Day 11

Room 806

14 days in Hotel Quarantine

I returned to my home state of Western Australia during Covid times and had to serve the mandatory requirement for 14 days in quarantine in a hotel room. Having the freedom we are accustomed to removed for any period of time involuntarily is a daunting prospect to say the least. However, how we handle it is an individual thing.

This is my story about that time.

At first, contemplating the prospect of being locked in a room for 14 days, and it was absolute, no fresh air breaks, opening windows or balconies, I was more than a bit apprehensive about how I might cope and my anxiety levels were getting fairly high at the thought. However, as the time came closer to coming home I consciously decided I needed to ‘suck it up’ and switched my mindset into positive mode and started to think about how to make it the best I could under the circumstances. You know the old adage, ‘focus on what you can change, not what you can’t’. Once I flicked the mental switch, I made a plan to maximise the special ‘me’ time. In addition to staying on top of my work, exercise to keep the quarantine lardiness and laziness at bay, catching up on photo cataloging, photo editing, and perhaps a photobook or two were on the list to make this time productive and full.

But… then this happened…. it was not part of that plan, but it was far better. When I looked out my window for the first time on the morning of day 1, concidentally being July 1, making it super easy to count, seeing that big red graphical design on the side of a building changed it up. It was a bit ‘WoW!’ I can do something with this. The more I looked the more I saw over that first breakfast coffee, brewed with my hand carried mini coffee machine I may add (best decision ever). It didn’t take long for me to make a personal commitment to myself to take an image a day from only what I saw through my window. My only rule was that every element of each photo had to be taken on the day. Game on…

Some days I got something early, some days I was able to put a preconceived idea together, other days I did not get anything until late in the day. There were some days, I got more than I could have wished for, other days I struggled for anything, but it kept me engaged and stimulated either way and it was totally liberating.

Liberating? Yes, even though I was locked in a hotel room with no opening windows, no access to fresh air or any physical human contact (except for the staff administering nose swabs) for 14 days, I found liberation. As a passionate amateur photographer, who aspires to be less amateur, I am often looking to comply with general public expectations, or play by the rules, or meet a certain criteria with my images, all of which is focused on what someone else will think of my photos. This project was so different, this was for me. I did whatever I wanted, no opinions, no expectations, just me and my vision and imaginings on the day. No rules but my own. That… is liberating. I think this experience will change how I approach my photography from this point forward.

In the end, it was not so bad, it is done and I am home. I did not waste my 14 days in room 806 at all, in fact I ran out of time to do a lot of stuff I planned to. Between my photo project , work, which didn’t go away, and exercising (I ran more than a marathon during my room time too), it flew by, but I’m so glad its over and I’m home safe and sound and I found a new freedom in enjoying my favourite past-time.

You can see the images from room 806 in my Featured album in Gallery.