Contemporary Fiction

Isolation Watch: Falling Apart in the Pandemic


This book will launch on Nov 7, 2020. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

When the virus hit, no zombies roamed the streets. No police helicopters roared overhead and the military were never summoned to take down the monster.

For the residents of one sleepy suburban neighbourhood, the real-life, domestic consequences of lockdown were far more disastrous than anything Hollywood ever told them would happen.

Isolation Watch is a behind closed-doors, candid account of what happened to generation on-demand during the COVID-19 pandemic when they were ordered to stay indoors and forced to look at themselves in the mirror, naked.

A husband digs a grave for his wife of 34-years and fills it in again after she threatens to kill him over a badly organised fridge.

When the smiling homeless lady arrives on an affluent street one afternoon, widespread panic breaks out.

Strimmers, hoses, hammers and drills hum a symphony of sedation from homes that never looked so good.

A true-crime fanatic follows the serial-killer lookalike from up the street. A haunting discovery leaves her wishing she had just stayed in and watched The Ted Bundy Tapes again.

Day 0

The locals have been whispering about it for weeks.


“The virus is getting worse. It’s not just about the elderly and the vulnerable anymore. They’ll put us in lockdown soon.”


Nobody truly believed it; they just watched the big red banner across the bottom of the news screen as the death rate continued to rise. None of us knew what that meant. Stay in? What, all the time? What about the dog? They can’t do that, can they?


But they did.


Stood at podiums, talking in sullen voices, government officials around the world changed laws and asked us all to come together to “control the virus”, to protect a healthcare system that would be otherwise be overwhelmed.


Stay indoors!


Do your civil duty!


At first it felt like a school snow day. There was plenty of fear, of course; idiots started buying up toilet roll without any logical base and there was talk of the army being called upon to guard supermarkets.


The Walking Dead sprang to mind. 28 Days Later.


The idea that a manageable catastrophe might make life more exciting for people trapped in desk jobs and hygge homes was tangible. At the off license and down the local pub, everyone talked a little more. Something in common for all offered renewed hope that their monthly missionary position thrust might just reignite that sex-life.


We had to believe we’d be OK behind these walls and doors.


But very quickly, that arsehole you married – and spent the last 20-years tolerating, avoiding or destroying – was home. There’d be no workplace escape for them. Not tomorrow. Not the next day. Maybe never again. The kids came barrelling into the living room with snot on their chins and shoes on and you puked everywhere when you realised teaching double-science, maths, and geography was now on you.


An altogether more terrifying blend of survival horror was here to stay and it was right there in the mirror.


The following is a broad account of what happened when the residents of a sleepy, suburban neighbourhood were forced to confront their private truths during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.


About the author

Ben Tallon digs deep into the darkest pits of our minds and with searing wit and uncompromising prose, writes what should be left inside. Human vulnerability, inescapable realities and the terrifying everyday are stars in his warped show. view profile

Published on September 03, 2020

20000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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