There are lots of ways for us to help our friends, neighbors, and communities during the difficult challenges that for many have already begun and will likely persist for the next several weeks, or even months. In our Getting Through COVID-19, Together series, we will look at specific ways to do just that.
(If you would like to contribute to this series, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Facebook.)
This will be our final daily installment of the Getting Through COVID-19, Together series. We will continue to add to it on an irregular basis throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis.
Just Stay Home
As the time spent social distancing and self-quarantining stretch on and begin to be measure in weeks – even months – rather than days, the temptation to give up on these tactics and return to your “normal” life will grow and grow. I know I’m feeling the itch to leave the house and hang out with friends and and visit family, and my area of the country hasn’t been experiencing this isolation for nearly as long as other areas.
This temptation needs to be resisted though. The curve hasn’t been flattened enough yet and there is still no widespread effective treatment for the coronavirus. If we all try to live our normal lives again now, the past month of distance and isolation will have been for nothing. All the curve-flattening that has occurred so far will be undone, and easily-preventable deaths will happen.
We need to accept that this way of living is our new normal, for at least another month. I don’t like that any more than anyone else but it is what it is. For many of us, the best thing we can do to make sure that as many people make it through this pandemic with their lives and health as possible is to just stay home.
Our self-imposed (and in some places state-enforced) quarantines are how we live now for the near-future. So what can we do to handle this in the best way possible? How can we cope with the increasing feelings of anxiety and isolation?
I can’t answer these questions for everyone, but I can say what I’ve been doing.
- For one thing, writing the posts for this series has been a good outlet for me. The writing has allowed me to inject some positivity into the world and has forced me to think like a helper.
- I’ve also been reading and exercising much more vigorously. Improving my mental and physical state has not only allowed me to pass time, but to pass it constructively.
- I’m fortunate enough to be married, so I’m not having to be alone during this time. Taking advantage of the “forced un-busyness” to spend more quality time together is a definite positive side-effect of this pandemic.
- My wife and I have used Discord and Twitch to keep in contact with our close friends. Through Discord, we can have voice and video calls with large numbers of people (which is far better than just text chats) and through Twitch we’ve been able to play various party games together (I highly recommend the Jackbox party packs).