Monday, 25 October 2021
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

How a breakfast in Zagreb cost me ten days of isolation

Written by  Dec 05, 2020

Self-isolation day 9! Well by the time you read this I will be free, at least for now. No, I haven’t contracted Covid-19 but I have been in contact with someone who is positive, meaning ten days at home in lockdown.

And what has been the difference on being in ten days of self-isolation and the last nine months of my life, absolutely nothing!

I never go out without a mask (I don’t go out much anyway), I disinfect my hands and wash them as much as possible, I avoid all large groups, basically everything by the book. And then a trip to the capital.

As many of you know (and thanks for all the messages) our home zoo has expanded by one member, a new puppy. In fact, we adopted the puppy from a shelter in Zagreb, or to be more precise a small village on top of a rolling hill in the suburbs of Zagreb. It was an in/out mission. Arriving late on Saturday afternoon and immediately heading south on Sunday morning with a puppy on the back seat. All in all, we spent 16 hours in the frost-covered capital, but that was long enough to have a close encounter with Covid-19.

Almost ten months in Dubrovnik and Covid-19 clear, a few hours (of which the vast majority I was tucked up in bed) in Zagreb and boom!

“Do you have a headache or a lack of taste,” asked my wife after speaking to Zagreb a couple of days later. Red flags went flying up in the air! I hadn’t any of the symptoms but clearly she wasn’t asking the question without good reason.

We had taken extra care in Zagreb to avoid any contact, but had decided to have breakfast with some extended family. That breakfast was clearly a mistake.

If you thought Breakfast at Tiffanys was the most expensive breakfast in the world, think again, a quick breakfast in Zagreb costs much more. Waffles, coffee and Covid-19! Is that a continental breakfast? Not the best way to start the day.

Thankfully the family members in the capital and young and fit and are probably already free from the virus. And then came the false symptoms.

My mind was playing tricks on me. My throat seems a little sore. My head aches a little. My nose is running. Of course none of these were actually true, but the human mind is a powerful thing. “Have you lost your sense of smell?” my wife asked and immediately stuck a small bottle of lavender potpourri oil under my nose. She got her answer as my head jerked back and I screamed “No!”

We had in any case stocked up with all forms of medicine plus a full fridge, although our toilet roll situation could have been better. This was a lose/lose situation. We weren’t able to work (well I continued from my dining room table), we were stuck in self-isolation and at the end of it we could still contract the bloody virus. It wasn’t like we’d been infected and our bodies had built up antibodies.

And then came the fruit, piles and piles of fruit. Clearly Dubrovnik’s vaccine program is citrus fruit. “Ten days at home in self-isolation” wrote my wife on Facebook. That was enough for half of Župa (and beyond) to deliver tons of mandarins, lemons and oranges to our door. We had people leaving fruit on the balcony, so as not to break our quarantine rules. Loading us both up with vitamin C was the plan.

We made orange juice, mandarin cake, lemon juice, we ate them fresh and our home still looked like a Metkovic roadside stall. If we weren’t under house arrest, I would have set up a stand in front of Sub City.

The days passed, the symptoms didn’t materialise. Thankfully for the time being we were both Covid-19 free. As I said the ten-days at home weren’t that different from the past year, 2020 has for so many reasons been a year to flush down the toilet.

2021 must be better, I mean how could it possibly be worse? We’ve passed our first, and hopefully last, self-isolation, yet more time at home. For as Audrey Hepburn famously said in  Breakfast at Tiffany’s “No matter where you run, you end up running into yourself.”

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to  


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