Six Positives To Self-Isolating

This week is our first full week of self-isolation. My place of employment sent everyone home last Wednesday, my son’s company sent him home on Friday, and my husband voluntarily started working from home on Monday.

Right now, each of us starts our day at our usual time, but rather than head out the door, we go to our separate work areas. I and my husband have basement offices and my son has his computers set up in his room (he works for a cyber security company). So far, I’ve seen more positives than negatives to our new lifestyle, and here’s why:

  1. My husband is saving 2-2/12 hours per day of commuting, my son is saving 90 minutes, and I’m saving 40 minutes, which is good for the environment, our stress levels, and our wallets, even though gas is significantly cheaper these days.
  1. read-652384_960_720[1]Instead of reading from my iPad, I’m reading more paperbacks bought from my local new and used bookstore, who need and appreciate the support.
  1. I’m able to take care of more writing tasks and am eating better on my work break.
  1. I’ve found great new exercise workouts on Utube.Flowers for Mimo
  1. My husband and I are doing more yard work together, for the first time. He usually takes care of the garden and yard, while I’m out running errands, meeting my writers’ group, or going to the gym.
  1. I’m checking in with friends and colleagues more often on social media, making sure everyone’s okay.

And then there’s the silence. I live near a major thoroughfare and generally only notice the quiet at special times, like Christmas morning, during a snowfall, or when I can’t sleep at 3:00 a.m. It’s like this every day now, and I’m hearing far fewer police, fire, and ambulance sirens. It’s almost as if the world has grown calmer, although I’m well aware that there’s plenty of angst happening out there.

I also know that self-isolation is perhaps easier for me than others because I’m an introvert and a writer. On some levels, self-isolation has always been part of life. But I do understand how difficult it can be. When I was a stay-at home mom with young kids, without a car and living on a hilly street, and my husband was putting in ten hour days at work accompanied by a 3-hour commute, I desperately wanted to go out and do something, or run a much-needed errand. Transit was terrible back then and on chilly, rainy days it just wasn’t feasible.

Still, there are things I also miss right now, like chatting with my friend while working out and visiting my daughter (who’s in her 22nd week of pregnancy), and hosting families dinners. I miss all the book launches and other writing events that have been cancelled.

But we’ll get through this and will re-emerge, and be more appreciative of what we have than what we’ve lost. There’s plenty to look forward to in 2020, and every day is one step closer to getting back on track with a new awareness and valuable lessons learned from this experience.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

8 thoughts on “Six Positives To Self-Isolating”

  1. I haven’t worked from home often but sometimes if I was late on a paper I would stay home to write it quick and hand it in for the afternoon class. Amazingly those were some of my most inspired essays. What I remember was the dining room table was close to the kitchen and I would have tea while I worked or even soup in a mug. My grades might have been better in school if they had cupholders on the desk, just sayin.
    I hope your kettle is singing while you are working at home.

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  2. Self-isolating is like that episode on Twilight Zone where the bookworm wants nothing more than for people to go away and leave him alone to read. And then sitting alone at last in a library, he breaks his glasses…

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  3. I remember when I first moved my work home (my husband already there). Rather than isolated, I loved the peace and serenity of my house and neighborhood. No commutes–oh my. I wouldn’t be surprised if remote work doesn’t become more acceptable thanks to Coronavirus.

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    1. And I think working from home should become more common for many reasons. I was saying to my hubby last night that, despite everything, this has been a peaceful week for us. My hubby was never big on the idea of working from home, but even he is seeing an upside.


  4. It looks like you have it all worked out. I think many people are happy to forgo the commute and enjoy the quiet. Being retired, not too much as changed, but I do enjoy the people interaction. I’m sure we will all get through this and years later will be saying, “Remember when.”

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    1. I’ve been wondering about that, Darlene. Everyone will definitely remember the start of this new decade, and I’m looking forward to hearing, reading, and seeing all the stories that will come out of this experience. I do hope this experience will change some things in a good way…better hygiene habits, working from home, more volunteering, and just plain learning to adapt.

      Liked by 1 person

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