The self-isolation blues – #separationanxiety

Today is my 6th day of voluntary self-isolation. I am not sick, have no symptoms of any kind and to my knowledge, I have not been exposed to Covid-19. I’m staying home because it seems like the right thing to do, and because as a person of relative privilege, I can.

Technically I am in the high-risk category due to being over 65 (just barely). Importantly, I have a history of respiratory issues. My birth father, who was a heavy smoker, died from complications relating to emphysema before he reached the age of 60. Every few years I contract chronic bronchitis, walking pneumonia or other similar type lung ailments.

Further complicating my situation and decision-making is the fact that my wife Claudette works in Lihue as a customer services agent for United Airlines. She is in contact daily with hundreds of travelers from throughout the world traveling to and from Kauai.

So while I am a high-risk potential victim of Covid-19, Claudette is a high-risk potential transmitter.

No, my self-isolation does not include staying away from my wife. However, because of the dual high-risk nature of our situation, it makes sense for me to stay home.

I made a trip to the bank yesterday stopping briefly at the 7-11 to buy a small container of half and half, consciously practicing appropriate social distancing the entire time. Beyond that I’ve remained at home, on the computer mostly, catching up on correspondence while compulsively watching the news and monitoring social media.

I am missing my 3-year-old grandson Rixon, terribly. He lives only a short distance away but I am torn as to whether the “social distancing” thing and the “dual high risk” situation mean that the responsible thing for me to do is also stay away from him, my son Dylan and daughter-in-law Leeona.

My daughter Kelli-Rose, her husband Justin and granddaughter Isabella, are presently in Japan where they await transfer to New Jersey. That separation is unavoidable and so easier to accept. But consciously choosing not to visit and hug little Rixon, is a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended).

A few days ago, my self-isolation resolve was at its breaking point and I made a decision to drive to Koloa for a visit, and yes, a likely hug. But the rains descended upon our island and driving through the storm did not make sense.

The question still plagues me though (still yet another unintended pun). Is the fear, the reality, and the risk actually so significant that I must stay away from those I love? gh

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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3 Responses to The self-isolation blues – #separationanxiety

  1. Steve Paselk says:

    Many of us began social isolation with essential shopping only and social distancing recently as a precaution and to slow the spread. With round trip mainland travel specials between $99 and $200
    it occurred to me that our efforts could be wasted if un-symptomatic exposed visitors could continually
    reset the exposure process to the virus and where was the State leadership to prevent the spread
    and reduce it to zero? Today the Governor asked for an apparently voluntary travel postponement for 30 days which is a cautious but mild first step. What is needed is a non essential travel moratorium until
    two weeks after last detected case is discovered in Hawaii and then begin to allow and welcome
    new visitors only after they are screened and have passed a virus test. The most successful countries to deal with and slow the spread have all closed the border and instituted quarantines
    for any returning or new visitors. All of us in Hawaii are taking an increasingly economic hit and
    necessary businesses an increased exposure risk for employees. The sooner we can curtail
    current and prevent exposure to new cases the sooner we can proclaim a virus free state and
    welcome a safe return of visitors and begin a recovery of our economy.-Steve Paselk


    Aloha Gary,
    We were in California for a month, visiting family, when the seriousness of the virus became apparent. We decided to fly home as I had a feeling that domestic flights between states could be stopped at any time. It was the hardest thing to do, to talk to my adult son from six feet away and not be able to hug him goodbye. But through an abundance of caution, he did not want to chance infecting me “just in case” as I too have a compromised lung issue and am in the “over 60” age group which is the most vulnerable.
    You must stay away from your grandson! He may infect you or even worse, you may infect him. If that ever happened, you would never forgive yourself! Try Skype or FaceTime so you can see each other while talking to each other. We are now self-quarantining for two weeks; so far I feel fine.
    By the way, the plane was only a quarter full flying from San Jose to Lihue and we all sat far apart. However, all of the people I spoke with in the airport before we left were coming to Kauai on vacation. None of them lived here except us two. I felt that was very selfish on their parts and I hope the governor puts a complete halt to anyone flying into Hawaii for vacation. Unless folks live here or are coming to care for relatives here, they should stay away from Hawaii and practice social distancing.
    Because we live on an island and have very few hospital beds, none of us Islanders should be put in the position of giving up a hospital bed or ventilator to someone from another country or the mainland because they selfishly wanted to take a vacation trip. There was no health check on us when we arrived in Lihue nor did we even receive a health questionnaire. I think that is a terrible mistake. I’m not saying that our border should be closed completely, but I do think it should be considerably tightened for non-essential travel and that health checks should be mandatory for everyone.
    Keep well, stay six feet away from everyone except those who live in the same household, and keep washing hands and sanitizing surfaces. We will live to fight Injustice another day!

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