Stuck at home. Worrying? It’s tough, especially if you’re on your own. But unlike past epidemics, we have advantages. We know it’s cause (covid-19), and how it spreads (not divine thunderbolt or creeping miasmas). We also have the internet to reassure ourselves about friends and relatives without long distance rides or pigeon post. We’ve also been told how to keep safe and help the NHS cope- avoiding physical contact, washing hands. But it’s an anxious time. Anxiety weakens your immune system. You may need it. So what can we do?
Phone someone- ask how THEY are. If you’re not up to speed on texts, tweets, WhatsApp or Messenger- now’s the time! If I can manage to post a video online and do a Zoom meet with my distant kids, anyone can. Google has info on how to do almost anything (except produce edible Yorkshire puddings).
Remember most people who get Covid, survive. We know about ordinary flu. We may have no ‘herd’ immunity against this new virus, but our bodies can make antibodies against it. People are getting better. Sadly, we personally can’t do anything about those who don’t, but we can remind ourselves we’re staying in to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with those very sick with underlying health issues or who’ve received a high viral load. Staying in slows it down.
Wash your hands for 2 Happy Birthdays after being out for essentials. If your skin’s cracking, you might be over-doing it. Covid doesn’t breed in skin cracks, it loves noses, throats and lungs. Good news is that soap shatters its protective coat- though that doesn’t mean drinking soap helps! In fact, don’t believe anything not on an official website that you can fully identify at the top of your browser: dangerous rubbish info is everywhere.
Get up, get dressed. Try smiling to the mirror. Comb your hair. Have breakfast. Then make a plan for the day: tidy something: clean something: read something: write something. Write a diary as yourself or pretend you’re someone else. Who knows – it might become a best seller! Look up free online courses- or poetry! Felt pen a picture.
N.B. In the ‘do something’ I wouldn’t include ironing- life’s too short and you aren’t going anywhere! And if you can’t concentrate on reading a book- try short stories or a blog. Or games and puzzles- jigsaws, words or numbers- anything to ‘busy’ your brain..
Don’t look every half hour at news and death rates. Strictly one news bulletin each day.
Don’t sit all day at a computer or on a sofa dozing at the box, get up every half hour. Walk to the loo, walk up and down stairs (sorry, flat-dwellers!), take a drink, or do stretching or other exercises (loads on TV or online now- no excuse). Play with the cat- talk to the budgie or dance in the kitchen. Be active. Remember the closet imps who sew up your clothes at weekends, making them too tight on Mondays, will be extra busy over the coming weeks indoors. The fridge is a danger zone for boredom. Remember we only need 2-2,500 calories per day if sedentary (depending on age and sex). Personally however, I don’t consider the odd chocolate brownie fattening (please note this is not verified by scientific evidence…) Get out and garden (if you’re lucky) or walk. Today I walked in the rain. Why not? Even if I couldn’t see through my glasses when I got home, I felt better.
More positives? Few of us will ever again have the chance to do anything we like without social or other outside commitments. Adjustment is hard, but we are in it together. If you’re working at home, great (especially enjoy knowing you still had PJ bottoms on during that video conference). If you’re working front line in the NHS, pharmacies, the police, deliveries, the supermarkets, caring or helping the elderly or housebound, terrific. If you’re trying to home school, you deserve a medal! But whatever, there’s no point wasting energy worrying about something we cannot change. Let’s stay smiling, stay safe and stay busy!