By Gabbie Wright |
Who would’ve known that in a society where millions of people feel isolated day-to-day in the hustle and bustle of an overwhelming work/life balance, that a world-wide pandemic would make everyone that little bit more aware of one another. It all sounds very apocalyptic and ‘doomsday preppers’ are certainly in their prime, but the virus does pose a very serious threat to communities everywhere. It should be taken seriously by everyone, no matter your age, background or personal health and hygiene.
Tom Hanks leaves hospital after coronavirus diagnosis in Australia https://t.co/DEo9BoNBbJ— The Guardian (@guardian) March 17, 2020
As of Tuesday 17th March, confirmed cases of Covid-19 are nearing 200,000 globally and the death toll stands at over 7,000, but I’m sure you have the same access to a constant stream of these stats and frightening news updates as I do. What we must continue to acknowledge are the 80,000 recovered patients offering us a brighter look beyond this unnerving moment in time. For now, all we can do as a collective of students, parents, brothers, sisters, family, friends, people, is be safe, sensible, and considerate.
That said, in this article I discuss a few of the ways in which you can make self-isolating worthwhile and ensure the habits you develop in the coming days, weeks, months, are healthy and proactive and most importantly keeping you and your loved ones in a positive state of mind.
There have been many posts, photographs and even live-streams of empty supermarkets, Italian balcony-singers and vulnerable elderly people out and about despite government warnings, shared all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, even TikTok has seen a huge amount of short video-clips uploaded in relation to Covid-19. Social media now more than ever is demonstrating the power of our global networking to keep in touch and stay connected in a time of social-distancing. It’s important to remember that whilst isolating yourself physically, there is no need to shut yourself off from everyone else completely. Social media allows us to communicate with our family and friends and often we take it for granted; make the most of being able to check in on your grandparents or watching that movie you’ve not had time to see with your friends from the comfort of your bed!
- Learn or try something new taking an online course, via an app like Pinterest or DuoLingo, or on Youtube
- Find interesting recipes for a fresh family dinner or bake a cake (check out the FA Student Foodie for inspiration)
- Get fitness guidance at home for workouts and independent exercising
- Utilise streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime (50% off for students), Apple TV, or get out the old DVD collection for some serious movie marathons
- Facetime or Skype friends and family: checking-in with loved ones can make you feel a lot better about everything, especially if you’re self-isolating at uni
Solidarity, science and common sense will get us through any crisis. Let’s keep that in mind. #COVID19— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 17, 2020
Social media as I’ve already said is a very powerful and effective way to stay up-to-date with everyone everywhere, this said you must also remember to be sensible in that which you choose to share, or promote, or engage with online. It’s very easy to believe everything you read, especially in a time of uncertainty when situations are changing daily, but do not circulate ‘fake news’ or unnecessary media that could cause further distress and panic. Be sensitive to those you are in touch with, much of the time we joke about things to make ourselves feel better, but just because the virus may not have impacted you directly doesn’t mean it’s not hitting very close to home for someone else.
The fact many of us have all the music we could want on hand makes missing out on a club night that little bit easier (lock-in?). Whether you’re into vinyl, or mp3, or have a subscription to Spotify or Apple Music, etc. Enjoy being able to chill out and re-discover that Fleetwood Mac album you haven’t had long enough to fully appreciate for a while.
- See what your friends are listening to
- Organise and rename your playlists: delete songs, add songs and re-order them for the perfect rotation
- Check out the ‘Discover Weekly’ artists compiled for you
- Dance: with friends and drinks, with your mum, in the kitchen, in the shower, or whilst washing your hands for 20 secs
- Listen whilst studying or doing at-home workouts because obviously uni and the gym are closed
Just because the day-to-day has changed doesn’t mean life stops, and whilst you might not feel up to it (which is totally fine, btw) continuing to work towards your goals is a strong and healthy practice for those of you that are particularly ambitious, or just bored of Friends re-runs. Working on a project for uni, or continuing to look for summer work, or just studying towards finals (which will inevitably happen at some point) is a good way to keep focused on what’s important, and it helps to remember that this will all pass eventually. We won’t all always be able to work from our living room in joggers or skip leg day twice in a row *sigh*.
- Make a To-Do list so you have things to be working on or toward each day
- University students will in many cases have supplemented teaching and materials online, so using these mediums to further study and progress toward deadlines will prevent you from feeling like you’re really missing out or falling behind on the syllabus
- Meal prep and meal plans are a great idea to ensure you’re not running to the supermarket unnecessarily or bulk-buying/panic-buying things you really don’t need, in fact, this practice on a large scale will especially help to alleviate not just your personal stress feeding however many each night, but it will go a long way to ensure everyone else has access to the food and supplies they need, whether that is the elderly man that can only make it out every so often, those low-income families that can’t afford to buy everything in bulk quantities, or volunteers collecting for undersupplied foodbanks
Health and Hygiene
Obviously everyone is in anti-bacterial-overdrive, but there is more to your health and hygiene than a bottle of year-old hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60% or higher. Take the free-time to show yourself and your surroundings some TLC, the likelihood is you’re going to be spending a lot more time in the house so make sure you’re environment is clean, comfortable and suits your needs.
- Have a bath: use that Lush bath-bomb you were gifted but couldn’t use at uni (because who actually has a nice bathtub at uni?)
- Wash, exfoliate, moisturise, keep your skin clean and hydrated: especially if you are constantly applying hand-sanitizer and disinfectant – the alcohol and bleach in cleaning products is super drying and can even be harmful to your skin if you’re always using it, make sure to wash your hands with warm water and a light soap as soon as you can to remove not only contaminants but harsh chemicals too
- Paint your nails a cute colour, do a face mask with your sister, it might not be for everyone but especially if you’re feeling anxious a feel-good evening will help you chill out
- Eat properly: just because you can’t go to the gym right now or it looks like your summer trip is going to be called off doesn’t mean you should deter from your regular diet. Practice the same eating habits you would usually, exercise when you can, and put your body first whilst you can focus your time on it — you don’t want to avoid Coronavirus just to end up with poor health.
Take this time away from the standardised rush and ignorance of today’s lifestyle to look after yourself and those closest to you. Be kind and cautious, and whilst the natural response to anything threatening is self-preservation and self-awareness, don’t be selfish and don’t forget to live.
For more information on Coronavirus, its symptoms and for guidance if you think you have contracted the virus see the following links: