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 the prelude here. Read part one here.)


I woke up at 5am. I thought I’d walk some dogs and get into writing. Instead, it was dark. I could see the stars but couldn’t see the ground – it was the opposite in London.

I planted a frangipani and watered it in. When it became light, I was amazed that the plant was so vertical. I have a previously undiscovered talent for darkness gardening.

I watered the lawn. I poop scooped, and also stepped in poop twice. I moved rubbish to the rubbish pile.

I edited a chapter of a novel.

I had decided overnight that I would publish this diary. I wondered if the police would come for me because I hugged my father and husband.

When there was enough light to see shadows, I walked the dogs around our 7 acres. It was nice. The dogs were good. I wish I had time to do that every day.

I put on a load of washing.

Four more novel chapters edited before 9am.

I had a banana (so many bananas) for breakfast but I want something else. I’d like to have toast or even pasta, but we don’t have bread and pasta won’t go off and I should be eating perishable food first, surely. When hubby got up, he wanted hash browns, so we did go into our frozen food after all.

I read my emails. My union sent a generic email – they think I should write a letter to my employer asking about emergency leave instead of unpaid leave. I’m conflicted between causing a fuss and the value of my missed wages. I have time to write a letter, but I stalled and instead emailed the union back.

I edited the first blog post for my coronavirus series. I feel uneasy, like I’m confessing to too many crimes. But it’s probably important. Marginally important. Probably not important. Just a voice in a crowd. Insignificant. Forgettable.

I edited another chapter.

I consulted my husband about the first blog post in this series. Was it interesting? Did it say too much or too little? We fixed the wording in a paragraph so I didn’t seem so much an outlaw.

My husband and I played ‘Terraforming Mars’. I won. It occupied some hours.

A game of Terraforming Mars.
A game of Terraforming Mars.

I pooped scoop again. (There’s a lot of dogs and a lot of poop here.)

I planted a fig tree. I watered more lawn.

I trained a dog. The dog did really well and I basically the behaviour is complete. I thought it would take more time and so now I need to come up with new training plans for the next 12 days.

I edited another chapter.

I gymmed with hubby. How grateful am I that we have a home gym.

I fed the dogs and cleaned the kennels. The radio talked about how eerie it was to watch football without spectators. Even with coronavirus, the news finds a way to talk about sport. The radio talked about the weather, but I wondered why anyone cares about the weather when you’re just going to be home anyway. Later, I watched the news on TV.

I don’t normally engage with the news, but I am these days. I keep waiting for an article about me, because this is profound. I am on house arrest with no conviction. I am on leave without pay involuntarily. I am one of many living like this and it is bizarrely normalised.

I got bitten by mosquitos. There are more bugs here than in England.

There’s a print online of a border terrier in a bathtub and I want to buy it. Can I afford such luxuries? The website crashed and so I didn’t have to decide today.

My husband made dinner – carrot and potatoes. We ate on the front porch, watching the sunset across the paddock. I said, “This is what ‘going out’ is now.” We resolved we’d go out for a restaurant meal at the end of the self-isolation stage – if anything is open.

I found a recipe that I was interested in making, but it was new, and what if it didn’t work and I wasted ingredients? 

I dawdled going to bed. I posted on Facebook for beta readers as I’ve almost finished the edits of this novel now. I read an article on the fire at Mogo Zoo. The fires seem so long ago when so much has happened since.  I ended up going to bed quite late, and I worried if it was too late, and then there’s no measure for too late now as time has ceased to have meaning. In bed, I got a BookBub email and said, “Oh, is it a weekend tomorrow?” and my husband and I didn’t know. 

I worry that there’s not enough to say about being isolated for 14 days. Perhaps that’s the point.