The desire to socialize and step out of the four walls of a home is a general one for any normal human being. But the world crisis at the moment dictate that such desires be put at bay, at least for a little while. My usual days consist of stepping out of the home only twice, for my morning and evening walks. So, staying at home isn’t an issue or something novel for me. However, as the world adjusts to being indoors, here’s a few things I thought (as I’m something of a pro at it by now) could be helpful. I’ll also include a few points about health and hygiene, because that is a priority right now and not how to keep oneself entertained.
Use technology for good
Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people over a phone call or WhatsApp chat. If you do feel like you need someone to talk to, pick up the phone and call or send a ‘Hi’ to everyone on your contact list. If that doesn’t help, give them a video call. Have a desire for a group outing? Then do a video conference call! Seriously, there’s no way you can feel alienated with so many ways to stay connected.
Buy the necessary groceries, but remember not to overstock
Keeping necessary supplies at home is a good idea during such a crisis. But let’s not forget that we’re a densely populated country so the needs of each household need to be kept in mind. Buy 15 days supply rather than that of a month. Stepping out for buying groceries once in two weeks won’t be a big threat. Don’t be so selfish that you forget about your neighbours and countrymen’s requirements. There’s as much chance of people dying by starvation as there is of them dying by covid-19 if we overstock.
Share your supplies
If you do buy in bulk, please share the supplies with those in your neighborhood in case they complain about not getting enough because the store was out of stock. Especially share with those who are unable to step out of the house to buy groceries, for instance the elderly or the differently-abled.
If your house help like the maid or the cook are still coming to work everyday, help them out with some money and supplies like soap, napkins and sanitizers too. They might not have access to such luxury goods and are more likely to get exposed to the virus.
Get to know your family
In our busy work schedules, most of us have become unconnected to those we meet and see everyday at home. Why not use this time to familiarize yourself with the family members? For instance, you may not know your father’s new favorite movie, or your mother’s new favorite TV series, and they might also not know about your new favorite song. Isn’t this a good chance to get to know each other better?
When was the last time you had a chance to play cards or board games together? I’m sure most of you don’t even remember. So do that! Watching TV all day might become boring, hence this is a good way to pass the quarantine time. The age old antakshari and dumb charades are always there to help keep us Indians entertained too!
Since you’re all home, maybe you can think about helping out the women in the kitchen. Trust me, cooking together is fun! Also, this is a great chance to try out new and healthy recipes. We’ve all missed ‘ghar ka khaana’ at some point in our lives, so here’s the perfect excuse to eat all your favorite home-cooked meals and learn how to make them too.
Take care of personal health and hygiene
Besides making sure you eat your meals at the right time and have the right kind of food, its also important to keep yourself clean. Wash your hands every 2-3 hours if you can. Most importantly, wash them if you have been outdoors. But do remember to turn off the tap while applying soap to your hands. We don’t want a water scarcity crisis arising during a time like this.
I don’t recommend using hand sanitizers that often, but if there’s water shortage, and in case you’re out of the house, do keep a few in stock and with you all the time. Also, avoid touching surfaces with your hands and especially avoid touching your face with your hands.
Read books and magazines
This is a no-brainer for book lovers like me. We look forward to such days when we can just relax in a corner of the house with a book in our hands. However, it seems everyone is going to be home for a while now, so I recommend giving a book, any book, a try! This is a good chance to fall in love with the habit of reading. Make good use of technology here too! Buy kindle books and read them on your phone/tablet in case you have no paperback books at home. If not a book, then read magazines and newspapers.
Write about your life in isolation
This is not something which happens everyday. Being quarantined is an experience that may not happen in our lifetimes again. So, why not note it down somewhere so it can be retained for later, or for posterity? This would be not only something that helps pass the time, but you will get an outlet for your frustrations of being quarantined. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Verify the information you’re reading and spreading
Let’s be honest, we all are scared at this point of time. But let’s not add to the panic by spreading around rumors about the facts and figures. The unverified tips about how to fight and cure covid-19 also need to stop. The best idea is to check the WHO and UNICEF official websites instead of trusting random forwarded messages.
Paint, sew, sketch, bake, cook and do all those activities you intended on learning as a hobby during your free time. There are so many videos which teach you all this. Do it alone or do it together with the family. In any case you’ll learn something new and pick up a creative skill which you may end up liking.
Stop worrying about your children’s education
I have heard so many people worrying and complaining about their children missing out on school and education. To all of them, I’ll say just one word: homeschooling. Also, haven’t we already established that bookish knowledge won’t get us far? Teach them to help out in the house, teach them how to cook, inculcate habits like reading and writing in them. They’ll be fine, trust me!
Appreciate those working in healthcare
This is the time when we wouldn’t be able to survive without doctors and nurses. Let’s remember that covid-19 has been termed a ‘novel’ virus for a reason. Those in the healthcare sector are new to it too, but they definitely know better than us. In case of an emergency, instead of questioning, blaming and criticizing them, let’s trust them to do their best for protecting us. Also, don’t forget to thank them and be grateful for their services. They’re directly exposing themselves to the danger while trying to save and protect us, after all.
Hope these help you keep up the positivity. The best approach is taking it all ‘one day at a time’. Together we can all overcome these dark times, and come out not only healed and whole, but even as better human beings than we were before.