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Old 03-22-2020, 02:13 PM
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I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share
Take it from someone who couldnít: Go outside.
By Scott Kelly

Mr. Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station.
Quote:
Being stuck at home can be challenging. When I lived on the International Space Station for nearly a year, it wasnít easy. When I went to sleep, I was at work. When I woke up, I was still at work. Flying in space is probably the only job you absolutely cannot quit.

But I learned some things during my time up there that Iíd like to share ó because they are about to come in handy again, as we all confine ourselves at home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Here are a few tips on living in isolation, from someone who has been there.

Follow a schedule
...You will find maintaining a plan will help you and your family adjust to a different work and home life environment. ...

But pace yourself
...Living in space, I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul ó just like we all are today. ...And donít forget to include in your schedule a consistent bedtime. ...

Go outside
...One of the things I missed most while living in space was being able to go outside and experience nature. After being confined to a small space for months, I actually started to crave nature ó the color green, the smell of fresh dirt, and the feel of warm sun on my face. ... I appreciate that in our current predicament, I can step outside any time I want for a walk or a hike ó no spacesuit needed....

You need a hobby
When you are confined in a small space you need an outlet that isnít work or maintaining your environment. Some people are surprised to learn I brought books with me to space. ... You can also practice an instrument (I just bought a digital guitar trainer online), try a craft, or make some art. ...

Keep a journal
...Throughout my yearlong mission, I took the time to write about my experiences almost every day. ... Even if you donít wind up writing a book based on your journal like I did, writing about your days will help put your experiences in perspective and let you look back later on what this unique time in history has meant.

Listen to experts
Iíve found that most problems arenít rocket science, but when they are rocket science, you should ask a rocket scientist. Living in space taught me a lot about the importance of trusting the advice of people who knew more than I did about their subjects, whether it was science, engineering, medicine, or the design of the incredibly complex space station that was keeping me alive.

Especially in a challenging moment like the one we are living through now, we have to seek out knowledge from those who know the most about it and listen to them. Social media and other poorly vetted sources can be transmitters of misinformation just as handshakes transmit viruses, so we have to make a point of seeking out reputable sources of facts, like the World Health Organization and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

We are all connected
Seen from space, the Earth has no borders. ... Iíve seen humans work together to prevail over some of the toughest challenges imaginable, and I know we can prevail over this one if we all do our part and work together as a team.

Oh, and wash your hands ó often.