Surviving self-isolation


Within hours of the coronavirus having an impact on our society (school closings, business closings, social self-isolation), the internet became inundated with ideas for how to survive this time. First let me say that I know we will survive this time, and I pray that everyone gets through it with no deaths in our area.

I searched the internet for ways to share to help us survive the loneliness, anxiety, and virus-induced toilet-paper-panic that is swamping our streets. I checked out several websites, such as,, and Some of them had some “fun” ideas, but many were things to do that might suffice for one rainy day, but would drive me crazy if I had to do it for a couple weeks. One big idea was “clean your house.” This took many forms, such as “Marie Kondo your drawers” and “clean that closet.” Cleaning is a task that always depresses me. Thinking of doing it for days on end is not the way to get me through isolation. provided a list of 12 museums around the world that have virtual tours. You can go their website and watch it as though you are there! For my friends who love to travel, this might help them pass 12 of the days, at least. Plan a virtual trip a day to a museum, then cook a meal in that country’s cuisine and feel like you’re there for one day! The museums were in Los Angeles, New York, Brazil, Mexico City, Paris, Amsterdam and Italy, so you’d get that travel feel, at least.

I know use of social media sites has increased. Games, for example, are giving unlimited time and more lives, and the like. Sadly, I had to self-restrain and further “isolate” myself from Facebook. I found myself getting short-tempered with people I care about and reacting very negatively to the massive amounts of misinformation, nasty comments, and general antagonism. So I have voluntarily withdrawn from social media personally.

What I am going to do, though, is send a group email to many people who I know (though they may not know each other) and start the “question game.” This is when you ask an innocuous (not political or controversial) question – such as “what was your favorite Christmas present” – and read with interest the varied answers. No one comments on each other’s answer, just reads. Then the next day, a different member of the group asks a different question. This is a fun game and should keep your email filled with happy correspondence.

Many lists included the idea of learning something new or developing a new hobby. Now most started that list with knitting. Learning something new can be fun. Order something from Amazon that you can learn to do without much training or through a DVD. For my part, I ordered and now possess a “learn to tap dance” dvd. I may be isolated, but I can still dance and now I can make noise when I do!

Stay safe everyone. It’s lonely and scary, but it doesn’t have to be boring!

By Sue Curtis

Sue Curtis is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy. Email her at [email protected].

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