There seems to be no end to the helpful advice for getting through quarantine. Have a schedule, get dressed everyday, learn a language or musical instrument, all the way through to day drinking games, or how to have a Zoom meeting without cleaning your space or putting on pants.
I have only spotted two recommendations on what NOT to do while confined: cut your own hair, or address those nagging relationship issues with someone you are quarantined with.
I have seen, however, many examples of the first, and been told about several instances of the second. The advice was good; neither seem to turn out very well!
I have a few more to add.
1. If you’re growing and creating, don’t expect others to be doing the same. By all means, Instagram your #quarantinecooking or the sweater you’re knitting. Show us your balcony garden, the freshly painted wall or canvas. Talk about your meditation practice, or your workout routine. But don’t judge others who may not find this a time of inspiration. Please, don’t post, as someone did, “If you are not (creating) then it was never about a lack of time. It is lack of motivation and determination.” No. Just NO.
2. Never criticize what others are doing in their isolation. Day drinking, “failing” at home schooling, complaining about a spouse, sharing endless inspirational quotes, conspiracy memes or quarantine jokes on social media— we do what we need to do. These are not normal times. Increase your tolerance levels.
3. At the same time, don’t ignore a cry for help. When there is a sense that there is a real problem, do what you can. Maybe they just need a bunch of likes and supportive comments on Facebook, or maybe they need a message or a call. You can hold a hand, even at a distance.
4. Never forget that however challenging, inspiring or boring you find isolation, you are acutely privileged. You are able to do it. You are in a safe place, with enough to eat and room to social distance. So many are not.
Stay safe, if you can. Brave travels if you can’t.