As luck (heh!) would have it, my husband’s 100-day medical quarantine managed to end right when a pandemic was gathering steam, so we have this isolation and social distancing thing down pat. My husband’s quarantine was necessitated by an October bone marrow transplant that left him with a very suppressed immune system and required all kinds of extra considerations that I am pretty sure the average person with or avoiding COVID-19 won’t have to deal with — washing towels after every use, changing the bed sheets every other day, no fresh fruit due to bacterial concerns, no food prepared outside the home, etc. — but it is still a headache, right? The end of John’s medical quarantine didn’t mean we could run to Disney World and share popsicles with strangers, but it did mean a gradual lifting of the most onerous aspects (the laundry — dear lord, the daily laundry) so we have found ourselves back to square one of seeing other people and every surface as vectors of doom crawling with germs, grocery carts as Satan’ own delivery system. No biggy! This is old hat at this point.
I think the tips on not exposing yourself to or spreading germs are pretty well-covered at this point but here’s some guidance from one seasoned pro on social isolation to you on the emotional aspects of finding strength and stability during a quarantine.
• Now is a great time to get into hobbies that you have long wanted to explore. I recently took up drawing again after a very long hiatus and it is giving me a very welcome distraction from reality.
• Plan for future things you’re excited about. Maybe it’s your garden. Maybe it’s seeing a friend. It’s easier said than done, but remember that this is temporary. Unless it isn’t and a good percentage of us dies while the others fight for survival in a roiling post-Apocalyptic hellscape. (Okay, ignore that last part — quarantine brain was kicking in).
• Get some fresh air. Open a window. Listen to the early springtime birds. Take a walk. Even sitting outside with the sun on your face for a few minutes is a relief.
• Do what you need to do to feel safe, even if it makes you feel silly. Postpone plans, get that extra bag of frozen fruit or peanut butter, make sure you’ve got lightbulbs and batteries — even if it…