Isolation: How Do We Handle it?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Mar 16 3:54pm

As boundaries are being mandated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, these boundaries are affecting every area of our lives. Many hospitals, assisted living facilities, places of worship, libraries, restaurants, community centers are being closed to visitors and public gatherings. For many of us, these keep us from our typical ways of connecting with others and engaging with a supportive community.

What are you doing to keep yourself connected?

Outdoor community – we walk & talk, sit outside in warmer weather and chat (maintaining 5-6 foot space.) We find support here and on our phones – keep in touch with friends and family that way. Going to a patio gathering this evening, and will work hard to promote other topics of conversation.
Keep in touch with our "littles" via video chat – almost tear-jerking when the one year old reaches for our image on the screen, so we work hard to get them laughing. Read stories to them via video chat (gives Mommy a little break too.)
As important – LIMIT TIME reading about the Covid-19 – too much immersion just increases anxiety.
Sue

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@sueinmn — I'm with you! I also limit the TV news time because of all the hype, politics and misinformation being passed around. I enjoy coffee with a friend when I can and avoid crowds. I also continue to be vigilant with hand washing and not touching my face.

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@sueinmn Great ideas, Sue! Both the outdoor activities (for those living in warmer climates) as well as limiting reading about COVID-19.

Any other ideas?

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@hopeful33250

@sueinmn Great ideas, Sue! Both the outdoor activities (for those living in warmer climates) as well as limiting reading about COVID-19.

Any other ideas?

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@hopeful33250 Actually walking outdoors is something to be done pretty much anywhere at this time of year (unless it's raining or icy). Fresh air is good for everyone and daylight improves feelings of well-being. Just put on layers if it's cool out there. It's free too! My daughter has discovered evening family walks help her energetic children wind down and sleep better.
Another thing to do is dust off a hobby you "never have time for" – a friend and I are pulling out the watercolors tomorrow and brush up our skills.
My sister is cleaning one drawer, cupboard or closet each day. My friend is sorting family photos, I'm sure it will lead to her contacting remote family members.
What long-neglected interest or task is lurking in your home?

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@johnbishop

@sueinmn — I'm with you! I also limit the TV news time because of all the hype, politics and misinformation being passed around. I enjoy coffee with a friend when I can and avoid crowds. I also continue to be vigilant with hand washing and not touching my face.

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@johnbishop Hi John – And you can even have a remote cup of coffee, by phone. It's how I stay in touch with friends when we are often separated for six months of the year.

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@sueinmn WOw! How do you have a remote cut of coffee by phone? Sounds like fun. Great post.

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@alamogal635

@sueinmn WOw! How do you have a remote cut of coffee by phone? Sounds like fun. Great post.

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@alamogal635 Call/text a friend and make a date for a specific time, just like a coffee date. If you typically have coffee with more than one person, you can try a conference call – just make sure everyone knows who is initiating it. Make this a social event, trying to stay away from stressful topics. Make sure you have your favorite beverage at hand, as well as a treat if you like. If your household is a busy
one, close yourself in a room and make yourself unavailable for a time if you can (maybe trade this favor with a significant other or an older child). Sit down, call & chat. If you like video chats, do that. If you find it hard to start a non-covid conversation, or to keep one going, make a note of a topic or two of interest to both of you to steer things. Voila, a coffee date…or a tead date, a wine date, a beer break…
Or you could do like my kids used to, in pre-cell phone times, and watch a movie or TV show together by phone, commenting at commercials or pauses and rehashing it afterward.
What other ways can anyone suggest to interact remotely?
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

@alamogal635 Call/text a friend and make a date for a specific time, just like a coffee date. If you typically have coffee with more than one person, you can try a conference call – just make sure everyone knows who is initiating it. Make this a social event, trying to stay away from stressful topics. Make sure you have your favorite beverage at hand, as well as a treat if you like. If your household is a busy
one, close yourself in a room and make yourself unavailable for a time if you can (maybe trade this favor with a significant other or an older child). Sit down, call & chat. If you like video chats, do that. If you find it hard to start a non-covid conversation, or to keep one going, make a note of a topic or two of interest to both of you to steer things. Voila, a coffee date…or a tead date, a wine date, a beer break…
Or you could do like my kids used to, in pre-cell phone times, and watch a movie or TV show together by phone, commenting at commercials or pauses and rehashing it afterward.
What other ways can anyone suggest to interact remotely?
Sue

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@sueinmn , great suggestions. My knitting group is going to experiment with meeting over Skype or Zoom so we can stay home but still knit together and chat. All bars, restaurants and coffee shops in Colorado are now closed, so we have no place to meet, and we're trying to do our part to not congregate and spread the virus if one of us gets it. I have heard others using Facetime (if you have an iPhone) and I think Google Hangouts may have video now as well. Thankfully, the internet gives us lots of options that people did not have in previous epidemics, so we can stay connected but still be safe.

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@coloradogirl

@sueinmn , great suggestions. My knitting group is going to experiment with meeting over Skype or Zoom so we can stay home but still knit together and chat. All bars, restaurants and coffee shops in Colorado are now closed, so we have no place to meet, and we're trying to do our part to not congregate and spread the virus if one of us gets it. I have heard others using Facetime (if you have an iPhone) and I think Google Hangouts may have video now as well. Thankfully, the internet gives us lots of options that people did not have in previous epidemics, so we can stay connected but still be safe.

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I had video chats with my children with Whatsapp. It's the first time we use it and the quality was really good.

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@sueinmn

@alamogal635 Call/text a friend and make a date for a specific time, just like a coffee date. If you typically have coffee with more than one person, you can try a conference call – just make sure everyone knows who is initiating it. Make this a social event, trying to stay away from stressful topics. Make sure you have your favorite beverage at hand, as well as a treat if you like. If your household is a busy
one, close yourself in a room and make yourself unavailable for a time if you can (maybe trade this favor with a significant other or an older child). Sit down, call & chat. If you like video chats, do that. If you find it hard to start a non-covid conversation, or to keep one going, make a note of a topic or two of interest to both of you to steer things. Voila, a coffee date…or a tead date, a wine date, a beer break…
Or you could do like my kids used to, in pre-cell phone times, and watch a movie or TV show together by phone, commenting at commercials or pauses and rehashing it afterward.
What other ways can anyone suggest to interact remotely?
Sue

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@sueinmm I do this with friends–especially my best friend. She and I are almost like sisters from different mothers. So that's a virtual coffee date. Thank you for letting me know. I am more of a stay at home person anyway and so this self-isolation isn't too bad for me. Am doing Jenny Craig and that was a fun visit–no weighing in and I spoke with my counselor there by phone while waiting outside my car, she gave me the week menu through the office mail slot, I chose what I wanted, then staying on the phone gave her my credit card # and she bagged up my stuff unlocked their door and handed me the bags. It felt good to get out, put down the car windows and feel the fresh air. Got home washed my hands, put up the food, and had a lovely breakfast. I've lost over 10 pounds now and that makes me feel like I've accomplished something good. Should have had a video of how Jenny Craig is doing business these days. So far Ct scan is still on for Thursday and visit with oncologist is still set for next Monday.

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Nancy (shortshot) Fortunately I live in a small town on the coast of Oregon. One of my son's live with me. He is 65 but also has Jack 2 Mutation and is on cancer meds. He does the shopping. He also drive;s me to my appointments. When I go into the medical facility I wear a mask. I have several Radiation Appts to go to., one tomorrow 85 miles away and Next week on Monday, Wed, & Friday. Hopefully all this stops the bleeding. The doc also wants me to have surgery to have "mesh implants in my groin, hopefully to stop any clots from my legs. In as much as this is elective surgery I don't know when the surgery will take place. It will be done at OHSU in Portland when it happens. I have had over my lifetime 35 surgeries and I really don't want any more, but guess what……. I must do what the doc thinks is best for me. Radiation tomorrow 3/19 which is my 87th birthday. Fun will be had by all. Nancy

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@shortshot80

Nancy (shortshot) Fortunately I live in a small town on the coast of Oregon. One of my son's live with me. He is 65 but also has Jack 2 Mutation and is on cancer meds. He does the shopping. He also drive;s me to my appointments. When I go into the medical facility I wear a mask. I have several Radiation Appts to go to., one tomorrow 85 miles away and Next week on Monday, Wed, & Friday. Hopefully all this stops the bleeding. The doc also wants me to have surgery to have "mesh implants in my groin, hopefully to stop any clots from my legs. In as much as this is elective surgery I don't know when the surgery will take place. It will be done at OHSU in Portland when it happens. I have had over my lifetime 35 surgeries and I really don't want any more, but guess what……. I must do what the doc thinks is best for me. Radiation tomorrow 3/19 which is my 87th birthday. Fun will be had by all. Nancy

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Hi Nancy @shortshot80 Here's an article and video from Mayo Clinic that offers helpful tips specific to cancer patients.
– COVID-19: What patients with cancer should know https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-what-patients-with-cancer-should-know/

Even when attending appointments, you and other patients and healthcare professionals can practice good hand hygiene and where possible social distancing. You sure have a lot of miles ahead of you to go back and forth for radiation appointments. You must come home exhausted. Do you listen to music or podcasts or chat while on the road?

REPLY
@sueinmn

@alamogal635 Call/text a friend and make a date for a specific time, just like a coffee date. If you typically have coffee with more than one person, you can try a conference call – just make sure everyone knows who is initiating it. Make this a social event, trying to stay away from stressful topics. Make sure you have your favorite beverage at hand, as well as a treat if you like. If your household is a busy
one, close yourself in a room and make yourself unavailable for a time if you can (maybe trade this favor with a significant other or an older child). Sit down, call & chat. If you like video chats, do that. If you find it hard to start a non-covid conversation, or to keep one going, make a note of a topic or two of interest to both of you to steer things. Voila, a coffee date…or a tead date, a wine date, a beer break…
Or you could do like my kids used to, in pre-cell phone times, and watch a movie or TV show together by phone, commenting at commercials or pauses and rehashing it afterward.
What other ways can anyone suggest to interact remotely?
Sue

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@sueinmn My sisters, sister-in-law, and niece and I have text chats frequently

REPLY
@shortshot80

Nancy (shortshot) Fortunately I live in a small town on the coast of Oregon. One of my son's live with me. He is 65 but also has Jack 2 Mutation and is on cancer meds. He does the shopping. He also drive;s me to my appointments. When I go into the medical facility I wear a mask. I have several Radiation Appts to go to., one tomorrow 85 miles away and Next week on Monday, Wed, & Friday. Hopefully all this stops the bleeding. The doc also wants me to have surgery to have "mesh implants in my groin, hopefully to stop any clots from my legs. In as much as this is elective surgery I don't know when the surgery will take place. It will be done at OHSU in Portland when it happens. I have had over my lifetime 35 surgeries and I really don't want any more, but guess what……. I must do what the doc thinks is best for me. Radiation tomorrow 3/19 which is my 87th birthday. Fun will be had by all. Nancy

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Ahh, Nancy, @shortshot80, I'm glad to hear from you. Congratulations on your 87th birthday!

Let's hope you have a good day tomorrow (in spite of the radiation). I hope you and your son weather this COVID-19 storm!

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@colleenyoung

Hi Nancy @shortshot80 Here's an article and video from Mayo Clinic that offers helpful tips specific to cancer patients.
– COVID-19: What patients with cancer should know https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-what-patients-with-cancer-should-know/

Even when attending appointments, you and other patients and healthcare professionals can practice good hand hygiene and where possible social distancing. You sure have a lot of miles ahead of you to go back and forth for radiation appointments. You must come home exhausted. Do you listen to music or podcasts or chat while on the road?

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Nancy (shortshot) Yes we listen to the radio, we also talk and have good conversations.We listen to "talk" radio, several fellows that have people call in and talk on various subjects. So many conversations to react to. Most of the trip is through the mountain range between Portland and the beach. Lots of static through some of the route. The drive from where I live to the area I have Radiation in is 85 miles one way. So we sometimes solve all the world's problems. Sometimes I take a nap on the way home. Radio on something for my son to listen to. Sometimes we just bs…. Sometimes we see a herd of elk and of course deer. Once a bear. The drive is pretty even when it's raining. We drive along a beautiful river and watch the fishermen. Never a dull moment. Nancy

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