Isolation: How Do We Handle it?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Mar 16, 2020

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?

@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

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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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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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Some other things you Do use your library for audiobooks,DVD,s ,CD,s and they ship them to you then you return by mail. Board games Skype to see your loved ones art of any kind even if its just doodling .

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@shortshot80

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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Happy birthday, @shortshot80! Have a wonderful day.

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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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Why are you having coffee with a friend? I thought we were supposed to be isolated?

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@hopeful33250

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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You have certainly had a lot of surgeries. I thought I did but nothing like what you have had. God bless you and may he touch you from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet with his healing right hand. Have a blessed day.

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@woogie

Why are you having coffee with a friend? I thought we were supposed to be isolated?

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@woogie — Coffee with a friend hasn't happened since last week but I would drive a few miles to the company where I worked for some free coffee. They have a large break room that normally has only a few workers in it at a time and the tables are spaced a good distance. Now that we are being asked to avoid gatherings, etc. I will probably stay at home unless I need groceries or drive to get some take out food.

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Hi All: I just received an email that lists some websites and apps for exercise programs available online and just wanted to share them with you:
The first one is from the YMCA and has various exercise classes that you can participate in at home. Here is the link, https://ymca360.org/

The second one is from the New York Post with a list of apps. Here is the link for that, https://nypost.com/2020/03/13/the-7-best-at-home-fitness-apps-to-use-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

What sort of exercise are you doing during this time of isolation?

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For me, it hasn't been much of a problem, as I am a lifelong introvert. My dog and I still go for walks 3x a day. I live in senior housing across the street from a city park, and all us dog walkers can easily keep our distance.

Every day, my spirit is in low-normal mood, with help from the medications. This bldg is now closed to visitors. When I feel too isolated, I send a cheerful email to my large family and most of them respond in kind.

How are you coping?

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@lewisma9

For me, it hasn't been much of a problem, as I am a lifelong introvert. My dog and I still go for walks 3x a day. I live in senior housing across the street from a city park, and all us dog walkers can easily keep our distance.

Every day, my spirit is in low-normal mood, with help from the medications. This bldg is now closed to visitors. When I feel too isolated, I send a cheerful email to my large family and most of them respond in kind.

How are you coping?

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Hi @lewisma9 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect and the Depression & Anxiety group. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Isolation: How Do We Handle it?" I did this so you can meet others, like @hopeful33250 @woogie @lioness @zeiracorp @coloradogirl @mayofeb2020 and others talking about the ways they are weathering the new isolation reality.

In the COVID-19 group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/covid-19/), there are several discussions about coping that you may be interested in, especially as a walker and dog owner:
– Let’s Go Walking! Join me for a virtual walking support group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/

– My plans to lessen the stress of Self imposed quarantine https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-plans-to-lessen-the-stress-of-self-imposed-quarantine/

I, too, am an introvert by nature. Give me a cup a tea and good book and I'm happy as a clam. Besides getting out for walks with your dog, what activities do you enjoy?

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By ignoring the clock but still structuring my time, going outdoors daily to my backyard and ‘talking’ to my plants, finding worthwhile movies to stream (with chronic back pain I have to sit often), planning set-aside projects to start, and reading.

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