December 3, 2022

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

I had never thought that one day I would be under house arrest (Quarantine) for a week.  However, it did happen to me on 15th July 2021.  Even though my PCR test was negative I still had had to remain inside my house for a week.

It so happened that my wife was taking care of a year old baby boy at our home. On 14th July, his mother found that the boy had a fever. So first thing in the morning, she took him to the doctor, who checked him and told her that there was nothing serious. Since the mother had already taken leave from her workplace she did not bring the baby to our house that day.

However, around the midday, she had to go out for some urgent work, so she left the baby at our house. My wife as usual took care of him for about an hour, at which time the mother returned to  collect the baby. This time her husband was also with her. They both spent about half an hour at our home and had a cup of coffee and then they left with their child.

Everything was normal as I returned back from my office at around 7 pm.  At around 8pm my wife received a call from the mother of the baby that she, her son and husband all were tested positive a little earlier. She told my wife, that she had given our names to the Health Ministry, since she had visited our house that day.

So that was the start of the one week ordeal that started on 15th July.  It was already late, we went to the pandemic hospital, but they told us to come for the PCR tests the next morning. The PCR tests results were negative, but we were asked not to leave our house for a week.

Though I always like the idea of staying home and never liked the idea of going out to work, I had never ever thought that a week long compulsory holiday would mean total restrictions over my movements out of the house. The first problem was to inform my boss, since I usually bring the keys of the office home, so I was supposed to arrange for handing over the office keys to somebody to open the office the next morning. Obviously everyone was reluctant to come to my house and take the keys. Ultimately we arranged that I should put the keys on the outer wall of the house, wrapped in a plastic bag.  Of course I was also required to wear plastic gloves. While doing all this I really felt bad, since I never liked to be treated this way.

Luckily inside the house we did not have any shortage of eatables. However we put a table just outside of our house, where our son used to bring bread etc, for us and put there. Thus we were also not having any direct contact with our children. That was also something frustrating but there was no alternative.

Fortunately most part of the week of the quarantine period was already the bayram holidays, so I did not have to work online from home (something that I never like).  But it was really very frustrating not to be able to receive any guests at home, or visit others on the occasion of eid (Bayram). Telephone communication was the only option, but in our lives it was the first time that the two of us had spent the Bayram at home, just doing nothing.

Though earlier I had planned to do some painting during the bayram holidays,  there was a difference between holidays and quarantine at home. So though I tried to do some painting I could not do anything at all.   My wife wanted me to work a bit in our backyard small garden and although I did work there for most of the time, it was an unwilling job for me.

Killing the time was never a problem for me, since I am basically a lazy person, but on this occasion killing the time became a real problem to me. It was really difficult for me to stop myself from counting the days of quarantine remaining. I had started crossing the dates on the wall calendar. I had never thought that one day I would be so eager to go out, but I was.

Eating, lying on the bed, sleeping, that was all that I did during this 7 day long ordeal. Luckily I did not gain any weight, nor did my wife, but for sure I am still somewhat depressed. Our second test, after a week, was also negative, and today (28th July 2021) I went through the last PCR test, with a negative result.

My quarantine has ended and I am free again, but sometimes I think that although I was just inside the house, free to move from room to room, and go out to the backyard small area,  I found it really very difficult to pass through this period.  What would prisoners feel, locked in their cells, with no place to go. They must pass their days under enormous psychological pressure.  Simply I do not want to even think about that.

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