Quarantine Diaries – Day 8: Call to introversion

by Catherine
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If you’ve invited birds to Sunday lunch, on Monday your place is trashed. There is no cloth or household cleaner, so you make a plan. You wash your (clean-ish) mop using issued washing powder. You mop the soiled furniture and wipe it down with hand sanitiser. The end product smells like a 06h00 flight between Durban and Joburg.


Lunch was couscous and something vegetably–a quick eat. I’m curling into myself, dissociated from the world beyond my walls. My mind is reaching a post-spinning cycle, and I allow the lull. An extra week would suit. I’ve realised incarceration brings its own gifts. For one, it melts away the guilt of indulging: staring at my computer screen, fiddling with my camera, snoozing over a book.

You can’t ignore quarantine, the black swan event that drives us to new insights. It holds me in one spot, the cloak of my introversion. I’m internalising the shape of each coconut leaf, the place of the rising sun, the force of the wind, degrees of luminosity. I allow the great I-am to slip within, knowing this moment of utter peace is temporary. In just six days I’ll face a dead car battery and attempt to reboot a life whose heart is elsewhere.

Hayley Cassim’s 30-minute gym sessions are hands-down the day’s highlight. This gentle and unassuming woman enters the virtual space and soothes out of my body impressive contortions. Red-faced and puffing, when she leaves I fall in a heap. 

The Facebook page Mauritius in Quarantine gathered over 300 people in three days, a glaring need for information. My work is cut out for me tomorrow, squeezing facts from the government’s wall of silence over quarantine-shameful behaviour for a country whose livelihood depends on tourism.

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