Quarantine Diaries – Day 7: The deal

by Catherine

Today I needed warm-bodied company, so I placed fruit on the terrace and didn’t wait long; bulbuls were soon snatching grapes, guarding them, shrieking with delight. To prevent my stash melting away, I hauled the bowl inside, followed by every bulbul on the stoep. The fun of rescuing trapped birds is not so much about balancing on furniture, eyes closed to flapping wings and sharp beaks. It’s about cleaning their mess, given we don’t have a domestic all-purpose cleaner, no cloths, no bucket. But the morning’s entertainment was well worth the inconvenience.

Like me prior to arrival, some people cling to the fantasy of sipping cocktails under a beach umbrella, staring into azure horizons, and dining to piped music. We can’t leave the rooms, period. We clean our room; we find creative alternatives to missing equipment, and as my neighbours do, we throw the kids outside once a day, knowing we risk a hefty fine. So, how expensive is quarantine? Repatriated Mauritians stay free if they arrive before the end of September. Others fork out about Rs52000 for a four-star facility. Five-stars charge more, and they’re not shy. From the 1st October everyone pays, the government alleges at an average of $1300.

Equipment and facilities differ between hotels. You need to wash your dishes, clothes, linen and floors, but it’s possible you won’t have all the cleaning gear. Your food comes tepid, in a tub, and you could find a plate, cutlery, glass, or mug. You’re not likely to have seasoning, coffee, milk, and salad dressing, and they ration your tea. I suggest you ask your resort for a list of the essentials they provide, so you can pack for comfort. Otherwise, phone out for deliveries. Check with your hotel. This should be a determining factor for your choice of accommodation.

Honestly, it sounds much worse than it is, so don’t worry

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