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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Opinion: Staying sane while sheltering in place


By: Matt Legrand | Guest Writer

“May you live in interesting times,” goes an old curse. We are certainly experiencing such times now as governments strive to limit COVID-19’s progress by having people shelter-in-place. Many institutions have closed, and the prognosis is that they will be closed for many weeks. Schools, coffee houses, restaurants, gyms, places of worship, concert halls—places we depend on not just for sustenance but for enjoyment and meaning.

I feel like I’ve been here before. When I lost my job a year ago, I decided to try retirement. I’d always depended on my job to structure my life, and it was not always an easy adjustment, but I’ve benefited from having to make life meaningful and interesting on my own. 

Here are some suggestions gleaned from my experience that may help you as we hunker down.

  • Exercise, preferably outside. According to Bicycling Magazine it’s safer to be outside than in—after all, you can’t catch a virus from a tree. Exercise is still good for your health and your mood. If you keep the recommended distance, you can even do it with others. Hold a walking meeting. Run with friends. Bike with your mate, your children or your friends.
  • Strengthen your connections online and in- person. Social media can alienate and consume—they can also connect. Make social media work for you, not the other way around: Establish and maintain connections with people you know, with family, with neighbors.
  • Don’t panic-shop. Fear-driven buying sprees have emptied shelves of toilet paper and bottled water. Such panics deprive many of necessities and force stores to work harder. Stay calm, buy what you need, and don’t hoard. Ask neighbors if they have enough—sharing can help.
  • Learn about your library’s online services. Libraries have embraced the online world in a big way. Millions of books, articles and magazines are available free from libraries. Your tax dollars pay for it—why not use it? Your smartphone or computer or tablet is your portal. Visit your library’s website to learn more.
  • Take a second look at things you already have. That old guitar, the bookshelf, the garden out back—give them a chance to occupy you, entertain you and cure you of your cabin fever.

  • Take an online class or webinar. Most schools in the U.S. have closed. Your kids are probably taking online classes now. Follow their lead. There’s a plethora of online classes including interactive features that let you learn in a collaborative environment from your home. These include offerings by most colleges, including those near you as well as schools all over the world. Many of these are free. Try this Google search to explore some options.

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  • J

    Jim HaywoodMay 12, 2020 at 3:16 am

    Thank you for your enlightened information. I have indeed enjoyed some of these very activities.

  • C

    CaseyMar 26, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Great coverage and fantastic ideas. The library has been an invaluable resource for me while sheltered in place

    • M

      MattMay 12, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks, Casey!