Stories from isolation

Pakenham''s Andrew Gray has been in self-imposed isolation for a while now. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Jonathan McQuie

Across the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, people are isolating themselves inside their homes to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

22-year-old Pakenham resident Andrew Gray has been in self-imposed isolation since Wednesday 18 March.

Like many other Australians, all of his regular gatherings have been forced to shift online.

“Church is now meeting via the suddenly popular Zoom and my Dungeons and Dragons groups are meeting on Discord,” he said.

Due to their age, Mr Gray’s parents are at risk of suffering serious health impacts if they contract coronavirus, meaning that the entire family has undertaken additional hygiene measures inside the home.

“We’re washing our hands constantly in communal spaces and avoiding physical contact with each other. That’s very hard.”

Due to Lent, Mr Gray is fasting television and films, meaning he can’t even watch Netflix, however he’s attempted to find other ways to fill his time.

“I’m getting back into video gaming as a substitute, and I’m teaching myself guitar. Now that I’m spending so much more time at home I’ve been keeping things a lot tidier too, so that’s a plus,” he explained.

“The whole thing is a massive adjustment; the whiplash of being almost too busy to now sitting around the house all day is maddening.”

However, despite the significant inconveniences which isolation has imposed, Mr Gray believes that it’s entirely necessary.

“My brother is a nurse, he’s on the frontline and busy as anything. And my parents are significantly at risk,” he said.

“Anything I can do to make them safer is the right thing to do. Not to mention my duty to the wider community as well.”


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