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Tips from an astronaut on isolation

March 25, 2020--In the New York Times [1] retired NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly, offered advice on how to handle isolation in this time of COVID 19. One of his key suggestions was (no surprise here) to keep a journal. Apparently NASA's research over the years has proven the value of keeping a journal and not just for recording the events of the day. He says he took the time to write in his journal about his experiences almost every day: "If you find yourself just chronicling the days' events (which, under the circumstances, might get repetitive) instead try describing what you are experiencing through your five senses or write about memories." It's not so much that it will help you write a book, he adds, but that it will help you put your experiences in perspective. When this time of Covid 19 is over you can look back later on what this time meant to you and how it may have changed you. If you are looking for ideas on where to start check out Connections: Chewy Writing Prompts with Sharon McLeay at Scott also emphasizes the importance of keeping in touch: "Even with all the responsibilities of serving as commander of a space station, I never missed the chance to have a video conference with family and friends." As mentioned in the Covid 19 piece on this site scientists have confirmed the damage that can be done by being alone, not only mentally, but physically as well. Of particular note, is the consequences for the immune system, which is our key strength in fighting off the Covid 19 virus . How are you handling isolation in this time of Covid 19? Last evening I had a virtual dinner with my three kids. I invite you to post your ideas here for everyone to share. [1] Scott Kelly. “I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share.” The New York Times (Opinion), March 21,2020.

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