The World in Self-Quarantine All About Staying Busy, Engaged

Still room for binge-watching Star Trek, some say

An Italian ski vacation has led to a very solitary 18 days and a lot of “Star Trek”-binge watching says one South End resident who began to self-quarantine in the earliest stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Boston.

Mark Carrig said he went under self-quarantine March 1 after a disastrous Italian ski trip in February. He reported he has no symptoms, and is feeling fine – but is glad he took the precautionary step to protect his friends just in case.

“I’m semi-retired so I’m not relying on my work,” he said. “I’ve been in kitchen design 30 or 40 years, and I love it. I’m involved in four projects right now, and I’ve been working on those at home. I had a concussion so I wasn’t able to read, and I usually read a lot. Frankly, much of my self-quarantine time has been spent binge watching ‘Star Trek.’ I’ve been in self-quarantine for two weeks, and I’ve only been out a couple of times briefly. I decided it was a good idea when I heard about all of the concerns.”

Carrig is an experienced skier who took his annual trip to Italy for skiing in February with the Boston Ski and Sports Club – a group of about 70 from the Boston area. However, during the trip Carrig said he took a nasty fall that he doesn’t even remember. He woke up in an Italian emergency room with a horrible headache and doctors struggling to communicate with him. He spent five days there in February when the COVID-19 outbreak was beginning to spread heavily throughout Italy.

Through it all, he knew nothing about it.

“It was very difficult there because there weren’t any of the doctors that could communicate with me,” he said. “Only one doctor spoke any English. I didn’t know what was going on. I went for CAT scans, and I never really knew the results. I had no idea about anything at the hospital. I knew about the Coronavirus in China, but had no inkling about it in Italy. No one mentioned it there. When I came back, I realized it was quite an issue.”

After a trip to the hospital in Boston upon returning the last weekend in February, Carrig said he learned from doctors in Boston that a trip to the ER in Italy was a risky situation. He was advised to self-quarantine, monitor his symptoms and check back later.

He followed the advice.

“Fortunately I was well stocked, and having a concussion, I didn’t really want to go out,” he said. “I have some great friends who brought me over some fresh Irish Soda Bread that I was able to enjoy for St. Patrick’s weekend. That was really great.”

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