Think of yourself as an astronaut - Scott Kelly gives tips on self-isolating

Many people are finding it hard to cope with the isolation and boredom. But there is one American who may know how to deal with this situation the best – astronaut Scott Kelly.

News 12 Staff

Mar 28, 2020, 12:49 AM

Updated 1,515 days ago

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It’s been about two weeks since millions of Americans were asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Many people are finding it hard to cope with the isolation and boredom. But there is one American who may know how to deal with this situation the best – astronaut Scott Kelly.
“I said to my wife the other day, I’m not sure if she knew what my answer was going to be. I said, if I had to spend a year in space or a year in my apartment with you, the apartment wins every time,” Kelly says.
Starting in March 2015, the West Orange native spent 340 days on the International Space Station, away from everyone that he knew.
“I’d do it again in a second, but it’s not easy. And this isn’t easy either. And I know that,” he says. “I know people will – it will challenge them. Potentially the most challenging thing they’ll do in their entire lives, responding to something like this. I do know it’s anxiety-producing and it’s stressful, but I think there are things we can do and think about to get through this.”
Kelly’s advice is to stick to a regular schedule, connect to friends and family every day by phone or digitally and immerse yourself in a hobby.
“You know, something that is a complete distraction from everything else,” he says.
MORE: Your Coronavirus Photos
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Kelly also says it is important to go outside and exercise whenever it is possible.
“Getting outside as much as you can, getting sunlight. It’s very, very important. It’s actually important to our immune systems. When you’re isolated in that kind of environment it suppresses our immune system. NASA knows that as a fact,” Kelly says.
Kelly says that it might help for Americans to think of themselves as astronauts.
“People need to have this mindset that this is our mission. This is important, and it will be over some day. And if we work together we can get through this,” Kelly says.


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