This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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A Phase of Great Awakening
With millions of people under voluntary/mandatory quarantine in the United States, you would think (in the digital age) this time would be a phase of great awakening and a new renaissance. But it is not. We are falling into old habits and just doing what we do on a day off. A quarantine is not “vacation.”
This is a time where many people are losing money and businesses are having problems. When in this situation, a person needs to ask themself whether they want to be part of the solution or part of the problem. I hope if you are reading this you want to be part of the solution.
To start off, Quarantine is not normally what it is portrayed to be on movies. While high level quarantines have the isolation tents and bubbles for people, normal quarantines are much simpler. The CDC defined a quarantine as an action that “separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.”
Because of the failure of the Chinese government to disclose information related to this disease until it was too late, we are finding that we all have had the chance to be exposed. This means that we should all be willing to self-quarantine, but this is a republic and it is a choice. Please make the responsible choice for those who are vulnerable in our society and choose to self-isolate.
Facts You Should Know
COVID-19 itself is survivable for most people. The CDC has a list of facts about the disease that everyone should know. These are:
1.) Anyone can get sick from Covid-19, regardless of Ethnicity- The terms “Chinese Corona Virus” and “Wuhan Flu” are descriptors of where the disease came from, not who can get the disease.
2.) For most people the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low- for most people this will show up like a cold, but there are vulnerable populations that we have to protect.
3.) Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
4.) There are simple things you can do to to help keep yourself and others healthy- Wash hands often with soap and water, avoid touching your T-Zone (Eyes, nose and mouth), Stay home when you are sick, Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (then throw the tissue away; do not keep it).
5.) Know the symptoms- Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath- If you have any of these symptoms seek medical attention and do not go out in public.
(for a more detailed list, go to the link)
When we spread information from official sources, we can help stem the panic that many people are feeling. Remember, most often fear is the absence of information or presence of false information. Help the effort and only spread good information (CDC is a good source- Karen from Facebook is not).
Quarantine Activities: Things to do During a Pandemic (Or Not)
Now that we have a little more information about the Virus, let’s look at what people are doing during their down time. Groups like the LA Times have recommended that people do some good things and some useless things during the pandemic. Once again, you should be treating this like a chance to improve yourself, not a forced 2 week vacation that you will pay for later. Here are some of the worst uses of your time on their list:
1.) Complete a Puzzle;
2.) Text all of your exes:
3.) Write Poetry;
4.) Watch soap operas, independent movies, or Oscar winners;
5.) Get drunk;
6.) Binge Watch Shows on Streaming Services;
7.) Sleep the Whole Time (though this is not to discourage you from catching up);
These things will kill time, but really do nothing to help you move forward in your career, your personal life (texting exes is actually moving backward), or in life in general. With 12 says left in the recommended quarantine, make the best of this time. If you take the whole two weeks and treat it like a vacation, you will be sluggish and depressed when you have to go back to work (experts already worry that people will develop depression over the quarantine).
Here are some ideas that may help you better yourself and avoid the doldrums of this natural disaster(please note good ideas from the times are listed with the note Times):
1.) Take a free course- Several major universities have “at your own pace” courses for free, why not learn better writing, the origin of the American Novel, statistics (so you can see why polls are useless), or basic accounting. These courses can help you with your career and your business life;
2.) Download Duolingo and learn a new language (Times)- I will be honest, I have had this app on my phone for months and just have not had the time to look at it. Duolingo (and other language apps) can help you learn a new language, which will help you advance your career or just your social life;
3.) Plan a vacation- OK, do not be one of those jerks who is still traveling and bringing the disease to new areas, but you can sit down with your family and set a goal of a vacation after this is over. Use it as a prize for successfully doing something good for society. Sites such as weekendwanders/mtravel.com will let you look at cruises, flights and other trips that you can take and let you book them (through a travel agent) at home.
4.) Learn your History- When was the last time you read the constitution? Maybe when the government is taking away rights right and left it would be a good time to brush up on what your rights actually are.
5.) Write a letter to your congressman or congresswoman- This can help you be more civic minded;
6.) Call an elderly person just to talk- Sometimes the stories that we have as a society die without a whisper when we lose loved ones. Each moment with a loved one is a gift, even over the phone;
7.) Buy gift Cards from Local Businesses (Times)- This can help keep businesses that are ordered to shut down in business over this troubled time.
8.) Board Game- I would not be much of a games reviewer if I did not recommend that you play games. If you are stuck at home with your family, expand your mind.
Check out the Silver River review. It is a great game that will eat up some minutes and be different each time. Most importantly, stay safe and if you can stay home. We can #flattenthecurve if we all work together. Be part of the team and we can beat this together.