Others have returned to work, and I’m still self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak. No complaints, mind you, because I’ve found ways to stay sane and to stay connected with others. I have a seven-point action plan that has brought fresh purpose to my life, and maybe it will yours. Here goes:
- Lift others’ spirits. Call a family member or friend and just chat. I frequently check in on a neighbor who has COPD. Before coronavirus, he was already virtually housebound. So, you can imagine how he feels now, being especially vulnerable to COVID-19. I like to cheer him up and crack a few jokes.
- Donate cash to the helpers. Many organizations are on the front line helping those in need. My charity of choice is Meals on Wheels, an organization that brings nutritious meals to homebound elderly. Pick your favorite charity and give till it hurts.
- Turn off the TV and electronic devices. I do that for two hours after I rise in the morning and two hours before bedtime. That gives me time to write and reflect, recharge and redirect my energies positively. Silence is golden. At night, I don’t want coronavirus to go to bed with me. It’s already a living nightmare.
- Polish up on Skype and Zoom skills. My cancer support group at Gilda’s Club is using Zoom to connect and I’m enjoying the experience. Zoom brings me some welcome chatter. Virtual space is where it’s at these days. I also dial in for “Lunch and Laughs” at Gilda’s every Tuesday. Smiles go miles!
- Get outside. Fresh air is essential to mind, body and spirit and a good brisk walk is invigorating. Along the way, you’ll hear songbirds and can peek at the clouds. Simple things go a long way in a crisis. My goal, happily met some days, is 10,000 steps!
- Litter patrol. While I’m outside, I carry a small waste basket and grabber to pick up the litter. It beautifies the vicinity and gives me a chance to chat with the neighbors from at least six feet away. I dutifully wear gloves and mask.
- Greeting cards. I have a lot of “Thinking of You” cards in stock to send other shut-ins, including an 85-year-old friend, recently widowed and marooned in her home. I supplement the card with a phone call. I have also sent thank-yous to my grocery store and pharmacy managers for keeping me supplied with the essentials as we go the distance with COVID-19.
So, there you are. Use your imagination. Perhaps you can come up with seven other things you can do to keep busy and fill your days with communication and companionship. Best wishes and remember: We will get through this together!
© Ron Cooper 2020