It is depressing and dreary. Summer is approaching its end. When the lockdown started in March, I had confidence that I’d be meeting friends in a restaurant at the end of May for a birthday celebration. We all know how that went – namely it didn’t. It seemed inconceivable that by September things wouldn’t have largely returned to normal. My holiday to Latvia and Lithuania in March was postponed to September. Both those countries are on Ireland’s ‘green-list’. This means that upon return into Ireland from either, a fortnight’s quarantine is not required. The upcoming trip was like a beacon of loveliness at the end of a half year of sacrifice. I had every intentions of traveling. Despite being at high risk if I caught the Covid thanks to the Type 1 Diabetes, I was going to fly. I live alone. I do not pose a risk to other people – it’s been months since I’ve had human touch other than via elbow.
Well last night I was researching my trip. Randomly I placed the phrase ‘quarantine in Latvia from Ireland.’ That was a mistake, as I was greeted with the news that in recent days Ireland has been taken off Latvia’s green-list. Meaning I’d have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the country. The trip was meant to last five days. Past tense now though. Let’s hope Ryanair cancel the flights as otherwise I’ll be a hundred euros out of pocket.
My misery over this cancelled trip is petty I know. My situation is sufficient. I have my health. I have kept my job, have been able to work from home, have been in receipt of full wages since the pandemic began. The anxiety about catching Covid-19 bubbles at a low-level but is never overwhelming. My condition is enviable I suppose.
I wanted to go on that trip though. It shimmered like a Baltic mirage on the Covid horizon. An emblem that the worst was over and that life was returning to normal. Instead now we wait for news on the latest restrictions.
My desire to travel is selfish – I am aware of this.
However I’ve never bought into the slogan that ‘We’re all in this together’. That’s always struck me as a useful slogan but a patent untruth. We weren’t in it together for the nursing home or Direct Provision residents. Or for the frontline healthcare or shop workers (a weekly clap on a Thursday struck me as the equivalent of slap in the face unless accompanied by a significant pay-rise). Or with those who live alone, without a garden – regardless of age – who have been navigating this very strange year on our own.
In the meantime I’d better not book a trip in Ireland to replace the Baltic trip yet (the word ‘staycation’ repulses me these days as much as the word ‘eatery’ or the expression ‘living my truth’). Better wait until closer to travel dates. We have no idea what’s coming.