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Being a Bubble of One

Making peace with what I can and cannot control

By Kate McDevittPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Being a Bubble of One
Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

I’m just 1 person in my own bubble during this pandemic. It’s been strange going ten months without quality human contact (no offense to my dentist, dental hygienist, and the radiologist who administered my mammogram, but that isn’t the sort of physical contact I’m craving). It’s been rough living in the same zip code as my parents but being unable to hug them or see them without the windows of my car in-between us. It’s also been difficult learning how to repair my toilets so I don’t have to have a plumber enter my home.

However, there are some definite benefits to being a bubble of one. With my house to myself, I don’t have to compete with anyone for bandwidth when I’m Zooming, attending online classes, or binging shows. I can dance around, singing and being silly to fight off anxiety without anybody judging me. My go-to dance song during the pandemic has been “I Will Never Let You Down” by Rita Ora. Grocery shopping for one means that I can carry and fill up tote bags; I haven’t touched a shopping cart or basket at the grocery store since before the pandemic. As it’s only me using resources, I can accurately keep track of my supplies of food, soap, and toilet paper.

Face masks drying on a rack

The biggest benefit I’ve found, however, has to do with my safety and peace of mind at home. Because it’s just me going in and out of my house, I have complete awareness of any possible contamination. I know the doorknobs, light switches, and faucets I’ve touched (that need to be wiped down). I know the mail, packages, and bags of purchases that enter my home (and go straight into a holding area to sit for a few days). I know what masks are freshly laundered and what shoes I last wore outside. I don’t have to worry about the person who interacted with another person who interacted with another person who came into contact with someone living with me, because it’s just me in this bubble of one. I don’t have to worry about someone walking in on me in my laundry room as I’m changing clothes and dropping them and my mask directly into the washing machine, because there’s nobody in my house but me. I’m responsible for my own health and safety, and by staying in my bubble of one I’m also protecting my parents and the friends I care for.

One more bonus is that there’s no one’s here to laugh at my extreme safety measures. At the beginning of all of this, a friend told me that if I thought I was being too paranoid, I was probably doing it right. I remind myself of that often as I wipe my groceries before putting them in the fridge or freezer, a step most people I know abandoned long ago or never adopted. The serenity prayer has been running through my head since all of this began (possibly also because one of the fictional characters I’m writing happens to be in AA):

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

The pandemic on its grand scale makes me heartsick and anxious, but it is largely out of my control. I can only control my actions/reactions and my own space. I can create a bubble of one at home that is as safe as I care to make it. That has been a comfort to me during these times. But I do look forward to the day when my bubble is no longer necessary and I can hug the people I love once again.


About the Creator

Kate McDevitt

Just like the creations I build out of LEGO bricks or the stories I create on the page, I am constantly working on building a life and figuring out how to adult. I'm Just 1 Person Blog: http://imjust1person.com

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