We’ve had to adjust to some pretty major life changes since Covid-19 has been on the scene, including nationwide lockdowns that felt more like something out of a sci-fi film . We’ve certainly all appreciated our freedom that bit more since shops reopened and restrictions eased, but at least when lockdowns were official, we were all in it together.
For individuals who test positive at even this late stage, the reality couldn’t be more different. In fact, those who weathered even three-month wide-spread periods of isolation without difficulty are finding that obligatory ten-day periods of isolation during Covid itself are much harder to bear. This is especially true during the festive season, where such individuals are witnesses to festivities all around but unable to join in the fun.
It’s a necessary yet difficult reality, but the good news is that if your loved one is struggling with their ten-day removal from life as normal, then there’s plenty you can do to make this period easier for them. Unlike lockdowns that saw us all equally unable to provide the support others sometimes needed, the freedom of your own movements can especially help you to bring light to their struggle in the following ways.
# 1 – Leave tasty treats at their door
If everyone in your friend’s household has tested positive for Covid, then shopping has probably fallen by the wayside. Luckily, while it isn’t safe to see your friend face-to-face, you are still entirely free to leave shopping at their door, or even cook them some ready-to-go meals and let them know that they’re outside. This can make a huge difference in simplifying your friend’s life and helping them to feel like there’s less to worry about. It also doesn’t hurt to throw in a few treats like their favorite chocolates, or a magazine that they can get stuck into to pass at least a little of the time. All of this is going to make a huge difference both to their every day (eating healthily could even help to aid recovery), and also to their mentality when faced with such a long period alone.
# 2 – Catch up however you can
Though it may feel like your loved one is a million miles away, we’ve all learned a thing or two recently about communicating even when we can’t meet up in person. This is especially important at a time when your friend likely feels like they’re missing out on meetups and fun that everyone else is having, and it’s something you can offset by making sure to catch up however you can. Obviously, Zoom calls are going to feature here just like they did during lockdown, but it’s also invaluable to send regular Whatsapp messages and voice clips, etc. during the day when everyone else is at work. This is a small effort on your part, but you can bet that these regular updates during a period when your loved one might not hear from anyone else can become the crutch that keeps them connected to the outside world, and keeps them strong even when isolation gets tough.
# 3 – Arrange fun things for them to do
Ongoing communication is one thing, but if a brief message from you is all your loved one has to look forward to then they could start feeling down pretty quickly, especially if there’s no one else in their household. Hence, it’s also important to arrange a few fun activities that give them something to work towards during their days. This can’t involve anything too strenuous as that could hinder recovery, but there are still plenty of little things that could make a huge difference. As was the case during initial lockdowns, hosting virtual game nights is a great option here, and provides a chance for your friend to effectively socialize regardless of their situation. Either use your prior knowledge of how to do this well or read more about it here to arrange at least a few of these during those ten days. Equally, something like a dinner party where everyone attends via Zoom, or even just a film that you can all watch together from a distance can provide that little boost to make the days feel less samey, and the time go that bit quicker.
# 4 – Make fun plans in ten days
Just a few days into their isolation period, your loved one will likely start feeling like this time will never end. That much is inevitable when you’re locked in the house day after day while the world moves around you. Make sure that they keep sight of the light at the end of this tunnel by giving them something solid to look forward to. Depending on your health and your feelings about the situation, you might not be comfortable meeting up right away even after that ten-day safe period. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at least make plans to meet for lunch or similar as soon after these ten days as you feel comfortable. This may seem like a small thing, and usually, it would be, but having something to work towards can make a huge difference when your loved one has all of this time on their hands. Even you should find that it’s easier to deal with not having them around when you know a set date at which you’ll next be seeing them!
We’ve all had enough of isolation at this stage, but solo periods of isolation when your loved ones already aren’t well are especially tough for everyone. As a friend or family member, you’re luckily in a position where you can do a fair bit to make this easier, even if you do have to do it from a safe distance. Simply consider these ways you can make a difference, and make sure to also ask your loved one what you can do to help those ten days pass by as smoothly as possible until you’re reunited again.
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