If, like us, you’re currently steeped in long days of homebound self-isolation, take a look around your dwelling and observe a moment of gratitude. The more topsy-turvy the world outside becomes, the more we can see the importance of a stable place to live, and that housing and health are often the same thing.

David Byrne Reasons to be Cheerful March 2020

You know what happens when couples are confined to their home don’t you?

The blog rate goes up.

Lest the image of two people enjoying an idyll in the country mislead you, my partner Cynthia and I have been isolated from each other in our respective homes since March 22.

Cynthia has been ahead of the curve since the earliest news of the outbreak and on the Sunday morning (March 22) she sat me down with a quick pencil diagram (below) showing how the two of us, her two daughters, their boyfriends and their boyfriends’ families were a social network (including seven socially active young people) without barriers to internal transmission of the virus.

There were fourteen people including the girls’ father in our network, each of us, prior to the shutdown radiating social connections into our communities of friends and coworkers.

For Cynthia there was only one course of action: the girls would have to isolate themselves from their boyfriends, and for her to have the moral authority to insist they comply, she would have to do the same.

Cynthia’s daughters rose to the occasion.

This little scenario explains the explosive potential growth of the virus when it takes only a single member to infect an entire network. It is why I have had to bite my tongue when I have heard hopeful parents refer to a possible resumption of school in May; why any suggestion of large congregations of people any time soon is insanity.

I don’t know when Cynthia and I will resume relations. Cynthia’s older daughter is scheduled to move into an apartment mid-April when she will face a hard choice between close contact with her boyfriend and her customary interaction with her family.