I am a patient advocate in DC. So many of us are stuck at home even in the Nation’s Capital. There’s quite literally nothing much on the media now apart from how our neighbors are managing the Coronavirus and how so many states here have implemented orders to remain at home. For many of us, we’ve experienced an abrupt halt to our daily activities and an increasing uncertainty over our jobs and health.

According to the Wall Street Journal, about 30% (at least 35 million) of US citizens live alone. The idea of isolation and loneliness cannot be further experienced, and I feel compelled to offer some hope and encouragement to all who are struggling to remain sane.

Most of the time I was stuck at home anyway with my psoriatic arthritis. When you are in pain there’s not much of going out. I worked from home because of my illness.

Here are some ideas to keep you occupied and engaged for the next few weeks:

· Home-based workouts

It’s time for your yoga or exercise mat to become a permanent feature on your floor. Already paying for a fitness app. Fire it up! Otherwise, there’s always YouTube for an access to free fitness content. I found a few 10-minute workouts that all of us can do, especially if you need more discipline and structure in your routine. There are videos playlist dedicated to apartment-friendly needs and if you’re feeling adventurous there are even 6-week bootcamps. Give it a try.

Personally, I like tailoring my exercise routine at home to what my own fitness goal is. Remember, this exercise is meant to energize you, not demoralize you.

· N E T F L I X

We’ve all got TV tastes and preferences that differ as far as you and I are concerned but there are a couple of interesting and meaningful series that offer to expand your mind and heart. Take “Explained” for example. In less than 30 minutes, each episode breaks down a topic for you, ranging from extraterrestrial life to beauty to coding. Easily understood with animations, interviews and brilliant narrators, don’t be surprised if you find yourself digging for more information after that.

“The Kindness Diaries” follows the journey of one man relying solely on the kindness of people to help him complete his journey from Alaska to Argentina in a vintage yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Fair warning, it might make you yearn to be outdoors or to travel even more but the sheer amount of generosity and heartwarming stories he encounters at every juncture are enough to remind you that life is beautiful, people are beautiful.

· Upgrade Yourself

Always wanted to learn search engine optimization (SEO) or coding? Or maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of setting up your own podcast or YouTube channel. Whatever it is, the internet is going to become your best friend in a wholesome way. I’ve found that what really helps in beginning anything is to consider your options:

• How much time do you have or are willing to commit to this?

• What are the resources you might need? Are these readily available?

• Are you able to practice or exercise what you’ve learned immediately, or would that have to wait till you can be outdoors again?

Throw yourself into whatever you choose and have a lot of fun while you’re at it! We’ve always learned best by playing.

Your neighbor and the world at large are united with you as we journey through this worrying phase of our lives together.

I hope to see us all soon. As a patient advocate in Washington, we need more advocacy for patients in Washington.  There is a shortage.