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Astronauts Share Tips on How to Stay Sane During Quarantine

Currently, people all over the world are urged to practice social distancing and isolate themselves in their homes in hopes to limit the spread of the new COVID-19 virus. Because of the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, most countries are begging its residents to stay at home as much as humanly possible in order to limit the contagious spread. Astronauts have already had to do this for decades. Their experience with isolation shows that they are less expected to overreact during this Coronavirus crisis. One thing that the average people have in common with astronauts is that there is an agreement that staying occupied always helps. 

Astronauts were forced to be quarantined to make sure that they were virus-free and ready to head up into space. This ensures that they would not bring any illness into the space station or to the rest of their crew. The astronauts that participated in Apollo 7 ended up actually getting sick in space and unfortunately ran out of tissues and medications. This instance led to NASA implementing a preflight quarantine. Similar to how someone carrying the Coronavirus would be quarantined now, astronauts are required to be isolated for two weeks where only organized visits by immediate family are permitted and monitored.

After the Apollo crews returned from their trips to the moon, NASA wasn’t sure what could possibly be lurking around up in space that could lead to astronauts getting sick and even potentially contaminating Earth. After their mission, the crew was required to spend 21 days in a quarantined environment with each other. Footage from this time shows the astronauts acting bored while chatting and reading newspapers. Neil Armstrong passed the time by playing his ukulele and even celebrating his birthday with the other crew members while in quarantine. Other crew members of NASA explained that during their period of isolation they liked to jog and exercise, work on paperwork and reports, rest and make video calls with their friends and family. Former astronaut Terry Virts explains that schedule-filling is the secret to staying occupied during times of isolation. “The key to any successful expedition is to keep the crew busy. A bust crew is a happy crew – and a bored crew is a disaster. This is a great time for people to do the things they’ve been delaying for years – organize the house, start writing that novel, organize your family photos and scan the old photo albums, come up with a financial plan once the economy turns somewhat normal again – and it will.” 


Regarding NASA’s upcoming launch to space on April 9th, world-wide distresses and worries regarding the Coronavirus will allow for an additional extension of their quarantine period. NASA has allowed all employees with jobs nonessential to their upcoming flight mission to work from home. They explained that they are closely following the CDC’s guidelines on Coronavirus prevention and are taking all necessary precautions to keep their employees and everyone else safe.

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Born and raised in Florida. Currently a senior studying marketing at Florida State University. My passions include scrolling endlessly through social media, enjoying time with friends, and being near any body of water.
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