Living your life in quarantine
As Betty Doyling puts it, she's “adjusting to the new normal”.
In her case, that means she's stuck at home with her family for the next two weeks.
The mandatory self-quarantine is the price of a quick trip to the UK to see her daughter Zavia perform in Cabaret at Warminster, the boarding school she entered in September.
The real clunker: the show was cancelled.
“She was doing a cabaret performance where they sing, she was going to play her violin and dance — it was a huge thing. So me and my sister-in-law Trina went up to see her on March 16.
“She had just kind of eased into [the new school], everything was balancing its way out. We were supposed to be up there for a week to see her [but then] I started noticing all the changes. People were saying, ‘Make sure you can get home. Make sure you can get home.'”
The production was cancelled on the morning of the day it was to run. The school then announced it would close on March 20.
Worried by the turn of events, Ms Doyling decided to stay in Warminster, located just two hours outside Gatwick, rather than head to London for a couple days as planned.
She also decided to move Zavia's March 27 flight to Bermuda forward, but couldn't do it online or over the phone because of the increased traffic. Her husband Steven ultimately drove to LF Wade International Airport and spoke with British Airways representatives there, so the 14-year-old could fly home with her mother and aunt last Friday, March 20.
“It was a moderately full flight. There was spare seating, but it was pretty full,” said Ms Doyling who thought she was prepared for what was to come. “I'd been watching press conferences and stuff like that and they handed out forms at the airport as well. People were also messaging me saying I needed to make sure I was in quarantine when I got here and, as time got closer to travelling, they made it mandatory self-quarantine.”
Spring is usually a busy period for Ms Doyling, a certified fitness trainer whose exercise columns regularly appear in The Royal Gazette.
“This is like the countdown to summer, so my classes are full; everything is booming right now. This is not the time that I want to stop working,” she said.
“It was a dramatic term of events. I went from working to not working to not seeing anyone. [On top of everything else] I'm extremely social. I jump up out of bed.
“At 5.30 every morning I'm out, I go to my classes at least two or three times a week, so it's hugely affected me. I've been upset every night and I try to get out of it, but I started feeling kind of anxious, feeling depressed because I'm not seeing people. It makes a huge difference.”
Her son Alex, a college student in Philadelphia, made it home before Bermuda shut its borders last Friday.
“He got in on Saturday, so he's in quarantine and now he's re-quarantining because we're here. My husband's in quarantine as well. We're all staying home together.”
The family has relied on friends for groceries and also deliveries from dropit.bm and ER Fisheries & Foods.
Yesterday, they celebrated Zavia turning 15; Monday was “a great day” for Ms Doyling as she started training clients online.
“We came back feeling absolutely fine. I feel fine, my daughter is fine, my son, he's OK and my husband is fine right now. But we still have ten days,” she said.
To keep from going crazy, the family is “just being inventive”.
“Of course, we have our social media,” she said. “I'm not stressing if Zavia's on it longer than I would normally intend for her to be on it. She also has online school stuff to do as well, so that's keeping her busy.