Dr. Hazen Short just wrapped up a 14-day self-quarantine for potential exposure to SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. He shares his thoughts on how to pass time during a home quarantine in this week’s blog.
I’ve been on a strict home quarantine since March 14th, per the Kansas Department of Health, due to my travel that previous week. It has been… less than ideal.
The COVID-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc on our day to day routine, and to me and many, the loss of that routine causes significant distress. I miss seeing friends, family, going to a restaurant, going to work, etc. I have gone into public exactly once, to get milk and diapers for my baby, and the lady coughing harshly in the grocery store made it an anxiety provoking outing.
If I get COVID-19, as a young person with no underlying health issues, I’d likely be fine, but as we’ve heard that is not guaranteed. The bigger concern for me is spreading the infection to my patients, so I have taken the quarantine and social distancing as seriously as possible.
So Dr. Short, how have you passed the time?
I’m glad you asked! Here is a list of socially distant, quarantine-approved activities you and your lock-down amigos can do to stay sane.
- Go outside! It is perfectly fine to go for a walk, jog, or bike ride, as long as you keep your distance from others. To be safe, try to avoid children playing on playground equipment.
- Board/Card games! If you didn’t know, we are in a golden age of board games. These are a nice way to unplug and have fun with others. Here are a few of my current favorites: Codenames, Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Monikers. Pandemic is another good one but it might hit too close to home right now.
- Exercise! Besides the outdoor activities above, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home. Body weight exercises like pushups, squats, up-downs (burpees), and crunches are ways to get the blood pumping. Just 10 minutes a day is better than nothing!
- Delivery services! Most grocery stores offer delivery or curb-side pick-up. I strongly recommend this, especially for those at high risk for COVID complications. Insta-cart is an app where you can order groceries from many stores: Costco, Price Chopper, Aldi, CVS, and more.
- Takeout! If you really miss a certain food (mine is spicy noodles), check with your favorite restaurants to see if they offer takeout. This is a good way to support local businesses.
- Frozen food! Frozen meat and produce are a must during this time. Canned food is less healthy, as it is loaded with salt. Frozen vegetables, fruits, and meats often have no added sodium (especially if bought plain… think bag of green beans, not microwave meals). Buying frozen food in bulk is also a smart way to save money, as the food will not go bad anytime soon.
- Television! Let’s be real, staying at home for days on end, we all will be watching Netflix, Hulu, etc. If you don’t have a streaming service, now is a great time for a free trial (set a reminder to cancel). Be sure to get up from the couch often (see “Activities!” above). I heard “Tiger King” is ridiculous btw…
- Video games! Online games can be a good way to keep up with friends, and some games can even help with exercise on systems like the Wii and Switch.
- Stay off social media! DOCTORS ORDERS! But seriously, most social media posts are not helpful to your psyche, and are full of bad information. Getting in an argument with your cousin about politics will not make you feel better, trust me.
- Zoom! Zoom is a free software that is basically a better Skype. It allows for group video chats, and can be used in a variety of ways. I had never heard of it before last week, but have used it several times already. We’ve done virtual trivia nights with family and friends, and I had a happy hour with some old college buddies.
- Video calling! Facetime, What’s App, and other apps can connect you face to face with friends and family on your phone. This is a great way to talk instead of a typical phone call.
Above all, stay safe. We are open during normal hours for telemedicine, and will see patients in person for urgent matters (fractures, abscess drainages, that kind of fun stuff). We are testing for COVID-19 in symptomatic patients, please see our previous emails for information. Please check KDHE and CDC for up to date information on COVID.
If you have any questions, or want more information on anything I’ve mentioned, or want to play a round of Catan on Zoom with me, please reach out!
Hazen Short, MD