Planning and Staying Busy During Coronavirus Social Distancing

Close up of an elderly man wearing a face mask
March 17, 2020 | Categories: Aging In Place , Disabled Youth , Life In A Wheelchair , Safety , Senior Citizens , Spinal Cord Injuries , Veterans ,

The CDC and many communities are asking people to practice social distancing to help slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). While there’s no need to panic, you should still prepare for what you’ll need and how you’ll keep your days filled while at home.


  • Check that you have enough medication to make it through at least 14 days. If you are running low on any, call your pharmacy to see if you can refill early.
  • When checking your cabinets before heading to the stores, check your supplies of fever reducers (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) and cough suppressants.
  • Call your doctor and review what symptoms you should be monitoring, and put a plan in place in the event you suspect you have contracted coronavirus.
  • If you have a caregiver, determine who will care for you if they become sick or unavailable

Keep Busy

  • The best way to stay healthy is to reduce your contact with someone who may be infected, which will include limiting your trips to see others. While this might feel isolating, there’s a lot that you can do to feel connected to others and accomplish tasks.
  • Online book clubs: Connect through message boards about the page-turner you’re all reading.
  • Socialize alone: Instead of meeting a friend for lunch, order takeout or cook the same meal at home, and then have a video chat date.
  • Get fresh air: Enjoy the sunshine when you can, whether you garden, listen to a podcast, or sit on your ramp and birdwatch.
  • Create a daily routine: A sudden drop in a busy social schedule can be a shock, so create a calendar to keep you feeling accomplished and on-task.
  • Clear off your to-read list: If your library is still open, check out the books that you haven’t gotten around to reading. If your physical location is closed, your library card may give you access to lots of online resources, including e-book rentals.
  • Check-in from the safety of your home: Call or video chat with your neighbors and family members.
  • Take a class: There are many online courses available, and plenty for free. Learn a new skill or dive into an old favorite.
  • Foster an animal: contact your local animal shelter to find out if they have any animals in need of fostering. Keep in mind that senior animals are generally already housetrained. Animals can provide companionship and help keep you on a routine and getting fresh air.

While social distancing can feel isolating, with some planning, you can protect yourself and your community while still staying connected with those around you.

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