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#56 Social Distancing -

We are hearing so much about social distancing and the coronavirus. But if we are blind or have low vision, we already feel a huge degree of social distancing. Now the issue is more physical distancing.

My subject today is how to keep yourself occupied when you can’t socialize with others or at least keep 6 feet away from each other.

I will start with talking books. In blog #10 I showed a picture of the device The Library of Congress sent my mother to listen to talking books and magazines. They have an updated version of the machine that’s easier to operate. In the picture, you will notice the wonderful color contrast of the buttons for power, play, volume, sleep (pause), rewind, and fast forward. The different shapes make the machine easier to operate. Also, the mailer picture shows the reversible card for the postage-free mailer. The one side has your address. When finished with the cassette, just turn the card over and mail it back to the library.

Another hint to overcome the feeling of isolation is to call friends and family members to catch up. The best friend or family member is one who will listen to our anxieties and not judge us for our worries.

This week the leader of my Bible study introduced us to a nifty app called Zoom. It’s like group FaceTime that doesn’t require everyone to use Apple products. We could see and hear each member of the group and it was like being in the same room with them. To do this, you need to go to your app store and get “Zoom.” It’s free by the way.

Here’s what the app store icon looks like on an Apple device.

Here’s what the Zoom app looks like.

Another idea to help with social distancing is to do something physical to stay in shape. Go for a walk. Enjoy nature. Since you can’t go to chair yoga class, try chair yoga at home with YouTube. (link)

Listen to music. I got depressed listening to a TV news channel talking about the virus, the number of cases, and deaths. I finally had to turn it off and listen to music. Even though I had watched a favorite movie before, I knew it would be an upper for me, so I watched it again. If totally blind, even listening to a favorite movie can be a great break from the news.

Another way to decrease stress from isolation is to have a worry time. Set the timer for ten minutes or so and write down all your worries. It might not take that long if the list is shorter than you thought it might be. The worry list could become part of a journal or some people find it helpful to tear the paper in small pieces and throw them away. This can feel like throwing away your worries.

The timer idea can work for listening to the news. If your stress about the virus is high, did you know that stress can decrease your immunity? It can. So, you might think about setting the timer for 30 minutes to listen to the news. Then turn it off and do something you enjoy to relax.

Remember to keep in mind what you can control and what you can’t control. Also, remember that God is still in control!

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