Cave time

Hands painted with red loveheart. Image by Tim Marshall

Isolation doesn't have to be lonely

Edited 18 March 2020 to add more resources/tips

Edited 18 April 2020 in response to changing isolation conditions and to incorporate more resources/tips

As the COVID-19 pandemic, declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), on 11 March 2020, begins to drive more people into isolating themselves in their homes (for those of us fortunate enough to have homes), there are increasing concerns not only on managing infection risks but also the social isolation that it represents. After decades of living with chronic illness and the consequences of various medical therapies and interventions (including for cancer), evolving disabilities, and other serious illnesses over the years, I have gone through many periods of life with varying restriction. I am restricted in diet, movement, and opportunity to shifting degrees. Some of these are by medical advice, some are sadly due to lack of understanding and poor design on a societal and systemic level. However, as my health and mobility has deteriorated, technological advances have changed the sense of connection and availability of alternatives. It is also somewhat galling to observe how quickly many of the systems that have denied access and inclusion to the disabled community have pivoted, almost overnight, to accommodate the pandemic demands for isolation and alternative arrangements. For those of us who are privileged to access functioning internet and computers, whether through a mobile device or PC there is more out there that we can connect with than has been previously available. 

In considering the ideas explored below, I would strongly encourage everyone to remain attentive to their mental and emotional health. If you are feeling anxious, stressed, distressed, depressed, overwrought, angry, frustrated, sad, lonely, despondent, or unstable, please know these are understandable feelings to have in response to an unknown and amorphous situation. Your feelings do not have to be fact and they do not have to dictate how you navigate the coming period. Whether you are facing isolation or quarantine by choice or requirement, may have little positive moderating effect on how well you can face the consequences on your health and experience of touch starvation but there are resources designed to help you. 

Please do not endure challenges on your own. Reach out to support resources, helplines, and friends. If you do reach out to friends, I suggest trying to use the practice of checking with that person if they are ready, willing, and able to support you at that time. I, myself, am still quite new at seeking help and support and often fumble in checking if a friend is in a good place to provide me with support until I awkwardly check after I’ve begun to veer the conversation in that direction. I’m very grateful and fortunate that I have a wonderful circle of generous-hearted and understanding people in my life. Practicing care for oneself and for others is an artform in itself and I am learning from others, just as much as I am learning for myself.

Ideas, Resources, and Tips

Connecting with people

There are many technologies and platforms that allow us to stay involved and invited into one another’s lives, even if we cannot meet face-to-face for a while.

Some ideas:

  • group chats via WhatsApp or Messenger
  • discrete conversations via Signal or Wire for the security conscious
  • free teleconferencing via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or other services (please note: different services have vastly different security provisions)
  • dial-a-banquet – make a date and time with friends and each of you sits down together with a meal prepared and dial in over teleconferencing technology to enjoy eating, talking, and laughing together
  • tele-exercise – make a commitment to follow a YouTuber exercise video together. For the more shy, don’t connect via teleconferencing technology. For those who need a bit of cheerleading and a class vibe, teleconference and lament how hard that simple-looking exercise is!
  • online gaming, unsurprisingly, remains a stalwart favourite for many people. However, it is also a fraught rabbit-hole of addictive behaviours for others which can lead to negative effects. Perhaps it needs to be done with some self-imposed rules around the nature of the games, the hours of play, and the people with whom you will play that create a more positive experience for you. Interestingly, one Professor shared a concern that she was unaware of any free and suitable platforms for large-scale communication (e.g. Zoom limits group meetings to 40 minutes for free plan users) and her husband suggested using a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (commonly referred to as MMORPG).
  • tabletop gaming made online using technology. With a decent internet connection and a camera on a device, if you and several of your friends have the same game at home, you can sit around and make a play date. Alternatively, there are also tools designed to support gaming from a distance, such as Roll20. Roll20 is a website consisting of a set of tools for playing tabletop role-playing games, also referred to as a virtual tabletop for online gaming. I mention this one because it is a favourite amongst many friends.
  • Send a digital postcard – you can lose hours into making your own digital artwork and send it to friends. A small example of websites where you can create some postcards are Canva, Smilebox (which lets you make video collages!) and Visme.

Take a tour

There are several museums around the world that have virtual tours that you can take from the comfort of your home computer/device. Not only is it cheaper, you won’t have the hassle of international customs and awkwardly painful airplane seats.

Self care and managing anxiety

The constant stream of “hot takes”, speculations, and latest news about COVID-19 can be exhausting as well as compromising to one’s sense of hope, control, and capacity. It may be worth re-evaluating how and when you are consuming social media and news, and being conscious of your stress and anxiety levels and your emotional responses generally. Being informed may be responsible, but being overwhelmed is not something you owe anyone. Take time out as you need it and look to reliable sources of credible and validated information. Make sure you’re not only taking breaks, but also getting quality rest and nourishing food, as much as you are able to and within the means that you have. If you are struggling, please consider reaching out for help from your local community. There are plenty of community groups, including Buy Nothing and other locally-based self-organising groups that are already rallying together to offer help, gifts of supplies, and supports for those who are of higher risk or in higher need due to their circumstances.

A note on meditation: if you are not experienced in meditation, tread carefully in embracing meditation for the first time in a period of heightened anxiety, fear, or stress. The body can store trauma and body-focused meditations may elicit physical responses throughout an unfamiliar meditation practice. It does not mean meditation will not work for you, but some people report the triggering of traumatic responses that will require further processing. For others, it can leave them feeling disoriented rather than soothed. As such meditation can be a stressor for some, rather than providing beneficial outcomes as it does for others. If this is the case for you, accept it and do not judge yourself or your body for this. Mindful action tends to be recommended as a safer practice, particularly when being done without the guidance and support of a professional or highly practiced companion. In some cases, acknowledging that the meditation has provoked anxiety or distress is enough to allow people to try it again another time and find it much more soothing the next time.

In the meantime, some more specific suggestions for taking care of yourself, at home:

  • Jason Stephenson is a guided meditation creator on YouTube and is often recommended by mental health professionals. Sleep in the arms of safety, in particular is designed to help conquer panic, anxiety, fear, and shift you to comforted and nourishing sleep.
  • Try looking for beginner exercise videos on YouTube that don’t require jumping, weights, or equipment. Beginner exercises are particularly good for people who may be carrying more stress and tension in their muscles and joints than they may realise and makes them more prone to injuries. I encourage you to be cautious of more strenuous exercise during times of stress unless you are very familiar with it. I personally, really enjoy Emi Wong and this is an one of her workout videos. Isometric exercises are also great for strength-building or strength maintenance without weights and other equipment. If you do want to use weights, your pantry is hopefully stocked with at least a couple of handy tins and jars with their weight printed on them. Alternatively, fill empty containers with water.
  • Yoga at home. Yes, for those of you who haven’t tried it before, maybe now is the time. Make a commitment to try it everyday for seven days and monitor how you feel after each session and then how you feel at the end of the week. It’s not the magic cure-all claimed by some, but it might have benefits for you. Again, there are plenty of YouTube creators who provide good instructions and easy-to-follow videos.
  • Moisturise your hands and include a hand massage.  We’re all washing our hands frequently. It is entirely possible that for many people, the handwashing regime recommended by medical experts and scientists (with soap, warm water, and for at least 20 seconds) is more extensive than what many are accustomed to unless they have previously lived with immunocompromised systems. This means your hands are probably getting dried out and possibly even a little sore. Moisturising and keeping your skin in healthier condition promotes a reduction of vulnerability to infection and abrasions. It’s also useful to massage your hands and has many benefits. Read this article for a how-to guide and more information on the benefits of hand massage.
  • Mindfully being a participant in your time at home. The time in your home can stretch out to feel like aeons of deprivation if you focus on what you cannot do and what you must not do. It can also represent great opportunities to be present and mindful of the experiences that are available to you. As someone who enjoys relative fitness, strength, mobility, and autonomy on most days, including in meeting my own physical needs, I concede that it is certainly a simpler practice when frustrations do not dominate my experience. Whilst I have practiced forms of meditation for over two decades and draw a multitude of benefits from the practice, it is not the only way to be mindful and present. Try reframing small specific experiences as opportunities to practice enjoying them. For example: brushing your teeth is a chance to do nothing other than take care of your teeth and gums, now and for future dental health. It is also (for those of us who do not have kids demanding our time and energy) a time of *not* working on a tedious project, or doing difficult things.
  • If you are facing mental health challenges and can identify a specific issue that you would like to work on, this site has a wealth of workbook resources that come highly recommended. You may also like to do some of these exercises purely as a mental health upgrade, much like people exercise their bodies to become more fit. Some are standalone modules and each contain suggestions. Of course, none of this can serve as a substitute for professional help which I urge you to consider. 
  • If you would like to try some meditation, these are a downloadable selection which have been provided by a mental health specialist.
  • Blooming Minds has also provided a video addressing the stress of managing social distancing.
  • These wellbeing books featuring activities are recommended for children and young people.

MenTal Health and Domestic Violence Crisis

It may seem strange to some that I have listed these together, but the brutal and terrible reality is that living in isolated households, many facing job loss and many related challenges means there has been a significant increase in mental health and anger management challenges. These are identified risk factors for increased domestic violence incidences. It is more difficult for people to reach out for help, when they live in close conditions with perpetrators. There is no easy fix for this. However, there are many supports available in Australia for managing stress, anger, and mental health before it manifests as violent outbursts.

Please also be conscious, if you are providing care or support for someone facing mental health challenges, that you may well be facing significant strain as the primary caregiver in an isolated household. There are specialised supports and resources designed for carers. Your mental health and needs matter too.

If you have come to this page from other countries, I apologise as I have only listed Australian-based services, however some of the websites may still be of use for you.

  • Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1300 555 788 
  • Crisis Care 1800 199 00
    for urgent need
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
    Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Mental Health Carers Australia 1300 554 660
    Supports and resources for carers. You are a “carer” if you play a vital role in supporting a person with mental ill health including providing practical or emotional support
  • Helping Minds
    Provides a range of free, professional and confidential counselling and support programs to adults who have a friend or family member that is affected by mental illness or are at risk of developing a mental illness themselves. https://helpingminds.org.au/
  • QLife 1800 184 527

    Available between 3pm-12am
    Counselling and referral service for LGBTI+ people experiencing poor mental health

  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

    Free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 in Australia. Call 1800 551 800 for help.

  • 1800 Respect 1800 737 732
    is a free and confidential twenty-four hours, seven days a week, professional national counselling service for any Australian that has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
  • Aboriginal Family and Domestic Violence Hotline 1800 019 123

    Victims Services has a dedicated contact line for Aboriginal victims of crime who would like information on victims rights, how to access counselling and financial assistance.

  • Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380

    Telephone counselling for adult survivors of childhood trauma, their friends, family and the health care professionals who support them. Call 1300 657 380 between 9am-5pm for counselling services or email at helpline@blueknot.org.au.

  • Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78
    Support for men concerned about their own violent behaviour.
  • RSPCA – Safe beds for pets (02) 9782 4408
    Provides temporary safe housing for pets of people who are escaping domestic violence.

Upgrade your skills

Is there something you’ve been meaning to learn, practice, or master but haven’t had the time to do so? I’ve had access to an Auslan online course for a month but previously felt too time-poor to devote focused time and practice to it. I have plans to learn and practice with my housemate when we’re both isolated and effectively unemployed or significantly underemployed. This is not intended as a implication that you owe your time to something challenging or taxing, but for some people, learning or practicing something that is aligned to a passion or interest can feel energising as well as alleviate feelings of boredom or being lost in an unknown period of confinement. Perhaps you want to get better at that musical instrument that has been gathering dust in the corner? If Italy has shown us anything recently, the impromptu balcony bandscommunity choirs, and apartment block acapella, are something we might be able to look forward to and we may as well refine our musical talents in the meantime! 

Keep in mind, living in isolation often represents work life, domestic life, and public life now brought simultaneously into the home. The blurring of boundaries and overlap are fatiguing. If you are working from home, you may find these recommendations from a mental health specialist helpful. No one is obligated to have the spare time or, most importantly, energy to devote to learning or acquiring additional skills. But, for those for whom learning is nourishing or motivating, this period may represent opportunity.

Close up of hands playing acoustic guitar. Image by Jefferson Santos

Arthouse

I am fortunate to have some art supplies to hand, being an artist, to tinker with. However, not everyone will have such things readily available in their homes. There are apps for colouring in and printable PDFs online. If you don’t have pencils, textas, or markers, there are ways to make watercolours and even face paint with leftover or spoiling fruit and vegetables here. There are plenty of amazing makers and artists sharing tips and inspiration on Instagram and YouTube especially, as well as other social media platforms. Even if you don’t have access to all the ideal materials and tools, perhaps you can enjoy the additional project of adapting what you do have in aid of a new project and new hobby.

Watercolours, brushes, and painting in progress. Image by Елена Можвило

As the arts have often been enjoyed face-to-face, in public spaces, the pandemic and need to be conscious of exposure, infection, and reducing community risk has greatly shifted how we showcase, access, and celebrate art and artists. In a remarkably adaptive response, there is now an online festival called the Social Distancing Festival accepting submissions and intending to provide livestreams. Check it out!

Many performing arts groups have started to shift to online streaming! Enjoy world class performances and local theatre from the comfort of your home.

One example is The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia which announced that for the first time in its history, many classic opera and ballet performances (called the “Golden Series”) would be broadcast livestream on the theater’s Youtube channel for everyone to watch for free. 
Shows will be broadcast live, and the film will be reserved for 24 hours for global audiences to enjoy at the Bolshoi Theatre Youtube Channel.

The New York Metropolitan Opera is livestreaming. Check out their website to find out when the next opera will be shown.

The Berlin Philharmonic is allowing free access to its Digital Concert Hall for one month.

Keep an eye out for authors doing live readings of their books and artists livestreaming when they’re creating in their studios. Musicians are also announcing and sharing livestreamed concerts.

Where and when you can, please consider donating to artists as many creators are providing content for free, being mindful that millions of people are facing significant financial distress, housing and food insecurity, and are not charging fees to keep art accessible for them, but they themselves, are often facing financial challenges.

Words can lift you

I understand that the thoughtful team at Rabble Books and Games are putting together a recommended reading list of hope and uplifting texts. Others are building recommended lists too and bookworms are sharing their intended reading stacks on social media which might inspire you. Rabble has also introduced a Community Books initiative where those who cannot afford to purchase books may “buy” a book for free from a selection of new books donated by other generous customers, and a group of socially-minded publishers. This is currently only available to Perth residents.

There are now many library apps to facilitate e-book borrowing which allow you to borrow digital copies of books without having to set foot in the public space.

I keep my reading list updated here but if you’d like a more visual look at my current reading delights, follow my Instagram or check out my Facebook page to see what I’m reading.

Alternatively, write! It is a useful creative outlet that requires very little in the way of tools. Scrap paper and a single writing implement will do, or use a note-keeping app or program on your electronic device. 

There are several generous authors providing lessons online, such as Catherine Deveny who ask for donations from those who are able. Lauren Gunderson, the ‘most produced playwright in America’ is offering a multi-part Livestream series on her Facebook page, offering classes on how to develop your own playwright skills. Learn to write your own play with Lauren!

Alternatively, support local booksellers, many of whom are providing now providing at-home deliveries during this period and check out some of the books that come highly recommended for developing your writing including:

  • Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
  • On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
  • Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
  • Steering the Craft, by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Writer’s Journey, by Christopher Vogler.

(Please bear in mind this isn’t a comprehensive list, but I see these frequently recommended or have read them myself and found them worthwhile.)

If you are feeling emotionally or mentally challenged or distressed in any way, writing is also highly recommended by many mental health professionals as a means to process complex feelings and situations. Free yourself from worrying about the quality of writing and give yourself permission to write for your own benefit.

Community care

There are obvious limitations on how much you can help out neighbours and those close by in your community during a period of isolation (self-imposed or medically advised) and quarantine. However, with consideration and preparedness, you may be able to reach out to help one another. Some of my wonderfully thoughtful friends, who are able-bodied and healthy with no pre-existing conditions to make them higher risk and more vulnerable, have been writing letters and making cards to drop off around their neighbourhoods offering help in the form of grocery deliveries or collecting items from the Post Office. A lab scientist shared that, in lieu of spraying items down with antibacterial sanitiser, you can spray them with 70% ethanol sprays and this is how they ensure cleanliness of equipment for research and pharmaceutical purposes.  The current recommendations detail leaving items at the door, and communicating via messaging (or ringing doorbells but be aware that you should wash your hands as soon as possible) that the deliveries have been made. Maintain 1.5m distance from one another. Wash your hands as soon as practicable after handling the items and avoid touching your face during the time of collecting and storing the deliveries. 

An innovative app has been brought to my attention called Olio which facilitates hyper-local giving. If you have excess food, particularly during this period where food wastage seems almost unethical and there are people facing additional challenges in acquiring food, you can use this app to register your available food. Once listing the food, you can then choose who you would like to share your food with and set a safe pickup or drop-off location.  

Display soft toys in your windows if you have windows that face onto public streets and be part of the worldwide social distance scavenger hunt! Children are being taken on walks as household units are required to remain isolated from one another. People are putting their stuffed toys on display so that children can look out for them. It is one way to give a little spark of joy to passersby (young and older). Similarly, rainbows are another way to spread some joy and a sense of community solidarity in expressing hopefulness. There are quite a few different interpretations on what the rainbows are intended to mean, but the sum effect is that there are rainbows decorating sidewalks, house walls and fences, and windows, and the messages of hope, resilience, and community care are a welcome beacon amidst challenging times.

This is a good time to also practice awareness that disability and illness are not always visible nor easily discerned. The people in your community who are vulnerable may not present with visible signifiers of illness or health challenge. Whilst COVID-19 is high risk for complications and severe outcomes for elderly people, it is also high risk for multiple health conditions (e.g. diabetes and hypertension). Transmission is a risk for people connected to people moving around in public spaces. “Social distancing” refers to maintaining space between people (recommended at 1.5m or 6 feet) to reduce likelihood of transmitting infection and a person becoming ill themself and/or carrying the virus to others. Whilst the mortality rate is low for some, it is very high for some. Hospitalisation and respiratory supports are more likely to be required by some and, as the rates of infection increases, there may come a time when there will be challenges for people receiving sufficient assistance due to projected high numbers needing them simultaneously.

I’ve become aware of people struggling to know how to appropriately care for those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and severe complications arising from the infection. This organisation has generously released an online learning module for free with theory and strategies on preventing and controlling infections from the perspective of carers and support workers.

Add your voice

This suggestion is for those of us who do not do well with feeling disempowered, disengaged, or distanced from being able to help others. It’s not always feasible to engage in lobbying and activism in person, but there are ways to join in and lend your voice, thoughts, and numbers to things from home (thanks to the Internet and telecommunications). The following are oriented around the Australian context. 

Some suggestions (please feel free to comment and add more and please note this is not intended to be a comprehensive list):

  • The National Association for the Visual Arts Advocacy (NAVA) is inviting people to contribute to a survey explaining the way artists are being impacted. NAVA intends to liaise with and advocate to government at all levels to generate appropriate urgent policy and funding responses: Take the NAVA COVID-19 survey
  • The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance is urging people to join together in the #LiveSupport campaign on various social media channels in recognition of how many people across the arts, media, and entertainment industries are losing their jobs and livelihoods. All industry workers are urged to record a short video message to let the government know about the impact of the shutdown on the industry. Some more information can be found here.
  •  Email or tweet the Hon Paul Fletcher, Minister of the Arts (Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts)  and the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment (Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) and let them know your concerns and urge them to act given the Arts and Entertainment industries will be severely affected. Relatedly, email or otherwise engage with the the Hon Greg Hunt, Health Minister about adequate support and resources for the healthcare workers who are facing significant work burden during the pandemic. Here is a guideline for contacting Senators and Members of Parliament. Let’s also keep in mind that there are a lot of other industries such as hospitality, catering, electricians, painters, retailers, small business owners (amongst many others) that are losing their jobs and livelihoods. 
  •  Contribute to #ILostMyGig campaigning and to the website which is tallying the estimated financial and economic impact on the Arts creative industries of Australia and New Zealand
  • Immunocompromised, immunosuppressed, disabled people are all at higher risk. There are increasing concerns that the responses in place at the moment in Australia are focused more on elderly people at risk to the detriment of people with disability and chronic illnesses. Please consider adding your voice to raising concerns and asking for more consideration. Many of the public health announcements have been televised without Auslan interpretation or close captioning, as an example, of the way in which accessibility needs have not been well provided for. The Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health have released a statement that may provide you with some key points if you choose to join in the campaign. “Leading health and disability researchers are calling for urgent action from State and Federal governments to develop a targeted response to COVID-19 for people with disability, their families and the disability service sector.” Email or tweet the Hon Stuart Robert, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services.
  • If ever there was a time that the realities of Australia’s low income support system are going to be felt, it will be now and during the pandemic as economies around the globe struggle, resources become difficult to procure or manage, and the vulnerable populations face even more challenges. The Newstart rate has not been increased in real terms in 25 years while living costs for people on low incomes have continued to increase dramatically. Learn more about the #RaiseTheRate campaign and lend your voice.
  • Many sex workers are facing significant financial distress in the wake of the pandemic. This fundraiser is seeking to provide some relief in the form of resources, some funding, and awareness-raising for sex workers.
Apple keyboard, pen, coffee on a white background. Image by Leone Venter

Family Friendly

These resources were compiled by several parents who were conscious of the challenges of home-schooling, along with living and working in isolation.

Wellbeing/ wellness

https://www.sanvello.com/coronavirus-anxiety-support/
https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

Online Workouts and Yoga
https://www.downdogapp.com/
https://www.doyogawithme.com/

Free Audiobooks
https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Textbooks
https://www.cambridge.org/about-us/covid-19/

Learn How to Play Chess Online
https://app.chessclub.com/learn/courses/all

Learn a Language
https://www.duolingo.com/

Watch Broadway Productions Online
https://www.playbill.com/article/15-broadway-plays-and-musicals-you-can-watch-on-stage-from-home(note: some of these require access to paid streaming services, but many of these services offer free-trials).

Watch Opera Performances Streamed by ‘The Met’
https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

The Met Opera, while having to cancel their 19-20 season, are now offering a variety of different performances on their website.

Animal live-streaming from zoos

https://www.standard.net.au/story/6702920/the-zoos-that-are-live-streaming-to-keep-your-kids-educated/

Cheat and do your rubik’s cube with step-by-step instructions

https://rubiks-cube-solver.com/ 

Thanks for caring

Finally, thank you. Thank yourself and be proud of yourself for handling this situation. It’s a new one for the global community and it is a new one for each of us. Some of us may have dealt with versions of isolation in different forms for different reasons before, but none of us have faced a pandemic of this nature, of this scale, in this contemporary context. We’re learning, and we will fumble. We’re trying, and we’re caring for ourselves and hopefully for one another. 

This situation is one in which fear are easily cultivated. Fear itself can foster a fertile ground for prejudice and othering, myth-making in the absence of concrete knowlege, and faulty sense-making where we make sense of the world and what is happening in ways that are not healthy or good for us. If you are doing better at maintaining calm and rational responses, help someone else or at least, pause on judging them. I believe that we are each showing up to the best of our ability at any given moment and the complexities that contribute to that are a multitude of personal stories we don’t yet know about each other. The person who is panic-buying and acting out may have so many factors contributing to their distress. Being witnessed with derision and judgement will not help them calm down. It’s all easier said than done, but I know that I am intending to practice finding ways to be more understanding as I watch more stories unfold. I am focusing on and celebrating the stories of intentional and considered generosity and community spirit triumphing in times where fear talks very loudly in our ears. Maybe, out of this all, we’ll be learning ways to improve our collective experience of the world and the many flawed systems we’ve been living in.

Let’s share the gratitude too:

  • Display or put out a thank you note or send a message by digital means to healthcare workers, garbage collectors, cleaners (especially in the hospitals), artists who are putting their wares online for free to help lift spirits. 
  • Thank someone who has helped you in a way that was meaningful to you. Was it the cashier who smiled at you and wished you well even though they’ve probably worked a long shift and had a lot of tough interactions that day? Was it the pharmacist who was gentle about explaining other ways to keep clean?
  • Thank your housemates (including the pets) for being cute or being rascals. They’re probably wondering why you’re home so much but possibly quite delighted by it. You’re getting an insight to the secret life of pets!
 
PLEASE NOTE:

This whole post is not intended to serve as a be-all-and-end-all list – there are amazing ideas populating the internet and in our streets. I’ve written this geared towards low- to no- additional cost because I’m conscious a lot of people will be facing significant financial insecurity and challenge. 

I hope you’ll be okay. We’ll find ways forward.

If you find this writing meaningful, valuable, or in some way helpful, please consider making a donation.

Otherwise, please feel free to share my writing with attribution. Thank you.

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