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THE BIZARRE WORLD OF ISOLATION by Charles M Phelan

The Bizarre World of Isolation

By Charles M Phelan

The experience of being on lockdown has been a steppingstone to much thinking and weird behavior. Some good; some bad. There is a myriad of things that goes through one’s mind. Solitude has its benefits, but if it is to remain in a healthy state, its duration must to be limited. Currently, there is no coming to an end (any time soon anyway) to this horrific moment of pandemic. The mind, then, insists in compromising the spirit and faith. But to resist is a matter of survival. An obligation that I owe to myself and to those around me.

Who was ready to have freedom swiped away in such a threatening manner? I wasn’t, that’s for sure. But as the old saying goes — it is best to be safe than sorry — I chose safety. Confinement has forced me to explore different parts of my house that I visited very little, and other parts that were completely unknown to me. I have actually spent, as boredom overcame my senses, time sitting in my Saint Bernard’s dog kennel, it is more like a dog run, more spacious and airy, and quite comfortable I shall report. Perhaps, unconsciously, I was looking for a foxhole in case things got worse. Weird, I know. At other times, I found myself laying flat on the ground, in the middle of my yard, contemplating the sun and the moon as evening neared. All of these things I’ve deemed the behavior of an insane man, but now my thoughts have changed slightly, thus, putting me to doubt if in fact I’ve become crazy, or if my current restricted world have opened opportunities to allow me a broader view of the little things seen as unimportant before. One thing is certain, I’ve developed an omnivorous state of curiosity… and that has touched even in the realms of faith.

I am a non-practicing catholic, but a man of prayer and faith nonetheless… well, faith has become a questionable thing these days. I find myself walking around the house with a book written by Christopher Hitchens titled, “The Portable Atheist”. I know, I know… one could think that these are the signs of a man going mad, but I can assure you that he, Hitchens, hasn’t convinced me to drop my faith in the existence of God, but as for a good quality reading, the book is great.

I also have pondered about dying from this evil virus. Terror is everywhere I look, read, hear or watch. Though I am in the safety of my home, danger appear to lurk just beyond my walls. The idea of a slow death, gasping for air, eyes protruding forward in despair, hands reaching out for help that will not come, seems like a fiction right out of Edgar Poe’s story. Isolation can drive you insane indeed. But these spurts of despair are short lived.

Lastly, I have also been able to derive something positive out of this chaos. A man can be a prisoner of sorts, a prisoner of his circumstances, like the allegory in The Myth of the Cave , by Plato, where reality is only a restricted experience to what one is accustomed to, but luckily, I have lived other realities before this isolation and, therefore, better days, as I see it, will not be too far into the future. I owe this optimism to myself and to those around me.

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