Quarantined for 14+Days |When Is It Safe To Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends?

Health and Natural Healing Tips / Coronavirus (COVID-19)  / Quarantined for 14+Days |When Is It Safe To Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends?
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Quarantined for 14+Days |When Is It Safe To Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends?

You’ve been stuck inside for weeks, and now you’re feeling as pale as a Morlock out of an H.G. Wells novel. Plus, you’re bored out of your skull. You feel fine — can you come out to play yet?

It doesn’t matter how old you are — the quarantine can weigh on anyone mentally. However, you need to protect not only yourself but also everyone with whom you may come in contact. Before you take to the streets, here’s what you should know.

How Self-Isolation Works

You might wonder why you need to stay in isolation if you don’t feel sick. The recommendation stems from what scientists know about the novel coronavirus to date. Every infectious disease has what is called the incubation period. This term refers to the time when the pathogen multiplies in your system to the point where you start shedding it — becoming contagious to others. This can occur before symptoms develop.

With COVID-19, approximately 97% of people infected develop symptoms within the first 11 to 12 days and nearly 100% within 14. That’s why the quarantine limit sets at two weeks, the outer edge of this period. Experts fear that many carriers spread the virus before they know they are sick. Since there is no way to pinpoint the moment of infection, the best way to prevent spreading the disease is by isolating yourself the minute you detect possible symptoms.

Why Continued Social Distancing Is Needed

Isolation is challenging for everyone, but you might have a more uphill battle than most if you fall into specific demographics. For example, people who struggle with mental health disorders often rely on a support team to keep them on the right path. Having a vigorous family and treatment support network is often critical to recovery. These folks should coordinate telemedicine meetings with their providers to ensure continuity of care.

However, that doesn’t mean returning to in-person groups just yet. On an individual basis, quarantine ends 14 days after you first developed symptoms. However, if a family member comes into unprotected contact with that individual, the quarantine period restarts, and you are stuck inside for an additional 14 days.

When it comes to society as a whole, reopening the economy too quickly could create the same dynamic on a mass scale. If a second wave of the pandemic strikes and hospitals grow overwhelmed, the government could order another shutdown. Given the current shaky state of the economy, such a setback could devastate millions of people.

As desperate as you are for human contact, emerging from quarantine too quickly could cost lives and jobs. Continuing to hunker down is the only way to prevent the second string of infections and further collapse.

Ideas for Activities to Make You Feel Less Lonely

That said, prolonged social isolation can have severe psychological consequences, and you need to keep yourself mentally fit. Try these activities to feel less alone:

Hang out while you play video games

While you don’t want to play games all day every day, a little extra screen time is OK when you are cooped up alone. Parents of children with game consoles should remain aware that anyone, including predators, can use online chats. Use parental-control features to reduce unwanted contact.

Attend an online meeting

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have long hosted online meetings, and you can find one virtually any hour of the day or night. Other support groups exist for people managing anything from mourning a loss to borderline personality disorder.

Connect via Facetime or Skype

Maybe you can’t see your best friend in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get together in the virtual world. Use technology like Facetime or Skype to stay in contact with those closest to you. A friendly voice on the phone helps, but being able to see a smiling face is even better.

Work out with a virtual class

Many popular fitness apps have exclusive specials during the pandemic. Since your gym is most likely closed anyway, working out to a group video — especially a live-streamed one — can foster a sense of togetherness.

Perform an act of kindness

When the isolation grows too much, you can generate some feel-good endorphins by performing an act of kindness. If you are handy with a needle, you can sew masks to give to organizations in need. If you have money, you can donate to a cause. You can also log into the Greater Good network and do a free daily click to support veterans, Alzheimer’s patients, and more.

Emerging from Quarantine Requires a Methodical Approach

As much as you are chomping at the bit to get back out into life, coming out of quarantine too quickly could prove disastrous for you and others. Although it seems eternal, this period of self-isolation will come to an end, and the more everyone follows the safety rules, the sooner that day will come.

Kate Harveston

kateharveston@gmail.com

Kate Harveston is a blogger and journalist from Pennsylvania. She's written on many topics but her favorites revolve around social change and human rights issues. When she's not writing, she enjoys jogging, traveling, and reading. You can subscribe to her blog, So Well, So Woman, to read more of her work and receive a free gift! https://sowellsowoman.com/about/subscribe/

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