The Mystery Woman in Room 404

Day Seven!  Halfway through my quarantine!

In some ways it hasn’t been been that different from the restrictive life I was already living in San Diego.  After all, on a typical day I did not go out, and I passed the time in much the same manner I do here.  Still, it does feel different in some significant ways.

In San Diego I was inside as a means of staying well. Here the presumption seems to be that I am  one step ahead of my first symptoms.  The staff here at the hotel has been really nice about checking in on me, but the way we interact is based on the premise that I absolutely must not come out of my room for any reason whatsoever because I might be poisonous. 

When I was home and while en route to Canada I used to remind myself that there is no danger at all in interacting with anyone who is not infected. Since most people aren’t carrying the virus, exercising reasonable caution has kept me safe to this point.  Still, I think we all tend to see everyone as walking clouds of virus, like the Peanuts character Pig Pen, who shed dirt in little squiggles and dots everywhere  he went.


I feel a bit like the stereotypical spy. When I open the door in the hotel to put out my garbage (housekeeping will not come in, so I call the desk to send someone to get it) I stare up and down the hall to see if it is safe. I debated going down late at night to check on my car but haven’t done it yet.  Maybe a load of stealth laundry late at night?  Probably not.

This is very different from life in San Diego, where the decisions around going out were always mine to make. I could go out, but I almost always chose not to.  Here I had better not cross the threshold  because the Canadian government has made very clear how much potential ruin they are prepared to inflict upon my plans for my life if I do.  And I promised Canada I wouldn’t.  I want to get off to the best possible start here, and this is how to do it.

It is is a weird juxtaposition between this healthy person in room 404 and the apparent perception that there is a grave risk posed by my being here.   I exist only as a potential miasma swirling out from under the door. And here I am inside, listening to music, reading, researching things to do on Vancouver Island, fixing meals, doing sit-ups and stretches, having a glass of  wine or a cup of tea, writing this blog.  Not so much as a sniffle and yet a threat still does lurk..

I left home on August 1, and since it is now August 14, I think we can safely assume I did not bring Covid with me.  Every day I stay symptom free I can tick off another place on the road where I did not get infected.  By the time I get to the end,  only that cute border crossing guard who might have breathed on me through his mask could have given it to me, and he would have gotten it from another Canadian.

But no matter.  Canada is right to exact this price on anyone who wants to walk freely here.  I’m fine.  Eager to get out, but way more than okay. I’m doin’ it, and that’s all I have to say.