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How to Stay Healthy While You’re Stuck at Home Because of COVID-19

It feels like the coronavirus crisis went from zero to 60 in the time it takes to yell, “Wash your hands for TWENTY seconds!”


March Madness has been cancelled. Music festivals are nixed. Schools are closing left and right. Restaurants are shutting their doors. And, lord help us, there’s no toilet paper or hand sanitizer anywhere.



Despite the usual suspects calling COVID-19 a liberal hoax to hurt Trump (facepalm), coronavirus is serious. We need all hands on deck to get through this.

Here’s what we know:

  • Every state in the U.S. now has cases of coronavirus. New York, Washington, and California have the highest numbers of reported cases. The numbers change by the hour, but as of March 22 there were more than 32,000 cases across the country.

  • Older people and those with serious underlying health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and conditions that compromise the immune system, are at higher risk of getting very sick. The risk is especially high for people age 80 and older.

  • Lack of testing means the number of coronavirus cases is likely much higher than reported.

  • It’s possible to spread coronavirus without having any symptoms, and many infected people will only develop very mild symptoms.

  • It’s unlikely a vaccine will be available for at least 18 months. We’re in it for the long haul at this point.

  • Trump has consistently lied, downplayed the situation, and straight-up gaslighted us about the risks and impacts of coronavirus. Let’s hope there are still some adults in the room who will do right by the American people.


Here’s what we need to do:


We all have a responsibility to do what we can to help manage this crisis. That includes:

  • Staying home or working from home, if possible.

  • Homeschooling kids (many K-12 schools districts, colleges, and universities have already suspended in-person classes).

  • Washing hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds—and get under those nails!) and avoiding touching your face, even while at home.

  • Stocking up on supplies—food, medications, sanitizers, and household goods.

  • Washing produce thoroughly. There’s no evidence that COVID-19 can live on produce, but there’s also none it can’t. And, a recent study found that COVID-19 can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel, so take precautions.

  • Avoiding crowds and practicing social distancing; that means staying at least 6 feet away from others when possible (even at home), especially if you have a partner or roommate who continues to leave the house for work or other reasons.

  • Being prepared to be at home for two weeks or more.

  • Not having visitors at home.


Here’s how you can protect your physical and psychological health:

So, now you’re stuck at home trying to get some work done while kids are running circles (literally) around you. Here’s how you can stay healthy (and sane) in this challenging time.


Exercise/workout

Exercise is vital for physical and mental health, and it keeps your immune system strong. Dust off those old Tae Bo DVDs or, better yet, check out this full-body workout on YouTube that requires no equipment. It doesn’t matter what you do or how much, just get that body moving.


Meditate

From anxiety about work and paying the bills to worries over whether you or your kids might have been exposed to COVID-19, these are trying times. Meditation can help you rebalance and reset. It’s proven to actually rewire the brain for the better.


Tuck into a good book

For months you’ve been meaning to read that copy of The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton you got for Christmas. Now’s your chance. Reading can help take your mind off the present and enter another world, which is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.


Have video calls with friends and family

It’s so important to stay in touch with people you love. Not being able to see and hug them in person is hard. But remember that it’s temporary. Video chats and phone calls are a great way to stay connected. Pay special mind to those in your circle who may be vulnerable—like older folks and those with health conditions. They’ll appreciate you checking in.


Finally chip away at your massive Netflix queue

If there ever was an excuse for escapism, the coronavirus crisis is it. Time to fire up your trusty streaming services.

Limit social media

Social media can help you stay up to date on what your friends are doing and what’s going on in the world. But there’s also evidence that too much of it is a bad thing. In fact, some studies have shown it makes people feel less than or lonely. Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you’re feeling angry, anxious, stressed, or left out while using social media, time to cool it for a while.

Create a daily routine

Being stuck at home completely throws off our routines, and routines help us feel in control. Plan out your week. Make a to-do list and set goals, whether it’s finally cleaning out the closet, painting a room, or reading a book. Create a routine for your kids, which will help give them a sense of normalcy during this very unusual and scary time.


Get out in nature

We say this very cautiously. If you aren’t under mandatory quarantine and can safely get out to a nearby natural area, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about being outside. In fact, being outdoors in green space improves mental health. While the jury is still out on how long the virus can last in airborne droplets, it’s not likely to be “floating around” in the air outside. Keep plenty of distance between you and others, avoid touching surfaces (including playground equipment at parks), and enjoy a bit of fresh air.


We need each other more than ever now. We’ll get through this crisis together. From the DCP Entertainment family, be safe and stay well.

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