Ten Days of Self-Isolation

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Ten Days of Self-Isolation

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The following is a reflection on my experience in COVID-19 testing and self-isolation, after returning to my home country Bahrain from Australia, where I am a student.

Upon arriving in Bahrain International Airport, travellers are taken aboard buses into a giant white tent-structure. Here, my temperature was taken. Then, I was escorted to one of the desks (mostly staffed by young volunteers) where I give my personal details, including where I intend to spend my 10 days of self-isolation (the Government of Bahrain had only recently reduced the requirement from 14 days).

After that, I had the COVID-19 PCR test taken (quick but unpleasant nose swab). The results are published via the “Be Aware” app within 24 hours. It was, thankfully, negative.

I was also given an electronic bracelet that acts as a tracker, to ensure that I am where I say I would be.

I am driven from the airport by my brother, it was decided that he would pick me up because he had recently caught the virus himself, and so, supposedly he would have developed some immunity.

Spending 10 days in one’s bedroom was as boring as one might expect. My main source of entertainment would be, as it turned out, Ancient Rome. I was still taking a university subject, which was moved online the week prior due to renewed restrictions in Melbourne after COVID-19 infections spiked in the State of Victoria. I did however have to get up at 3:00 in the morning to attend classes!

I did, moreover, end up gaining about 2 kilograms of weight in those 10 days.

The whole experience of travel and self-isolation in the age of COVID-19 is just one example of how simple aspects of our lives (travel, privacy, education, exercise, social life etc.) were changed so drastically by the pandemic. Everything would somehow be more complicated.

This reflection was submitted as part of the HIST30060 Making History project at the University of Melbourne.

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This item was submitted on November 8, 2020 by Yusuf Abdulwahab using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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