As the Corona virus closes in and every country on the planet, with just a few exceptions, have reported contagions, we are either self-quarantined or ordered to quarantine. Many businesses and public services have been reduced to the minimum or shut down completely, which is forcing people to work and study at home.
In Finland, the situation has reached the point where the so-called readiness laws are enforced. This has given some emergency powers to the government and it has already ordered schools to be closed and healthcare to be prioritized. All libraries are closed and gatherings of more than ten people forbidden. I myself already work, and for the most part study, from home but for many people this is a huge change. So much so that YLE, the Finnish public broadcaster, noted that the Coronavirus might have kickstarted a permanent change on the labor market due to the boost in distance work.
In case you have study or work-related things to do and you’re able to do them, then by all means, get them done. It’s irresponsible to think that this global health crisis is a holiday or an unspecified series of day-offs.
But what to do when there’s no work or studies to do remotely? Since I’m self-quarantined at my mom’s place, I’ve had more than enough time to ponder this question, so here are some ideas that keep you busy and help the people around you.
Follow the Trust-worthy News and Government Agencies
At first this doesn’t look helpful but it’s actually more important than you think. Since the Coronavirus, its spread and counteracting it are pretty much the only topics of discussion right now, it is paramount that we keep ourselves up to date and get informed only by qualified professionals and trust-worthy outlets.
There’s no better chance to spread fake-news than an international crisis that sparks fear and confusion. Then there are of course those who use the outbreak for very sinister purposes. Therefore, it’s important that we keep discarding the fake news into the trash bin where it belongs.
Take a day or so to educate yourself about the Coronavirus and how it spreads. Even though you’re not a health care professional, like me, you should still be properly informed about the basics of the virus so that rumors have as little space to spread as possible.
Make Time for Your Hobbies
According to the internet memes, some people have already run out of reasons to procrastinate so that homework is the only thing they have to do. But fear not! There are many things one can do at home to avoid boredom like handicrafts and reading books.
Life goes on also during these difficult times, so there should still be time for you to do things you enjoy and that help you to relax. It’s completely healthy to let go with the Corona related thoughts. And if you want to increase your chance to stay healthy overall, remember to rest: a well-rested body is better at fighting back the microbes than a stressed one.
Make a Donation to Fight the Virus
If you are able to, donate for causes that counteract the virus and more importantly, are taking pre-emptive measures. The fact that Corona statistics are lower in one area, or country, than the other, doesn’t mean that there’s no danger – it may be on its way and the locals are not aware of it. That’s why it’s important that e.g. the local NGOs are adequately funded.
There are also other forms of donations than money. According to WHO, the virus can survive on different surfaces for a few hours or a few days. And according to CDC, the risk of catching the virus from simply touching a surface is minimal since they don’t seem to be its primary way of spreading. What this means is that it’s perfectly safe to do the grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor if both parties handling the shopping bag wash their hands and avoid touching their faces.
Donating your time is as important as donating money and especially for those who have to be extra careful and stay home, someone who does their groceries is truly a lifesaver. Now is also a good time to go through your old clothes, wash them and give them to charity.
To Sum up
So, while in quarantine you shouldn’t stop informing and being informed. You should also weigh your options to help the people around you, especially those who are in extra need of help. But what you shouldn’t do is to let the pandemic fill your thoughts around the clock but also find time to relax a bit.
Like I said, I’m no health care professional. However, I was trained as a field medic during my conscription in 2014. One thing I learned from there, and should stress like everyone else, is that adhering to strict hygiene standards is the foundation of the pre-emptive measures. Combined with social distancing, you can potentially save dozens of people from catching the virus.