As many students, faculty and staff are aware, the University of Illinois Springfield campus has had all non-essential activities cancelled and many operations suspended indefinitely. With few exceptions, students are no longer permitted to live on campus this semester, and all classes have been converted to remote or online methods. Social distancing has become crucial to the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19.
A multitude of experts have been speculating for a while that the United States is on a similar trajectory to that of Italy, based on current data analyses and graph comparisons. If this is true, there may be a national lockdown affecting almost every single aspect of daily life, and Illinois has already seen Governor Pritzker implement a shelter-in-place mandate in effect from March 21 to April 7. While it may become impossible (and highly irresponsible) to go to a concert or take a vacation during this time, there are still plenty of things to do to stay occupied and sane in the midst of this pandemic:
- Go for a walk, play a sport in the backyard, or relax on the porch. Even if the most draconian measures are taken -such as closing roads and the ordering of total quarantines
- People should still be able to get a breath of fresh air and use the space outside their homes, apartments or other living spaces. It is not healthy to stay in the same room for days on end without seeing the sunlight. Consider soaking up some vitamin D as the temperatures rise. The novel coronavirus cannot take the delights of spring away.
- Cultivate hobbies. Interested in watercolor painting? Poetry or music? Practicing yoga? Now is the time to brush up on old passions or pick up new ones. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to Dutch braid hair, cook like a master chef, dance or teach yourself a hard educational subject, there are plenty of ways to accomplish these things at home. Try looking up YouTube tutorials and practicing the craft as much as possible.
- Stay connected online with friends and family. Humans are social animals, and isolation is extremely detrimental to one’s health and overall well-being. If physical contact is no longer an option, try using text messaging, social media, talking over the phone, and Skype or other forms of video call. Make sure that you maintain your social support network as much as possible, as this can help ease any normal, negative feelings associated with living in the midst of a global crisis.
These are just a few ways to stay busy during the coronavirus pandemic without breaching standards of social distancing. Hopefully, if lockdown measures are abided by properly, we could see brighter -and healthier -days this summer.
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