Last November, I caught the covid and spent 10 days in my room, with meals sent up from the kitchen downstairs via two small waiters. I admit that I rather enjoyed it (aside from the horrible and debilitating illness aspect, of course). I’ve asked to rebook for this year, but they won’t let me – and now that it’s Mr RLC’s turn to isolate, I’m beginning to see why.

Bedgear

After his positive test at the weekend, we all decided that isolation was needed, especially remembering how unpleasant the virus was for me before. So he was bundled into the bedroom, and I hastily extracted my necessaries, and decamped to the spare room. Here’s my first tip – if you’re particularly fond of your personal pillow, remember to take it out with you alongside the toothbrush and shampoo, or you’ll spend the rest of the week lying on your thin and disappointing spare room backups. I’m rethinking the provision I make for visitors, that’s for sure!

Staff Training

I do much of the food prep on a normal day – it just works best for us that way – but I often have a commis chef beside me in the form of Mr RLC, chopping up veg and fruit, organising drinks, chivvying the boys up and clearing the dishes. That is a lot of time-consuming activity that I now need to build into the overall meal undertaking, as well as getting his food upstairs to him, so there’s tip two – train up a replacement before you lose your kitchen help, or it will take you twice as long to get anything done. (And let me just say, the cover photo here does not actually resemble the tray service he’s been receiving. Far from it.)

Mask-ready

So meals are prepped and provided in much the usual way, but remembering where I last put my mask before taking it into him has been a challenge. I noticed on Day 2 that Master RLC 1 was putting his mask to one side of the bedroom door when he’d finished with it, so he could find it easily again when he next needed it. I decided to follow suit and leave mine hanging off the door handle, so that’s tip three (as soon as I’d actually found it again).

Do Disturb

There’s little contact in person, obviously, but we do text each other a lot. Unfortunately I forgot that I have Do Not Disturb set up on my phone on each night, so had no idea he’d been messaging me from 10pm onwards the first evening. Sorry, darling – you’re not really out of sight, out of mind! Tip four: make sure you can actually communicate in case there’s an actual problem!

Be Kinder

As we move towards the end of his isolation, it feels like this has been one of the longest weeks ever – especially because he was away from home anyway on an emergency trip before all this happened, and not just because the increased mental load is lasting longer than I’d expected. There’s been something else I hadn’t accounted for: the shadowy, lurking, relentless worry that his illnes could take a serious turn, as it has for others we know.  And until he really seemed on the mend, it sapped a lot more of my resilience than I realised. So my final tip is this: be kind to yourself, relax the kids’ rules a little, and be patient. This too shall pass. And eat biscuits when you fancy them.

I’ve learned a lot about how well I thought I would cope in such a crisis – not quite as serenely as I’d imagined – but I’ve also learned to be OK with that. I’ve also finally understood what Mr RLC took on last November, much of it completely unfamiliar to him – and it’s left me even more grateful, and even more admiring of him than I was before.

Fingers crossed for negative testing now…and that all these precautions have kept the rest of us clear!

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