hopeful that I will be able to get outside for more adventure walks as the weather improves and the daylight increases. Indeed, I think that the isolation will begin to get easier for the next few months as I am able to get out into the fresh air a little bit more.
I am also scheduled to have my first dose of a COVID19 vaccine next week, and that makes me very hopeful for a brighter future. I know that this won’t be the end of my isolation, but it will hopefully leave me feeling a little safer when I begin to re-enter The Real World (whenever that might be).
In the meantime, I am preparing to celebrate my 47th birthday in isolation. Which is how I generally spend my birthdays, but it feels a little more poignant this year because of the isolation, but also because it’s number 47. And that has sadness for me in its own right (a story for another time), but at least I know that I am not the only one spending their birthday alone this year. (It’s weird how loneliness isn’t as lonely when you’re not the only lonely one!)
I think that Month Twelve will be a little odd because I can recall this time last year when I was getting ready for a (successful) job interview followed by what turned out to be my last hurrah before the lockdown. Oh, the things we know with hindsight!
But, ultimately, I think that Month Twelve will be fine. I will survive it. I will find joy in it. I will entertain myself as best as I can. And I will try my best to thrive.
Stay safe and stay healthy, Dear Reader. We’ll get through this together!