It was day one hundred and sixty four of Home Isolation and Mark Schwartz was unsettled. He kept asking himself, ‘’What kind of life am I leading?’’ He lived in a one bedroom apartment with his dog Mookie, and he knew every nook and cranny.
At the beginning of quarantine, Mark thought he could handle the isolation with no problem. He was glad his parents were safe and sound and at the family house in Thornhill. He had thought about moving back there with them, but he was in Ottawa and the weather had not been cooperative. The snow had been pounding down and the infectious disease specialists had said Covid-19 was not breaking down because the cold air kept the virus alive. It just hung in the air.
Mark worked for the Ministry of Inter-Governmental affairs, so theoretically he was still on the job. He had been in his position for three years and he still wasn’t sure what he did. The Ministry told him he was being paid during the pandemic, but he had to be available for consultations. So far there had been a bunch of boring webinars, and a couple of Zoom meetings, but when it came to actual work, it was things that required twenty minutes of his time. He had reviewed two documents and written one memo about lunch breaks being extended when they got back to the office.
It was while watching an episode of IZombie that Mark started thinking about his plight. He walked Mookie every morning along the Rideau Canal and he enjoyed the fresh, brisk air and the beauty. He wore a mask and gloves and he never stopped to talk, but there was something about being out when the sun was rising that made a person feel alive.
Next he started thinking about his day, he would get in touch with his parents and make sure they were okay. He would then check his Future League Sports situation. He would do a Zoom call with his friend and former roommate, Richie, and they would shoot the breeze. Richie was getting married and his fiancée was having a breakdown because they had booked a huge banquet hall in Toronto and she was having a hard time getting their deposit back.
Mark would make a big breakfast of a bagel, eggs, lox and cream cheese and then spend a few minutes talking with his Sister and Great Niece Hannah over What’s App. He would check his inbox from the office…