The Better for America Podcast

The Coronavirus Crisis is Depressing, For Sure, But You Need to Keep Yourself Occupied in Order to Overcome Social Seclusion

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2020
by Rebecca Weber

coronavirus distract social distance Everyone enjoys a day off every once in a while. Most kids enjoy those snow days when they wake up in the morning to find that an overnight snowfall prevents them from going to school that day. Adults, too, might look forward to a not-so-sick day that gives them a chance to work from home in their pajamas.

But none of us were prepared for the isolation and loneliness of “sheltering in place” during the coronavirus crisis.  The experts tell us that this new norm can cause psychological and physical harm if we don’t take measures to stimulate our minds and invigorate our bodies.  We need to stay in touch with ourselves and with the world.

Social seclusion is particularly dangerous for the elderly, especially for seniors who live alone.  In normal times they can ward off depression by meeting up occasionally with friends and neighbors or by hanging out at their gyms or senior centers. So, how can they — and the rest of us — stay sane in a world that has gone mad.

The first thing to do is to take matters into your own hands by vowing not to give in to a notion that you are in solitary confinement.  Be aware that there are things you can do to engage your mind and to keep yourself active.

For example, staying connected with friends and family using technology, which is not just for the twenty-somethings among us.  Even the orneriest of old timers among us can learn to use picture phones, better known as FaceTime via an Apple cell phone or Google Duo if you prefer an android based mobile device.  It’s just like making an old fashioned telephone call except it allows you to look — eye-to-eye — at the person with whom you are talking.

The idea is to distract yourself.  This is no time to feel sorry for yourself.  For example, make a to-do list of entertaining and engaging activities such as taking walks around the block.  You don’t have to shake hands with passersby with whom you might be connected; simply give him or her a hearty smile and a wave.  And, remember just because you need to distance yourself, there’s no need to shout to one another across six feet of space to participate in a conversation.

Meanwhile, limit the amount of time you spend watching news reports about the pandemic on your TV.  Keep yourself informed, by all means.  But, don’t let the “bad news” that is being reported get to you.

And, if there ever was a time for getting physical, it is now.  Stay active.  If you can’t get out for a walk, at least establish a routine of in-home activities that will keep your blood flowing and your mind off of bad news.  Set for yourself a list of daily chores around the house such as cleaning up the place and spending time doing indoor exercises such as sit ups and pushups.

Finally, if you are going to use your computer to keep abreast of developments related to the coronavirus outbreak — focus on the progress that is being made on the task of dealing with the disease.  It can be quite encouraging.  Better yet, there are a plethora of uplifting and downright humorous videos related to the disease available via the Internet.  Google or search the Web for “funny coronavirus videos.”

Remember, laughter is the best medicine.  My personal favorite is a video on YouTube that is attributed to one Frank Vaccariello.  It chronicles the very amusing ways that the characters in the TV series, MASH, dealt with the perils of infections.  It is, itself, an infectiously funny take on our current dilemma and can be viewed at

About AMAC  

The 2.1 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. AMAC Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing the membership in our nation’s capital and in local Congressional Districts throughout the country.  And the AMAC Foundation,, is the Association’s non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting and educating America’s Seniors. Together, we act and speak on the Association members’ behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at

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H. Stowe
H. Stowe
4 years ago

This is a purely planned pandemic designed for human behavior modification and control. If you somehow have trouble believing it, just look at how life changed after 911 and how radically it has changed now. In Democrat controlled states, police are knocking on your door and pulling you over for not “social distancing.” Sure, sick people need to stay home, but the rest of us need to work. We all need to be free. Flattening the curve is prolonging the disease. It’s that simple.

Robin Boyd
Robin Boyd
4 years ago

The latest virus itself is not so much depressing as is the media attention it is getting and the fact that we are actually paying enough attention to this particular virus to combat it’s affects. Hopefully we will learn how to deal better with such future pandemics and even the seasonal flu.

4 years ago

I’m ready to bust out. This may have not been political in the beginning, but it’s fast becoming one. I think a whole heck of a lot of people have already HAD the virus and recovered long ago. I was very, very sick at the end of November, and I’ll wager it was the Covid. I also had a cold at the beginning of March before all this shut down craziness started. If people want to cower inside, do it. The rest of us want to get on with our lives. Quarantine the vulnerable, not the able bodied.

Bob L.
Bob L.
4 years ago

If a person is generally healthy and not on a medication that lists compromising one’s immune system as a side effect, there’s no reason to stay cooped up at home.

The further along it gets, the virus and restrictions because of it are proving to be overrated. The numbers are being fudged and don’t add up. Why the big jump in reported deaths starting last Monday, the 6th? The CDC had changed how deaths were to be classified, hospitals were told to list COVID as the cause of death even if “you’re just assuming or it only contributed to a death”. Yes, there are some very sick people with the virus, but mostly they already have or had other serious, life threatening health issues. Something that’s not even being mentioned in the statistics is how many people have already had the virus and didn’t seek hospitalization, staying at home and maybe just going to the doctor the same as with the seasonal flu? We’re only being hosed with the dire and incomplete stats. With the unprecedented measures being imposed on America I have to ask, what is the underlying agenda?

4 years ago

I understand that some miss the workplace, having lunch at the corner cafe, or being unrestricted in travel. We want our routines back. I miss my solitary drives in the countryside, going to spring shows, and the occasional lunch out with a friend. Maybe it’s because I normally spend so much time at home, with Mother, but, frankly, not much has changed! But, certainly, I understand cabin fever; a few neighbors remind me every time I see them!

We always have a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the table, unread books, and something to clean…again. I take a lot of photographs, but now it’s the birds splashing in the bird bath, closeups of leaves unfolding, or documenting the vegetables’ progress. I also enjoy writing at a few other sites.

I hope you and your family are well, although, as time goes on, we’re more likely to know someone who has been affected by this virus. We know 2 casualties, both elderly. All we can do is the best we can; the rest is out of our hands. I wear a mask, to which I added a smile, when shopping for groceries. But that guy at Costco with the dry cough? …tsk, tsk. What were you DOING there? So, WE take precautions in case we come across people like him.

Maybe it comes down to personality type, introvert or extrovert, and attitude. Or it’s a matter of patience. Knowing that we WILL get over this “soon”, though, is something to look forward to…REALLY look forward to. Stay home; stay well.

Diana Erbio
Diana Erbio
4 years ago

For those that are interested in American history…I created a Facebook Page Statues:The People They Salute where I post lesser known American history, a Daily Quiz question & well..statues ? I have written columns for AMAC online for a few years now…maybe you recognize my name…???

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