So here I am, self-isolating in my little apartment. No, no, I’m not sick, and don’t have it, so far as I know (though every time one has a tickly cough, one does wonder.) And, of course, I might. After all, I have been staying in a crowded house, and there are people there who have had direct contact with Milan, and I have been hugged by a couple of refugee children – despite one’s best efforts, they do tend to hurl themselves at you – and I’m nowhere near as fastidious as I ought to be. Like I’ve said before, just building up the old immunities. Which is almost certainly counter to medical knowledge and advice, but it’s all I have to cling to.
And my isolation has not been so long, as this morning I did have to attend a meeting at Dodo, as the volunteers’ house is called. (Nothing to do with being dead, it’s an abbreviation of the street it’s on.) We were there to discuss what we were going to do, seeing as we can’t do the thing we are all here for. Mostly, this seems to be catching forward with planning, sorting out, preparing, but even that is hampered by the fact that we’re not allowed into one of the camps, and ought to be limiting our presence in the other.
Plus there’s the fact that all the shops are shut, barring food shops and pharmacies (though the nearest chemist was also closed, preventing me from getting some paracetamol.) After the meeting, I did call in at the supermarket to stock up a little, and all was calm and ordered; no sign of the panic buying and hoarding (hamstering, it’s called in Holland) which seems to be affecting other places. And I felt no need to overbuy (unless you count a triple pack of tins of tuna) as everything there was reassuringly normal… except for those blue gloves.
And since then I have enjoyed a very relaxing day, reading my thriller, listening to the radio, and writing lots of emails. As you’ve probably noticed, I am being pretty cavalier about the whole business. If this is the beginning of the end of this crazy world, well, there’s not much I can do about it, beyond sitting tight and hoping for the best. I’m probably here for at least another week or so, and there are plenty worse places.
And though I may sound pretty blasé about it all, I’ll no doubt be singing a different tune when I’m lying sweating in my bed, cut off from all those I care about. Isolation is one thing, but keeping myself a couple of thousand miles away is probably overdoing it.