A Survival Guide to Quarantine During the COVID-19 Outbreak

James Carlisle

The world is currently suffering from one of the worst pandemics since the Spanish flu of 1918. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading around the world, and entire countries have been put in a state of quarantine. The United States is beginning to follow suit; New York and California have announced strict measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. All public gatherings have been banned, schools, gyms and shopping malls have been closed, and bars and restaurants have been limited to take-out and delivery only. The rest of the country is likely to do the same in the coming weeks.

As a result, you’re likely to feel a lot lonelier in the coming months. The thought of laying low and remaining in isolation for such a long period of time is daunting. However, not all is lost. There are still plenty of things you can do to stay in touch with the rest of the world. 

First, keep in mind that quarantine does not mean that you’re trapped in your home. You’re still allowed to go outside and get some fresh air. Make sure to go out and take a walk every now and then. You can even bring a friend with you, as long as you continue social distancing practices. This can be very therapeutic in times of stress, loneliness and anxiety.

Second, make sure to stay in touch with people you care about. Technology has long been a source of social isolation, but in this case, it’s your friend. Take some time out to text, call, or FaceTime your friends and family. Staying in contact with people outside of your house can be crucial in fighting off cabin fever.

Third, it’s important to look at this situation with a glass-half-full approach. This is the one time in our life where staying indoors and laying low is encouraged. This is a great time to find some new shows to binge-watch or some music you haven’t listened to before. It’s also a good time to connect with friends online and play some video games. 

Fourth, try not to focus on how long this quarantine might last. Instead, take it one day at a time. Do whatever you can to keep yourself occupied, whether it’s by chatting with friends, playing video games, watching movies and TV shows, or even keeping track of your schoolwork.

Fifth, remember that this is all for the greater good. By simply laying low and staying home, you are contributing to the solution of this pandemic. Take consolation in the fact that you are doing the right thing. 

Finally, and most importantly, we’re going to need to be there for each other. If you find yourself feeling lonely or depressed, reach out to a trusted friend. And if any of your friends or loved ones are feeling the same way, let them know you’re here for them. This is going to be a difficult and challenging time, but it will end. All we need to do is stay home, keep ourselves occupied, be patient, and look out for each other.