Isolation stations: The ups and downs of being stuck at home whilst everyone else is free

In the words of a certain purple-lipped CBBC host, you’re trapped

When Britain entered its first national lockdown back in March, the thought of being stuck in the house for months with no summer plans to look forward to felt like the end of the world. But now, as the months steadily pass, the dreams of bathing on sunny beaches abroad and boogieing with your mates in muddy festival tents have slowly drifted away. Instead, we find ourselves becoming more accustomed to this new life of semi-freedom, assisted by sanitiser soaked hands and mask clad faces.

But when someone in your house tests positive for coronavirus, you find yourself thrown back into the exact same mindset of uncertainty felt back in March, only this time you’re not in sync with the rest of the country. Whilst your other friends are going out for fancy dinners, travelling to see friends around the country or simply sinking pints at the pub, you’re stuck inside once again. In the words of a certain purple-lipped CBBC host, you’re trapped.

Whether you’re feeling lonely at your lack of company or your housemates are simply pissing you off, read on for some relatable realisations discovered during self-isolation.

Ok, this isn’t so bad, I’ve done it for 100 days I can do it for 14 more

You start confidently – think of all the reading and all the assessment prep you can accomplish in 14 days. You convince yourself you’ll spend the time productively, pen and paper in hand, and get ahead for the term. 14 days is nothing really, the days will fly by and before you know it, you’ll be back at the pub with the days of isolation a distant memory.

Is this what FOMO feels like?

How you long for the days before social media, before your friends felt the need to post every. Single. Moment on their Snapchat and Instagram stories. How you wish for even the most mundane of everyday tasks: it’s the simple pleasures of pushing a trolley round Aldi or running errands in town that you miss the most. You find yourself scrolling endlessly through your camera roll and gazing in wonder out your window at the people walking past. Oh how they take their freedom for granted!


Like an overexcited puppy who hasn’t been for their daily exercise, you find yourself bouncing off the walls with energy trying to find a way to occupy yourself that doesn’t include watching yet another Netflix show. You can practically feel your muscles wasting away and you slouch yet another inch deeper into the sofa. Congratulations, you are now in the truest form of a couch potato.

Anyone for a takeaway?

With no uni and no social plans, you turn to food as a medium for providing your day with some vague routine. On day one this is exciting – you can meal plan, prep and execute all those recipes you’ve been drooling over on your Instagram explore page but by day four, the novelty has definitely worn off. By day seven, you’re practically begging your housemate to get a takeaway to save you adding more to the washing up pile that towers over you every time you walk in the kitchen. Two takeaways a day has become the norm, and we’re not upset about it.

Fuck you, covid

Seriously though, the pandemic has not been easy – like at all.  At least in the last quarantine it was summer and the infection rate for Brighton was low – you could spend you days tinny in hand soaking up the vitamin D from the garden sunshine. Now, the weather’s cold, it won’t stop raining, and the UK corona statistics are higher than before. Life could be better, to say the least.

So close yet so far

By day 12, you’ve finally become accustomed to your new life as a hermit, only for the calendar to inform you that you only have two days left in your solitary life.  The hours tick by slower than ever, but that first taste of freedom will be even sweeter as you have the knowledge that you’ve been clever and haven’t contributed to the growing infection rate. Isolation may have been boring, but it was definitely necessary – well done you.