15 underrated Netflix gems that will distract you from the news
15 underrated Netflix gems that will distract you from the news

Jennifer McShane

This home on Palmerstown Road, Rathmines is on the market for €2.15 million
This home on Palmerstown Road, Rathmines is on the market for €2.15 million

Megan Burns

Chunky wedges, midi dresses and light summer cardigans – What to wear to an Irish garden wedding
Chunky wedges, midi dresses and light summer cardigans – What to wear to an Irish...

Sarah Finnan

Lynn Enright: Who will I be then, if I am not the one cackling in the corner of the pub late into the night?
Lynn Enright: Who will I be then, if I am not the one cackling in...

Lynn Enright

Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be tied to your desk, here’s how you can multitask on the move
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be tied to your desk, here’s how...

Melanie Morris

James Michael Tyler: Friends’ Gunther reveals cancer diagnosis
James Michael Tyler: Friends’ Gunther reveals cancer diagnosis

Jennifer McShane

Love Island’s Greg O’Shea is heading to the Olympics with the Irish Sevens side
Love Island’s Greg O’Shea is heading to the Olympics with the Irish Sevens side

Megan Burns

Nicola Coughlan teases details of new project she wrote with a pal
Nicola Coughlan teases details of new project she wrote with a pal

Sarah Finnan

What’s on June 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try
What’s on June 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try

Lauren Heskin

Prince William reportedly ‘threw Harry out’ of charity foundation over Meghan Markle bullying claims
Prince William reportedly ‘threw Harry out’ of charity foundation over Meghan Markle bullying claims

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

Coronavirus Diaries: The 28-year-old graphic designer from Dublin who’s living in self-isolation


by IMAGE
10th Mar 2020
blank

A 28-year-old graphic designer from Dublin tells IMAGE.ie what it’s like to live in self-isolation amid the Covid-19 outbreak


I’ve been in self-isolation for five days. On Friday, when I got home from work, I shut the door on the world and haven’t opened it since.

While I’m not infected with Covid-19 (yet), I am in the ‘at risk’ group and I am not willing to put myself in danger. I have asthma – a chronic respiratory condition that leaves me susceptible to infection. I already have breathing difficulties, and the last thing I need is a cureless virus leaving me gasping for air.

Since I was a child, every head cold I’ve had has developed into a chest infection or bronchitis. I refuse to allow Covid-19 to invade my body and develop into pneumonia. My health means too much, and so on Friday, I decided I wouldn’t put myself at risk. I said no to commuting on public transport and no to sitting in enclosed spaces with people who may or may not be sick.

I’m lucky my job can be done remotely. As long as I have my laptop and an internet connection, I can work from anywhere. It’s a privilege and I don’t take it for granted. Right now, as I type this, I’m in my bedroom. The window is open (just a fraction) to allow for fresh air. The bedroom door is closed.

Everyone else is downstairs.

That’s the hardest part of self-isolation. It’s lonely. People on social media joke that it’s an opportunity to watch Netflix and nap. I can’t do either of those things when I’m working, and by the time I’m finished work, the last thing I want to do is look at my screen again. I miss being out and about, interacting with friends and colleagues.

Every now and again, I forget that I’m self-isolating and consider going out for a meal, or to the cinema. And then I remember I’m avoiding enclosed spaces with strangers.

It’s hard and it’s lonely – but it’s a necessary evil. The alternative is worse.

You see, not only am I an at-risk person, but my entire family is too. Each of us has our own long-term, chronic health condition, which means Covid-19 is not just a health risk, but life-threatening. Self-isolation isn’t just keeping me safe, but it’s also ensuring I don’t infect the people I love. As Dr Ciara Kelly recently said, “Our safety is in each other’s hands”. I could never live with myself if I put my family at risk.

How long will this self-isolation last? How long is a piece of string?

Everything is changing so quickly that I don’t know what will happen next. St Patrick’s Day celebrations have already been called off, numerous sports games have been cancelled or postponed and companies all over Ireland are trying to decide whether or not to let employees work from home.

Everything is so up in the air – so changeable – that I can’t predict what will happen tonight, let alone tomorrow or next week.

All I know is that my health and that of my family is of the utmost importance. As long as I can keep us safe, I will. Loneliness I can handle, but coronavirus I cannot.

If you want to be featured anonymously in our Coronavirus Diaries series, contact [email protected]

Photo by Chermiti Mohamed from Pexels


Read more: Coronavirus: Will I still get paid if I’m forced to self-isolate?

Read more: St Patrick’s Day parades are cancelled amid Covid-19 outbreak

Read more: ‘I’m immunocompromised – stop telling me I’ve nothing to worry about’

Also Read

Britta Baranowsky The Flowerfield
EDITORIAL
Happy World Bee Day: These are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant right now

Attracting bees to your outdoor patch is a cinch, with...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
Setting mental health boundaries: ‘I didn’t expect the level of anger it caused’

The entitled backlash when someone tries to set their own...

By Amanda Cassidy

audiobooks
EDITORIAL
6 brilliant audiobooks worth listening to during lockdown

Six great audiobooks to listen to in lockdown. It took...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Andrew McGinley: ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad.’

Following the utterly devastating trial of his wife Deirdre last...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
The Howth train attack represents a lawlessness that makes me fear for my daughters

I fear the true fallout of Covid on our cities...

By Amanda Cassidy

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

blank
EDITORIAL
There is something uncomfortable about Kate Garraway sharing her husband’s desperate Covid texts

We are used to celebrities oversharing their lives. But sharing...

By Amanda Cassidy