It’s a difficult time for the world. COVID-19 has risen in numbers and fatalities, and the effects of this pandemic are being felt far and wide. Despite these hard times, people are going about doing good. One such proof of this is families finding ways to visit their elderly loved ones while maintaining social distancing, such as this Irish local meeting his grandson through a window for the first time ever. More than just family members are responding in positive ways, including members of communities like these Sikhs in Australia, who are working to reach out to the homebound and others who are most vulnerable to the virus. Obviously, people are doing their best to support one another in this unprecedented challenge. If you or a loved one fall into the group of people that are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, here are some ways to make it through this period of isolation.
Social distancing is real, and it’s never been more important for those over the age of 65 to be vigilant about staying physically isolated from the world, especially since even loved ones can carry the virus without showing symptoms. Instead of having your family over for dinner, consider doing a virtual game night with loved ones or friends. If you currently reside in a care center, try getting to a window or courtyard so you see visitors from a safe distance. As always, video chatting on apps such as FaceTime and Duo can do the trick for some quick socialization, or you can download an increasingly popular video chatting application called Marco Polo. Phone calls work, too. Just do your best to reach out and stay connected with your support system.
As any normally homebound person knows, it’s important to keep moving and to enjoy regular time outside to break the monotony. As science shows us, the benefits of being outside are both physical and mental. Lowering your blood pressure, increasing blood flow, improved memory and help in fighting depression—something we all could probably use right now—are all benefits of spending time outdoors. If you don’t have access to a way to get outside on your own, do what you can to keep moving whether that be a hallway walk or a dance party with yourself. Just keep moving and avoid a sedentary state when possible.
Be gentle with yourself
Even though you may not be encountering direct struggles such as infection or job loss—or even if you are—it’s important to let your feelings be felt. Much of the actual processing of feelings comes in the form of acknowledging them first. In addition to feeling anxious, overwhelmed and tired, many Americans may be experiencing grief, says David Kessler of the Harvard Business Review. What’s important is that we as a nation are able to realize that nothing will be the same, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of happiness or humanity, for that matter.
Speaking of how things will end, remember that this won’t last forever. There is an end in sight, and how we get there depends largely on how we take each day at a time.
Know that this won’t last forever
Of course it’s important to stay informed, but don’t get too wrapped up in watching the news. Instead, turn to trusted sources like the CDC and the WHO to help you determine how to stay safe as the pandemic continues to develop and guidelines change. Most importantly, be willing to take a step back and enjoy life’s smallest joys and victories. While you’re taking a step back, try to see the big picture. This pandemic had a beginning, and it will have an end. And, just as Ed Yong of the Atlantic reminds us, the endgame and the aftermath will both largely depend on our presence of mind and willingness to follow social isolation guidelines, even long after they’ve gone out of style.
If you’re looking for a way to spread good in the world from the comfort of your own couch, consider donating to a charitable organization such as Live Care Foundation. As a place of financial support for the homebound and elderly, Live Care Foundation supports these populations and their deserving caregivers across the United States. Donate today.
Rachel HarrisMs. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.