I was overseas with my mother from the 2nd of March 2020, to the 18th of March 2020. A lot happened with coronavirus in Australia during this time, and when we returned, we were legally required to enter self-isolation. This is my brief diary to document my experiences. (Read part one here.)


The Ride Home

When I left my parents’ home, my father hugged me. Less than 1.5m. A failure of social distancing.

I drove home. I didn’t wear a mask. I used the air-con while listening to “This Podcast Will Kill You”. The wind was wild, dust whirling from the dirt roads. It was homely.



When I pulled into the drive, the dog’s didn’t bark. It takes only two weeks for them to forget what my car engine sounds like. Or perhaps the wind was so loud that even they didn’t hear me. I was happy to be home, and not too sad about being kept there.

Inside our fences, the wind had blown boxes around and clothes off the line. In the kennel yard, the dirt was like a cloud above it. You could hear soil tick-tick-ticking against the fence as it swirled.

The sun prickled against my white skin as I busied myself – bringing in my bags, letting dogs out, walking down to the paddock’s corner to release the mice in the humane trap.

I methodically unpacked my bag – putting things away instead of in piles. I had time, afterall.

I ate a sweet potato and was grateful that my husband had bought some vegetables besides potatoes and carrots. I surveyed the whole kitchen and was pleased with the selection and volume. How rubbish it would be to come home to self-isolation without someone to shop for you!

I cleaned a knife with papertowel, and then realised that this was terribly wasteful and I should use cloth so I can wash and reuse. Papertowel is a limited resource these days.

I called my boss. I called my vet. I received a phone call – a noise that startled me after my phone had been silent for a fortnight.

I put on a load of washing.

It wasn’t even midday yet.

I trained a dog. I cleaned the kennels. I cut dog nails. I cleaned dog ears.


The News

While in the kennels, I listened to the radio.

They talked about how football crowds were cancelled. I wished I could play any of the sports I like (earthdog, tracking, dog showing, dancing with dogs), but they’ve been cancelled nationally. I used to say my utopian world was where people only got to play sports, not just watch them – it turns out it’s a dystopian.

Tasmania had imposed a self-isolation for those coming in from anywhere, including mainland Australia. Australia had joked about losing Tasmania for years, but it wasn’t funny anymore.

I learnt that the new travel restrictions were the first time in history. This is history.



I remembered there was a lot of ‘Married At First Sight’ that I had to catch up on. I watched as I attended to my overflowing email inbox.

I made a sign for our front gate and door, warning others to stay away.

My husband came home. He’s tired. It’s hard work preparing for the apocalypse when you work full time and manage 6 dogs. He’s looking forward to the break. We haven’t seen each other for 17 days and there was less than 1.5 metres between us.

He brought with him boardgames, loaned from a friend. We have three games to try to drive away the boredom, or the peace. I’m keen to play them, but hubby is too tired. Maybe tomorrow.



He admitted that he might have over-bought bananas. I said I would freeze them for smoothies. He said I could make banana bread. I said he could make banana bread.

A new approach to dinner: I thought about what would expire first, instead of what I wanted to eat the most. We can’t have any food wastage at a time like this. I was pleased to find everything I wanted in our stores (though less soy milk than I would’ve liked). There was leftover sauce and I saved it all, even though it was thin and unappetising. Later, I’ll use it in another meal and feel proud of my frugalness. 

I thought it would be nice to have dinner outside, on our porch, together like we were in a restaurant – but it was too dark too quick. I thought it’d be good to get the electrician back to do some jobs, but realised that we were in self isolation. And we are now poor.

Today was wasted, but am I jet lagged and allowed a day’s grace? We have decided to gym together each afternoon. I would like to write, and train dogs, and do a bunch of jobs around the house. I need a plan, but instead I’ll wake up tomorrow and risk another wasted day.