The Isolation Diaries of a Twenty-Three Year Old in Manchester

So, I decided to keep a track of my time in isolation/social distancing. 

In such a perilous and uncertain time, it is easy to get caught up in the negative energy pulsating all around us. But I don't want to do that. I refuse to let myself get dragged into the cesspit of doom and gloom. 

I'm not trying to make myself out to be some sort of messiah, but I do enjoy writing and find journalling incredibly therapeutic, so why not share my thoughts and ponderings online for the whole world to see ay? Got nothing better to do now after all ;)

So anyway, here's week 1



20th March 2020     20:24pm

First day of Isolation today. I read for the first half of it; Orwell On Freedom. It’s bloody brilliant and I’m loving it so far!

There is so much that is still so relevant to the way the world works now, despite being written around the early 1900s, which makes me think that this must just be the way it has to be. We could not survive as a society without the injustices and the foul play. Marx was wrong, socialism can never work. But that doesn’t mean we should still not live our lives as our highest frequency, as our most honest and empathetic selves. Treating others as we would like to be treated, no matter the consequences.


One of the reasons why I decided that now was the time to read it was that I felt that, having read 1984, this would most likely have some advice still applicable to our current times of crisis, and thankfully I was right.


I have also been inspired to write down my isolation diaries. Although I was an avid journal-writer anyway, I thought it would be interesting to look back on a more comprehensive record of the COVID-19 pandemic. During such times of uncertainty and doom, keeping a track of my thoughts, feelings and ‘adventures’ will be quite grounding, and will allow me to assess and reflect on the current events and, in turn, process things more clearly.

It feels rather Anne Frank-esque (note to self: add the Diary of a Young Girl to reading list), except what I am hiding from has a far less chance of killing me.


Anyway, let’s set the scene. I am a twenty three year old caucasian female living in Central Manchester, UK with my boyfriend, Ross. We live in a sweet old flat overlooking a fountain from the back, and Manchesters oldest pub from the front. The building is old, a converted cotton mill built in 1874, and immaculately kept by the groundskeeper Barry and the cleaner, Edwina (I know).

I recently became a small business owner, something that had been in the works for a couple of years before I finally opened my own shop in the Northern Quarter’s iconic building, Afflecks Palace. We got off to a great start, opening February 1st 2020, and I thought, this is it! I’ve made it. I am exactly where I have always wanted to be in my life. All the hard work has paid off!


And then the Coronavirus outbreak hit, and the government started advising people not to leave their homes unless for an absolute necessity. And people listened.

Gradually my daily takings got worse and worse in the shop, and I got to the point where I couldn’t afford to pay my shops rent and considered shutting down until this whole thing blew over and starting over from scratch.

Luckily it didn’t get to that for me, as the building owners decided to close Afflecks until further notice, giving us a period of 6 weeks rent free. But if it weren’t for that I would have been well and truly fucked.

So now, here I am. Isolated at home, brainstorming ideas to keep my business alive and ticking, but also using this time to focus on myself. How many other opportunities are we going to have to have next to no responsibilities for the foreseeable future? Amongst the worry I have been so excited to just have this time for myself. Hell yes I’m gonna work out because I feel like it, not because I feel I have to. Hell yes I’m gonna read all those books that have been piling up on my book list. Hell yes I’m gonna do a (much needed) deep spring clean of the flat and give it some TLC.


I finally have this chance to explore my creativity and make make make! I can paint and collage and sketch, or even just spit on a piece of tree bark and call it art because that’s art to me baby!


I can also use this as an opportunity to get even closer to my beloved boyfriend. Sure, we can’t see our friends, but at least we have each other. There is no-one I would rather quarantine with but him.


So really, I’ve got this world catastrophe pretty good. Sure there are downsides, but I absolutely have everything I need, and that’s all anyone could ever ask for really. I am aware of my privilege, but I’ll be damned if I am not grateful for it every single second of every single day.


So how did my first day in isolation go? Quite pleasantly. Ross and I had a Prosecco, bread and hummus picnic out by the fountain, then came home and watched bakeoff. A woman on an ad for a cancer charity died and left behind a grieving wife, at which we both got all emotional and made each other promise not to get cancer. Will we even need to worry about getting cancer in the future? Or will that seem like a walk in the park compared to what the future holds for us?

Who knows. We will just have to wait to find out.


Saturday 21st March   

I am actually writing this in retrospect as today is the 22nd March, but I forgot to write an entry yesterday, but it was quite an important day.

As of today all non-essential shops, bars and eateries are closed. Public transport is running at a reduced rate (read: non-existent). The streets and roads are eerily empty. It’s hard to imagine them how they were just weeks ago. Hoards of people, commuters, students and tourists in a constant stream up and down Oxford Road at all hours, only to taper off as the sun went down. A steady flow of buses, taxis, cyclists and cars once inhabited the road - now but a memory.


The sun is shining, the streets empty, and the wind low. Perfect climate for a run, I’d say. God, it must be the apocalypse if I’m going for a run. And to enjoy it too? What the fuck is going on???

And it felt good. The wind in my hair, spring in my step, keeping a steady pace, my lungs simultaneously collapsing and ablaze. Fuck, this feels awful. But at the same time, so so good.


So good, in fact, when I get home I then got straight to the weights, little arm exercise here, ab workout there. I am on fire! Buuuut, like all good things, this must come to an end, and I move on to my next activity.


Since before I can remember I have wanted to try my hand at collage, and, after gathering all the materials I thought I would need before hand, I now have everything I need to get my collage on.

I make two pieces; a photo of a group of satanic sex party-goers sitting in a circle, placed inside a microscopic photo of ovaries, and a photo of a cowboy stood atop a horse taking a selfie, only the man and his horse are towering over a British city like giants.


After that me and Ross decided to watch 28 Days Later, to give us tips (?) on the potential upcoming apocalypse. It definitely scared some shades of shit out of me, but also reminded me to 1. Stay positive and pray that shit doesn't happen in real life and 2. If something similar to that does happen IRL, don’t trust the army. They are bastards.


So that pretty much sums up day 2 of isolation.

With regards to feeling cooped up at home, I’m not really too averse to that anyway. It is, however, hard not seeing my friends, who have been having a big blow out all week pretty much. FOMO is a bitch.




Sunday 22nd March 2020 13:36pm

Right, that’s my journal catch up completed. Now we in real time baby.


I spent this morning in bed, enjoying my first proper lie in thoroughly. It’s also where I decided to keep up with these diary entries as I think they could be important in the future when I look back on this from the other side. I wonder what kind of place the Earth will be then? What kind of society will we be living in? What kind of person will I be?

Only time will tell, but I think that as long as I do things I feel good and just and right, then the future will hold positive things for me.


Since some time last year, astrologers have been warning us of perilous times ahead. What they didn’t know, was exactly what it would be. But they knew something was coming.


Stumbling out of a Pisces mercury retrograde (which actually wasn’t too intense), we were then hit pretty much immediately with Saturn moving into Aquarius. According to my app, astromatrix,

'Saturn has been identified as one of the major influences in the current global COVID-19 pandemic. This was due to the Saturn conjunct Pluto transit that occurred on January 12th around the time when the news out of China first broke out.’


With Saturn in this position we will need to completely overturn our current dynamics to support each other in times of crisis.’


April 4th will see a rise in new outbreak cases, according to the app, as Jupiter goes conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and on July 1st Saturn will go retrograde back into Capricorn, leading to the pandemic hopefully being over, and the focus then turning to the economic situation of the world.


Saturn then turns direct again in the sign of Capricorn on the 29th September, and will be within 3 degrees of Pluto. So this could indicate a second wave of infections, this one being more disastrous than the first, but this is unlikely.


December 21st - for the first time since 1760, Saturn will conjunct Jupiter at 1 degree Aquarius.

This new air cycle will bring disruption to established orders and dramatic changes in world perspective, how we communicate and change the way we relate to each other as individuals versus the collective.’


So according to astrology, this shit bout to get real. Like really real.



McShut :(

McShut :(


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