Isolation diaries part seven: COVID-free, lockdown bound

By Andrew Johnston

ON SUNDAY night I received a call I was fully expecting to come.

The test results had come back, and I was indeed negative.

As I suggested last week, not for one second did I actually think I was sick, but like many I was going to do the test just to make sure.

It would be horrific to be sick, but far worse if someone else got sick because I was carrying the condition and continued on with my daily life as if I was fine.

That's the one thing I have struggled to understand about people going out while waiting for results.

You feel fine, congrats — it ain't all about you, selfish people.

Anyway, I have to thank my fellow journalist Brayden May who twice went to Subway and twice to the supermarket to collect food and leave it at my door so I didn't starve while in isolation.

“I could have made you starve, but I'm a nice person,” he tells me.

This is the reality of being stuck in quarantine — in line with the guidelines I was presented, the furthest I was allowed to go was into my backyard to hang out the washing, and back out later to get it back in.

So I passed the time on the PlayStation, watching the footy (including a great win by my Hawks on Friday night) and watching my Red Sox struggle in the baseball, and laying on the couch in the sunshine through my window.

Across five days of waiting, I had a few moments of frustration where I wanted to just go outside — especially over the weekend when the sun came out.

But, it really wasn't so difficult.

Now it seems we are all headed back into lockdown.

Daniel Andrews has introduced stage three restrictions for us, and even though we have been through this before, we all know this is going to suck.

All our favourite venues are closing and going back to takeaway again, we can't have people over, and if you have run out of stuff to watch on Netflix from last time, you might really struggle this time.

But we have learnt a lot about how we can cope.

We have our mechanisms, we have all mastered the Zoom call by this point (I found using it to play board games with my co-workers was a great way to spend a night, especially when I was in Tasmania.)

You can try the takeaway options of as many local businesses as possible, or try something new.

With the announcements of the changes at the abattoirs, I'm having a look at doing meat-free Mondays.

I'm going to sit down and play The Last Of Us Part II on the PlayStation, and await the release of the remaster of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2, some of the games I enjoyed the most during childhood.

There are many options we can try — get a cookbook and try to master a few recipes, read something new or your old favourites.

You have time, do what you can with it.

Because everything you try at home is helping us all to fight this.

I won't pretend it will all be fun, but we can try to make the most of it.

Do the right thing, and do it together.