Tough Questions About Self-Isolation.

There’s no doubt that here in Australia we’re poised on the edge of a precipice. It’s now a question of how long the corona-crisis will last, and how we can best protect ourselves and our communities.When it comes to this, the anticipated duration makes quite a difference, because you prepare for a marathon in quite a different way than a sprint. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re in for a marathon. So, perhaps isolation in its severest form, is something only to be pursued when there is no choice.

The message has been very clear that social distancing is the obvious response to the Coronavirus. Moreover, it’s a no-brainer for people like me with rotten lungs and compromised immunity. However, what that self-isolation entails is somewhat semantic and more a matter of isolating from people. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to stay locked up in your box at home to be isolated. You could be on a boat. Walk well away from people or go and camp out in the bush. Indeed, I saw quite a few different ways of being outside yet self-isolating while I was down at the beach.


So, although I’m largely self-isolated at home, the main reason I decided to go for a walk along the beach was to exercise my lungs and try to build up some strength and resilience. My lungs are quite weak at the moment just from my regular lung condition, but they do improve with exercise which clears them out a bit (even though it makes me cough like a trooper). After all, I need to be in the very best health I can muster in case I catch this thing and being under the weather beforehand, I’m playing a losing battle.

Fortunately, our local beach, especially late in the day, is relatively unoccupied. This is quite a contrast to Sydney’s Bondi Beach which was packed on Friday and Saturday with idiot Australians just begging to catch the damn thing. Indeed, as you may have heard, Bondi Beach was shut down on Saturday as a preventative measure. If people aren’t going to think, then law enforcement needs to do the thinking for them.


Even parts of our beach were looking over-populated. I walked the other direction which was sparsely occupied. 

At our beach today, there were still a few people down between the flags. So, I drove down to a more remote access point where I could stay within my protective bubble of space. No patting dogs or talking to dog walkers and thank goodness I only saw one friend a few metres away who well understood that I could only wave and keep moving. This was all very out of character for me, because I’m usually an absolute social butterfly given half a chance. I had to hide myself away.


Idyllic and away from the crowds.

I was pleased I went, and immediately felt the psychological benefits. While being locked away inside much of the last couple of weeks has felt okay when I’m there, I felt so liberated to be at the beach again and out of the house.  Indeed, basking in the sunshine, inhaling the sea air and watching the ocean, I felt a surprising sense of exhilaration and well-being. A certainty that this was good for me and to keep looking for safe ways of getting outside, especially at the moment. We live a bit outside of Sydney and while this provides no certainties, it does provide more secluded exit points.

At the same time, I understand that leaving the house at all, goes against the strictest interpretation of advice.  However, if you’re only in self-imposed isolation, there’s no reason why you can’t go bush. You just need to hope you don’t start a movement.  After all, it’s people and public places which are the problem, not the trees.

Of course, once the virus spreads further, I will be bunkered down like a soldier in their trench, except I won’t be throwing any missiles, pineapple bombs or other incendaries over at the enemy. I certainly won’t be hopping over my trench pursuing it with my rifle and bayonet drawn either (been doing too much WWI research). Rather, my strategy is focused on withdrawal and getting myself as fit as possible by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, taking my vitamins and getting what exercise I can.

Family photo

Family photo taken 18 months ago.

Unfortunately, my greatest threat is my family. While my husband is now working from home, my son has been home with a cold and our daughter is still going to school and seeing a few trusted friends. She has been self-isolating from the family for some time. So, unless whatever she has can escape under her door like some bubonic slime, we’ll be safe. I’m sure if you have teens you’ll know exactly what I mean. Anyway, as you might have read in my previous post, that’s why we bought a caravan so we can isolate within our family.

I don’t know what the way forward will look like, but for the time being it looks like we need to pull together by staying apart.

How are you and your communities getting on? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Best wishes and blessings for protection,



13 thoughts on “Tough Questions About Self-Isolation.

  1. IreneDesign2011

    Good to read, that you find your ways to cope with this situation, Rowena.
    Here in Spain, we are still locked down and as the numbers of people hit by this Corona virus are growing very fast, we just got to know, that we will get at least two weeks more in isolation in our homes. It is tough not to be able to go for a usual walk, visit the local cafe or just enjoy being outdoor, but this is such an important situation, that we need to accept it like it is, to protect all people with not so strong an immune system.
    Take good care of yourself and yours.

  2. annabellefranklinauthor

    I have to go outside, as I’m fostering a dog for Greyhound Rescue Wales – however, he makes sure I practise social distancing by barking at every other dog walker! I think it’s important to get outside when we can, as long as we keep our distance from others. Staying shut in the house for weeks may be good for our physical health, but our mental health will surely suffer.

  3. pensitivity101

    Good to read you are able to get out into the fresh air. We are still walking the dog but only in the confines of the estate. Shopping is once a week for basics only, but gloves are worn and if the shop is too busy, we don’t go in. It would appear though that holidaymakers are coming regardless, and will be disappointed to find all cafes, pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs and amusement arcades are shut. There is nothing here for them, so I hope they go home immediately rather than drain resources of a small town having problems feeding their own.

  4. teachezwell

    Wow. You have some strong reasons to stay apart from others. I’ve seen the same kind of beach photos from Florida and massive gatherings at other places across the country. They are just not taking this seriously. My husband is quite ill, our son has a serious immune disorder, and my immune system is tottering. Even so, I have been walking by myself, staying clear of others. I also took a photo like the one at the top of your post! It’s in the post I had already scheduled for today. In fact, I need to go to bed so I am not looking at it again myself! Stay safe!

  5. Tazzie

    so important to be able to get outside when you are safe to do so for exactly the reasons you write. I am fortunate that where I live in tasmania it is relatively isolated, and even in the middle of summer you can sometimes be the only person on a local beach. In winter it is almost the norm. I do not have any thing that makes me vulnerable to Covid-19 and having lived in Sydney for many years can only imagine how lots of people are feeling the weight of not hanging at cafes or restaurants. Huge changes all around. You guys are on teh ball

  6. Dan Antion

    I’m happy to hear that you were able to get out and have a much needed walk. We’re walking, albeit no beach in sight, when the weather agrees. Otherwise, every non-essential thing is closed.

  7. Rowena Post author

    I was particularly glad I went because it’s rained here more on than off for the last two days. Have to carpe diem seize the day more than ever at the moment. Take care & best wishes, Rowena

  8. Rowena Post author

    Hello. Always wonderful to hear from fellow Australians on my blog, because most of the people I hook up with are overseas and predominantly American. My husband is Tasmanian and comes from Scottsdale. His family goes back to the early days and had large families so I think he’s related to much of the Northern part of the state who has any background there.
    We were last in Tassie about three years ago for three years. We absolutely loved it. Geoff was back looking at real estate down there again today and found a lovely place in Lilydale near Launceston which had huge tree ferns and looked like quite an oasis and very appealing, especially atm. I don’t know how Sydney’s cafe set is holding up. We live at Umina Beach on the Central Coast. There are some aspects to this which, if they weren’t so painful, would be good life lessons. We take so much for granted and have our routines we can’t live without and expect the earth to possess endless resources. I’ve been deeply embroiled in researching the stories of WWI soldiers for over the last six months. Our son was going on a school history excursion and was going to be at Villers Brettoneaux for Anzac Day and I wanted him to know the ducks guts of what our family members experienced who served in France. That was a lot harder to nut out than I expected and my research blew out entirely, especially as I was confined to the loungeroom with the bushfire smoke for months and the Coronavirus is just extending my stay here. The sort of austerity and hardship experienced through both wars is sobering and I just hope things don’t get too bad with the coronavirus and the pain isn’t as bad as it’s looking atm.
    Take care and I hope you stay well.
    Best wishes,

  9. Tazzie

    Hi Rowena how lovely to find your response. I live in the Huon Valley. I know Umina Beach we used to have friends living there many years ago, and when I was little we went to Booker Bay for holidays. Sad that your son and his classmates will be missing out on that particular trip.
    I may have rose coloured glasses on hoping that this will be a huge turning point in the way our world is. Greed and consumerism, money and wanting to have everything. It scares me for so many Australians have the second highest rate of debt per person per capita…and it is not going to be much better when the virus settles and we are left with the economic issues that we need to keep people going in some for and businesses. I don’t think lots of people really comprehend how bad our economy will really be as the national debt will be extraordinary. It has to be paid down and that will mean at some future point the people will pay. I guess it is best to just bury ones head in the sand. I recall my own visit to Auschwitz changing me so greately. I was an adult and had learnt the history we had polish friend of my parents, one of whom had been incacerated in Auschwitz, her husband in another concentration camp. Even with all this lived experience, touring the ovens, the camp, seeing the hair that had been cut off, the glasses, the baby clothes. sigh it changed me.
    I hope you find a place down in Tasmania soon. I have a feeling more people might move here after this. May you and your family be well blessing Tazzie.

  10. Rowena Post author

    I haven’t been to Auschwitz but the way you describe your visit was very moving and I could well imagine that changing your outlook permanently. I ave a close friend whose father was a Polish fighter pilot in WWI and had family in the resistance and people with his surname died in Auschwitz. Since the Coronacrisis hit, I’ve noticede a lot more people keeping in touch and reaching out to each other which is so important. It’s affected people in such a myriad of ways and it’s important to acknowledge that. We have people who are very lonely and live alone and very isolated as well as families who are all sardined together at home. Time for people to exercise their capacity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and improve their empathy skills. Hope you stay well. You live in a beautiful part of Tassie. Best wishes, Rowena

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