Quarantine ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #227

Kelly & Fiance, Marin Headlands over San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, California, USA, January 3, 2020
Self-Isolation
Week Two; Day One; Six Days Left
I could use a hug

Kelly & Fiance
Marin Headlands over the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco
California, United States of America

Taken during travels, 2020

As some of you already know, over a week ago I returned to Canada from Arizona, where I’d been helping my mother move in to her new home. On March 29th, I drove through the Peace Arch border crossing, eerily empty but for one other vehicle, at 7:30pm on a Sunday evening — normally a time heavy with cross-border shopping traffic. I’d been given a sheet of paper outlining the Mandatory Self-Isolation Order put in place the previous week. With a pleasant, understanding but grave demeanor, the Canadian Border Services agent had just explained to me the following particulars.

  • Drive directly home without delay or stop
  • Enter your home and stay in it or on your personal property for 14 days
  • You can not share your isolation space with anyone at risk for serious complications
  • The government will be monitoring your compliance
  • Failure to comply will result in charges leading to a fine of up to $750,000 dollars and/or imprisonment for up to 3 months
  • If you are found to have recklessly or negligently endangered the lives of others the penalties are elevated: Up to $1,000,000 and/or 6 years incarceration

And so, this morning, I find myself beginning Day Eight of my Fourteen Days. Note this:

  • Given the current state of our medical, social and political infrastructure, I fully agree with the necessity and wisdom of this order
  • I am so very grateful to be home

Home, where we as a government and as a nation of individuals are responding to this crisis with some level of serious but reasonable caution. The confusion, denial, complacency and often outright mendacious politicization of the unfolding tragedy that is the United States were reason aplenty to boot it back to Vancouver at my earliest opportunity.

I’m well provisioned with food, hand sanitizer, soft soap and toilet paper, internet and coffee — all the essentials. These will all last me at least a couple weeks beyond my mandatory self-isolation.

The hugs? Those went missing while I was in Arizona, as we were self-isolating while moving my mother into assisted living. She’s 81 years old, with congestive heart failure and other complications which make this virus exceptionally lethal were she to contract it. (I’m confident the facility she’s moved into is the safest place for her right now.) My hands have never been so clean. Nor have they ever gone so long without grasping another human being with a hug. Aside from some necessary contact with my mother, I haven’t touched anyone in over a month now.

The first time this no-touching was truly odd happened while arranging to sell my mother’s car back to her dealership (a story unto itself). It is a very strange thing to resist the urge for shaking a car salesman’s hand. There is something primal and essential, at least to men I suppose, about that particular gesture of trust.

After that, I began thinking of all the times I’d had to resist hugging my mother, my sister, old family friends living in her neighbourhood, and especially all my mother’s dear friends who’d done so much to help her during her move. It kinda hurt not to hug them.

Being released from my Mandatory Self-Isolation a week from today won’t bring an escape from my hugless state. I won’t be immune from the virus. I will only be established as a non-carrier, a state of being which could change the moment I walk out the door of the apartment. My self-isolation will only be legally down-graded from Mandatory and punishable by crippling fines and jail time to … morally essential with some legal punch. I’ll be able to leave my apartment, but will need to maintain social-distancing, and be super vigilant in order not to contract the virus. Should I contract it anyway, it could be two weeks before I’m symptomatic, and during most of that time I will be able to transmit it to others.

I’m single. Any contact I have with others could transmit the virus “outside our households”. We would become vectors spreading the contagion. So, hugs aren’t really in the offing until this thing is over. In the meantime, I’ll stay at home, avoid touching things and humans, stay physically distant, wear PPE when in public, wash my hands, all the while continuing to maintain personal connections through voice and keyboards. Oh, and write. Lots of writing.

I could use a hug. We need to get over this thing first. For the love of the people I would love to hug, I can wait until then.

But, man, that first hug after we’re back. That’s going to go on-and-on-and-on-and-on.

NaPoWriMo 2020
Day Six; Poem One
Eleven poems total

#stayhome #washyourhands #writepoetry

Pic and a Word Challenge

Last week we went Running. This week, just try and get out of Quarantine, or find something else to inspire you in this photograph of a hug shared on the Marin Headlands overlooking San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in California, United States of Americia.

The Pic and a Word Challenge is a weekly creativity prompt offered Mondays.

Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.

To participate:

  • Use any title you like
  • Your response can be words and/or images
  • You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
  • Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
  • Add a link to this post in your response

To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:

  • Add a comment on this post to announce your response
  • Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post

Each week, I’ll list the previous week’s responses at the end of the new challenge. I may also share some on my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.

The previous challenge was: Running
Running, Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon, United States of America
Running ~ Challenge #226
The word for last week’s Pic and a Word Challenge #226 was Running, along with this photograph of an early morning runner at Cannon Beach, Oregon, with Haystack Rock in the background.

Five bloggers went Running this week. =) Thank you, everyone! ❀

View all the Pic and a Word Challenges, including the current challenge, on the Pic and a Word Challenge tag page.

Happy Creating!