Splendid isolation in Bangkok

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I’m putting tinfoil up on the windows
Lying down in the dark to dream
I don’t want to see their faces
I don’t want to hear them scream

Splendid isolation
I don’t need no-one
Splendid isolation
– Warren Zevon, Splendid Isolation

The vast Bangkok skyline outside my window is fast being enveloped in an almost ghostly cloak of dusk. All around, the lights are beginning to twinkle and this city of ceaseless urgency is ready to burst into nocturnal life.

The COVID blues matched by the COVID reds

It’s a beautifully atmospheric cityscape, though my 22nd floor view is as close as I will get to all that bustling life for a while, as I continue to wait out my COVID isolation period, six days on from first testing positive.

With the dual red bars on the testing kit shining every bit as brightly as any of the neon signs around my Interim Bureau in Bangkok’s Watthana District, I don’t expect to be joining the hubbub below anytime soon.

My final trip of the year is turning out to be an unexpectedly drawn-out affair. By now, post my planned trip to Dubai, Bahrain, London and Wales, I should by rights be heading home to Hong Kong. Alas, legs three and four of the trip have had to be abandoned in favour of battling COVID and mulling the Bangkok skyline.

While frustrated about the situation, I count myself fortunate in having kind friends who have loaned me their apartment in which to isolate, much better than the loneliness of a hotel room when one is under the weather and far from home.

COVID is every bit as nasty as I had feared but at least despite my compromised immunity I have weathered the storm. It pretty much wiped me out for around five days though: the creator of ‘the website that never sleeps’ doing pretty much nothing other than sleep.

As a result, the workload, like the COVID load, remains heavy, and it’s time to start, somewhat wearily, putting a dent into it. Health.com informs me that for the most part, people will test positive for COVID-19 on an antigen or rapid test for up to about ten days, so I reckon it will be a few more days in my Interim Lockdown Bureau yet. Then, of course, there is the issue of the PCR test on arrival at Hong Kong International Airport.

Worrying about that can wait. For now I am comfortable enough in my splendid isolation and in my room with a view.

Was it fate that I brought this cap from the early days of the pandemic along with me on this trip?