How To Prepare For A Coronavirus Lockdown, By The Men Who Know How
If Italy’s example is anything to go by, we could be on course for a coronavirus lockdown very soon. For many that will mean social isolation and a sudden drop in human interaction, a disruption of your daily routine and a new set of circumstances in which you need to work.
Given how connected we are as a human race, especially if you live in a metropolitan area, this sudden drop in everything from conversations to just seeing other humans, has the potential to be difficult to deal with.
Luckily, thanks to the beauty of social media, we have access to the advice of people who are experts in exactly this sort of circumstance.
Former Royal Marines sniper Aldo Kane shared his experiences of solitude on Instagram. Kane recently underwent an experiment in which he was locked in a bunker for 10 days of solitary confinement.
On Twitter, Ex-Navy submariner Jon Bailey shared the things he learned about the importance of routine, privacy, food and exercise after a career spent underwater in a small steel tube for months on end.
During my time in the Submarine Service, I - along with many others - endured many weeks and months cooped up in a steel tube under the waves. I just thought I’d share a few coping strategies for many of you now facing a Covid-19 “patrol”. pic.twitter.com/m9ObHd6FU9— Jon Bailey (@SloopJontyB) March 20, 2020
Bailey also shared the experiences of Tom Corby. An artist and professor from London, Corby was Isolated for 9 months after stem cell treatment shared a thread of useful advice on what he’d learned.
1/ Some advice on self isolation #coronavirus
7-years ago I had a stem cell transplant I was isolated for 9-months, the following is what I learnt about staying well and sane: All the below are connected and overlap:— (@tom_corby1) March 20, 2020
Each man goes into great detail (and their posts are worth reading individually) but we’ve summarized 5 useful points for you here.
Create a Routine
Corby says that first and foremost “You need to adjust to and accept your new reality.”
To back this up, Kane says in his post: “To keep focused I had to set my own routine and discipline myself to see it through.”
The advice is expanded upon by Bailey who suggests you:
“Make a routine, test it then write it down and stick to it. Divide your day into work (if home working) rest, exercise, meals, hobbies, etc. Do the same for kids.
Get Regular Exercise
“Exercise was my church & my religion; it kept the demons at bay and the mind focused.” Says Kane.
All three men extoll the virtues of exercise both for the body and the mind. Both Kane and Corby recommend doing something every day “even if it’s just walking up the stairs.”
Bailey and Corby also recommend buying an exercise bike if you can, or a small pedal machine that sits under your desk.
Make Time For Privacy
If you’re living in a submarine, privacy is pretty much non-existent but also incredibly valuable. The same will be true, if to a lesser extent if you’re suddenly cooped up at home with your family all day.
“In family situations, be mindful that everyone is going a bit nuts,” says Corby. Bailey suggests adding dedicated private time into your routine.
“Even if you timeshare the front room, get everyone a couple of hours alone. Do whatever you want: watch sh*t films, pray, yoga, arrange matches: whatever gets you through.”
Remember to eat regularly
It’s ok, you’re not the only one who is comfort eating. But if you’re on you’re already on your second packet of biscuits today, it might be worth heeding Corby’s advice.
“Eat as healthy a diet as you possibly can. Take supplements, extra vitamin B and D.”
Bailey goes a step further and suggests that food can be used to break up the monotony of the week.
“Take time to prepare meals. A good mix of “feast & famine” will stop you piling on the pounds. For example: carb heavy meals three or four nights and light dishes like soup for the rest.
And keep the place clean
Finally, both Corby and Bailey recommend setting time aside to clean up.
“That house is going to get grungy”, says Bailey. “Put time in your daily routine to clean and stick to it.”
Corby also advises treating your personal hygiene with similar respect.
“Have a stringent hygiene routine. Have a shower every morning, keep good oral health as there is a weird connection between mouth infections and your immune system.