Advice on Isolation

I suspect that in the coming days more and more metropolitan areas and perhaps states will issue directives to stay at home. They are many monikers for this, but isolation will do. In the days ahead, lots of people will share experience, experts will offer advice, pop-up “experts” will hold forth with all manner of guidance, and I think we are on the cusp of a new cottage industry. The thought of 30 days isolation is daunting, no doubt.

I hope I am prepared. At least I should be given my experience as a nuclear submariner. Of course that was “back in the day.” But back then the individual sailor did not have access to communications while underway. When you were gone, you were gone. Patrols were routinely 90 days plus.  Maybe that will help.  But then it has been a long time and is well in the rear view mirror of life.

But to Scott Kelly, 90 days is a warmup. Try 1 year. Mr. Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station. He has written an article for the NY Times with some practical advise. Here are some highlights of the article:

  • Follow a schedule – “You will find maintaining a plan will help you and your family adjust to a different work and home life environment.”
  • Pace yourself – All work….”Living in space, I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul — just like we all are today. Take time for fun activities: I met up with crewmates for movie nights, complete with snacks, and binge-watched all of “Game of Thrones””
  • Go outside – not a space walk, but your backyard will do. Listen to nature sounds.
  • Get a hobby – read, “practice an instrument (I just bought a digital guitar trainer online), try a craft, or make some art”
  • Start a journal – “Throughout my yearlong mission, I took the time to write about my experiences almost every day. If you find yourself just chronicling the days’ events (which, under the circumstances, might get repetitive) instead try describing what you are experiencing through your five senses or write about memories”
  • Take time to connect – “I never missed the chance to have a videoconference with family and friends”
  • Listen to experts – “I’ve found that most problems aren’t rocket science, but when they are rocket science, you should ask a rocket scientist.” Vet your advice

Enjoy the full article online.

2 thoughts on “Advice on Isolation

  1. I’ve gone back and read this three times, forwarded it twice and recommended it in an email. I look forward to this blog and its timely topics. Thx.

  2. Great article, Father! Sent to all my family,friends and fraternity- two of which know you; Susan Burke and Carl Ewald! Stay well!

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