Self-isolating: 8 tips to be as 'normal' as possible

20 March 2020 - 06:06 By Unathi Nkanjeni
A total of 150 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.
A total of 150 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

Since declaring the novel coronavirus pandemic a national disaster, President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged social distancing, banning gatherings and events of more than 100 people to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“We are calling for a change of behaviour among all South Africans. We must minimise physical contact with other people, and encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands,” he said.

South Africans have been asked to stop non-essential contact with other people and avoid all unnecessary travel.

This is known as social distancing or self-isolating - and it's already driving some people insane.

With many countries in lockdown over fears of the spread of the coronavirus, millions are self-isolating. From Italians serenading each other from their balconies to patients dancing in China, here are some of the more entertaining ways in which people are trying to beat the coronavirus blues.

By Thursday, SA had 150 confirmed cases and the death toll has now soared to over 8,000 globally.

Self-isolating vs social distancing 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), social distancing is maintaining a distance of at least one metre between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Self-isolating means cutting yourself off from the rest of the world by staying at home for 14 days.

“When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the Covid-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease,” said the WHO.

Tips to be as “normal” as possible

Be honest —  Acknowledge upfront that this is how things are going to be until further notice.

Vary your routine —  Don’t do the same thing every day.

Rotation time — Alternate your time in different parts of the house so you’re not always in one place.

Don’t be disgusting — Instead of staying in a dirty place, take a shower, change, do what you’d do if you were leaving the house for work.

Have a schedule — It is important to keep your productivity levels up and have a timely start.

Schedule breaks — Don't work like a robot, even if ending the day earlier by working flat out may seem like a good idea.

Pay attention to time Remember, what you do in those first moments in the morning will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Eat healthily —  Eat the same way that you normally do, take your vitamins and drink lots of water.

The good, OK and bad things to do

The official SA coronavirus website also issued social-distancing guidelines to help limit public gatherings as much as possible.

Take a look below.