This is no one’s ideal situation. Whether you’re already infected or think you might be, the 14-day quarantine is an anxiety-inducing time. You can take steps to stay safe by following CDC guidelines. Stay away from people, even others living inside your own home. Monitor your own health, making sure to call the hospitals if you have trouble breathing or a fever above 100.4° F. Be sure to get plenty of fluids and rest.
The most important thing to do in this situation is take care of your health. While avoiding contact and checking for symptoms should be at the top of your to-do list, you have to make sure not to neglect your mental health. Spend time with your friends! There’s plenty of ways to enjoy their company from afar. Texting, calling, Zoom and FaceTime aren’t the only options. Multiplayer video games are always a good choice, as is putting on a video to share on sites such as Watch2gether, Teleparty, or Squad. And of course, there’s always the classic bonding activity of getting on a Discord call and discussing your childhood traumas. Yes, you’re isolated, but you don’t have to be lonely. Your support system is more important now than ever.
You can also use this time to get started on your list of television shows you meant to get into but didn’t. While all your comfort sitcoms are available on streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, there’s some seriously underrated originals out there if you’re willing to explore. Netflix’s Everything Sucks! is a coming of age dramedy that deserves a place alongside Freaks and Geeks and Firefly in the ranks of great shows gone too soon. HBO Max’s Infinity Train is a surrealist cartoon that feels kind of like going to therapy, assuming your therapist’s building is full of monsters, robots, and talking dogs. Sure, there’s a lot of trash among streaming services, but when there’s a hidden gem it’s worth it.
I know we’re all sick of that one friend who picked up piano or wrote a novel or something over quarantine, but the truth is it’s a great time to work on your hobby or pick up a new one. Odds are you have at least one thing you meant to learn but didn’t. This is your chance to put all those unused paints or unjuggled juggling pins you have collecting dust to work. The bright side of being alone is that no one can see your failed efforts and embarrassing moments. Whatever mispronunciations you made in your Spanish lessons are between you and the Duolingo owl.
Total isolation sucks. It’s stressful, it’s understimulating, you’re alone with your own thoughts – yikes. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or student resources such as CAPS. You may be literally by yourself, but figuratively speaking you aren’t alone.