When self-isolation gets on your nerves - GulfToday

When self-isolation gets on your nerves

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Self-isolating is not easy when there are multiple adults living under the same roof. I think I said this before but sometimes the house, or in some cases, the flat is just too small for people to have their own personal space at such a critical juncture of our lives. Sometimes grown adults sharing a space as though they were teenagers in a dorm room is just plain wrong.

The cocktail of events that can transpire when adults of varying mindsets share a small space can be catastrophic to the family unit and to the individuals’ state of mind. Again, I’d like to remind you that, before this Covid business, most members of the family were out of the house to get to work by 6.45am maximum and most didn’t return until around 6pm or even later. During that time, the flat or house was virtually half empty and those who stayed at home had their own chores to do like shopping, writing, applying for jobs etc. This was everyone’s me-time. Yes, even those who went out to work had their own version of me-time, even if it was during a lunch break.

Then when everyone was home in the evening, they all had their stories to tell, even those who didn’t go to work. No one had time to quibble over stupid things like putting the teacup in the wrong place or getting irate about feeding the birds. It is now a time of madness.

Now, during the initial mandatory lockdown, such crazy behaviour took a hold of itself in almost all families. Whether it was a husband and wife yelling at each other over minor non-issues, or children fighting and screaming with each other and disturbing those who were working from home, or a teenager having a meltdown because he’s been cooped up so long that he can’t take it anymore.

I am sure many breathed a sigh of relief when the lockdown was lifted and restrictions were eased considerably. But I think I used the word ‘many’ with too much freedom. I don’t think it’s actually many. I think what I should have said is ‘some breathed a sigh of relief’.

‘Some’ because, many are still fearful of leaving their homes even though malls are returning to normal. I suppose from their perspective, they are receiving confusing messages. Whereas on the one hand we are told malls are open and they can go out provided they stick to certain rules, on the other we are still being advised to ‘stayhome’. Even I’m not sure what this means.

Don’t forget, if there are, say, five or more adults living in a tiny flat, and some of the rooms have been taken by people who are now working from home, for those who usually stay at home, there literally is no where for them to go to sit quietly or to make a private phone call. They can’t go out because someone else’s fear won’t let them. They can’t use the bathroom because the sound is echoey and they can’t use the balcony because it’s boiling hot out there. Plus the balcony may not have a WiFi connection.

People who want to live in isolation in a tiny flat are now literally in each other’s faces, thanks to Covid. So where do they go?

That being said, if you must insist upon self-isolating even when you are now allowed to go out to get a change of scenery and to buy your food and medicine then I suggest you, who are insisting on the isolation, are mindful of many things around you.

If you are going to insist that no one leaves the flat, for any reason, then at least have the courtesy of not making their lives a living hell all day. Remember that living locked in together in very close quarters requires a great deal of self-restraint on everyone’s part, but especially yours since you are the one doing the imposing.

You can’t be losing your temper over dumb things. You can’t be getting irritated because someone likes to do something their way and not yours or has a habit you do not like or because someone is upset at the fact they no longer have peace of mind, the privacy to even make one phone call or sit quietly with their thoughts.

I must stress that, even when there are no more movement restrictions, those who insist on imposing their nonsensical rules want to have their cake and eat it. They won’t try to be understanding of other people’s needs nor will they accept that those who are being imposed upon have feelings and, most importantly, nowhere else to go for the day.

Seriously, folks, this madness has got to end. Otherwise someone is going to get seriously ill.

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