Quantum Gardener

33 hours in isolation is easier with the right mood behind you

Firstly, let me acknowledge there are people out there who have suffered/are suffering from Covid-19 in ways immeasurably different from me. My story is a small one which serves as an example of how our prevailing mood can help or hinder.

On Thursday afternoon I developed an annoying cough. At any other time I'd probably have not even noticed and by the evening it had faded into the background. Friday morning I was heading in to the office for one of those few tasks I couldn't ordinarily do at home when I started coughing again in the car within a minute of leaving home. Quick decision turn for home and wait until the testing centre opened.

There were two moods in play when I arrived at what used to be our local emergency department which has now been repurposed as a Covid-19 testing centre (a new hospital opened a couple of years back). The moods were acceptance and wonder.

Simply by turning up I had turned my family's life on its head for who knew how long. Once tested I was to return home and self-isolate until my results were received. If negative I'd be free. If positive, there would be more life turned on its head. Acceptance is a strong and powerful mood for action. Accepting Covid-19 exists, accepting I could have it, accepting I'd need a test and accepting the conversations of that meant I was quite relaxed throughout the whole process. This was a small cough and sore throat. Had my symptoms been different, I'm quite sure my mood would be different as well.

Since I was relaxed, I was able to enter into a mood of wonder as well. What would happen? Exactly what form does the test take? Would it hurt or not? What's going on behind those doors? Wonder helped me remain relaxed.

After a few minutes it was all done and I headed home. Admittedly it felt quite weird. I've never had to be locked in a room in my own house before. All I had to draw on were experiences of too many hours in hotel rooms.

Acceptance served me well at home from 11 am Friday through to 8 pm Saturday night. This is what I had to do to keep those around me safe. I can only imagine how horrified and shamed I'd be for the rest of my life if I had knowingly decided not to be tested then infected to death someone I loved. Acceptance means I didn't have a choice and I was ok with that. It does not mean that I particularly liked what was happening.

What would it look like if I wasn't in a mood of acceptance? The most likely mood would be frustration. Where acceptance is going with the world the way it is, frustration is fighing the way the world is at every step. Look around you and you'll see frustration at Covid-19 everywhere. Firstly, I'd have not taken the test and would be angry at the goverment for even suggesting I should be tested for something as trivial as a cold. I know what it is. Why do I need a test. Secondly, if I'd taken the test I'd probably be really rude to the testers. Thirdly (let's take this home), I'd buy some wine at the supermarket on the way home (wearing a mask because I can't afford a fine but really, this is bullshit), then I'd just keep going on with life as normal until my negative result came in (for it's just a cough) vindicating the waste of time the whole process was anyway.

Working from home, my work computer is in the bedroom so it was work on Friday and TV Friday night. By the time I got an SMS notifiying me of a negative assessment late Saturday I was on my 6th movie for the day. Again, I would have preferred to be elsewhere but in the mood of acceptance I was able to push on.

This little story is about how the moods I was in helped me get through 33 hours locked in my bedroom quite easily. Later posts will discuss what can be done if the mood you find yourself in doesn't serve you and what you can do to change to one that does.



David C. Buchan

Written by David C. Buchan who lives and works in Bendigo, Victoria where he works building useful things.