As I write this blog, it's been five days since I left the house. A friend of mine tested positive for Covid-19, and we have been advised by the local hospital to stay at home. Here in Switzerland, they count the quarantine period from the day where you were last in contact with the infected person, and the length is only ten days as compared to other countries.
When I received the message from my friend, my initial reaction was a complete shock! I couldn't believe that the virus is right here in front of our face, before that it felt like a piece of distant news that seemed to affect everyone else but us. Now the presence of Covid-19 is hauntingly real. We will never know for sure if I have Covid-19 because the hospital told me not to get tested and to isolate the whole family. They assume that we all have the virus because our friend tested positive.
Luckily it seems like I'm the only one affected, my husband and kids are fine, they don't have any symptoms. I have the usual cold symptoms- tiredness, headache, sniffles and body aches. Thankfully the body aches are gone today, but I still have a mild headache and sniffles. It's not as bad as full-on cold symptoms but still annoying because I'm not used to being sick.
The past week I took the opportunity to slow down and not do much at all. I slept a lot, read and rested, which is something that I have been neglecting. Having adequate rest is so essential, and sleep is such a necessary part of good immunity. That is something that I need to work on this winter.
If I'm honest, being stuck at home with my kids has been quite challenging. I finally had a taste of what it feels like to be locked up, even if we have it way better than being in prison. The feeling of confinement can affect any one's mental health, including the kids. Even though I'm meditating and journalling, I feel an underlying edginess, and I'm more reactive than usual. I have been raising my voice a little more than I like to which I'm not proud of, but I feel like I need to be honest here. I, too, have off days and I'm not perfect.
The most challenging part of being on quarantine is the lack of social interaction. Being such a social person, I've not seen any of my mama friends for over a week now. And it's starting to take a toll on me. I realize that I need face-to-face interaction with people, but the current situation has made me realized that I need to be okay with online communication with friends and family. The winter is approaching, and there will be more people infected, it's scary to think that future interactions with other human beings will be limited. We live in such a strange time where a kiss or a hug from a friend or family member could make us ill.
On a positive note, this experience has made me appreciate our small expatriate community around us. Good friends have been helping out with groceries, medicine, sending us food and checking-in on us. I feel so incredibly touched and blessed to be surrounded by such kind and helpful mamas. Even if we can't see each other, I certainly feel the love and care from them.
Overall, the experience has been bittersweet and not as bad as I imagined. We still have a few more days to go before we can leave the house. I can't wait to go for a nice long walk in the forest again, go to the supermarket and watch my kids play at the local playgrounds—the simple things that I have taken for granted.
This winter will be an interesting and challenging time for us all. Most of us will likely stay home and not have the usual dinner parties or Christmas/ New Year celebrations with family and friends. It will be a tranquil few months of isolation, introspection and reflection.
Do take care of yourself, my friends. As the crazy year wraps up, please take time to rest, slow down and enjoy the precious time with your family and friends. Health is the ultimate wealth, and don't wait till you get sick before you make time to rest.