Joanna Baxter

I’ve always been a people person and my net of friendships is spread wide. The rules around Covid safety protocol have forced me to re-evaluate the extent of my social life. As someone who thrives on social interactions, the mandate of social-distancing is like turning the philosophical game of “Desert Island” into a real-time game of true consequence.

I love playing Desert Island as a child. The premise imposes harsh restrictions on material possessions and demands real introspection. “Which single toy would you bring? What one book would sustain you? What type of food could you never tire of?” The game was revelatory, the answers often surprising, even to ourselves. In hindsight, “Desert Island” was an early lesson of self-awareness.

Covid-19 has marooned us on islands of sorts. Our respective islands are called “Bubbles”, and they are different for everyone. I’ve named mine, “Extrovert Island”. My island is well-provisioned with Zoom and Spotify. I share my island with tight family units and we are fortunate in the ease of keeping our bubble contained.

I thought Island-living would feel more like a punishment for an extrovert like me. But I’ve found that having to choose co-habitants has been a chance for careful re-evaluation of friendships. The friends I choose for Extrovert Island are like physical manifestations of that one book, the single meal, the album. I have chosen the ones who comfort my fears, inspire my imagination, and feed my soul.

Bonnie Henry reminds us often of Island Rules. The New World has reshaped our priorities. Life on Extrovert Island has slowed me down and taught me to be mindful. I admit, I find comfort in knowing we are all doing the same.