Astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a combined 520 days in space, including nearly a full, continuous year as part of NASA’s
to the ISS, knows a thing or two about isolation, quarantine, and keeping sane in small places for extended periods.
He has recently published an article on his recommendations for those of us on earth who now find ourselves isolated into our homes or similar small spaces, cut off from many of the comforts and connections that we are used to as a part of everyday life.
When you are living and working in the same place for days on end, work can have a way of taking over everything if you let it. Living in space, I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul — just like we all are today. Take time for fun activities: I met up with crewmates for movie nights, complete with snacks, and binge-watched all of “Game of Thrones” — twice.
On what information to trust when experts speak about important things (like the pandemic):
I’ve found that most problems aren’t rocket science, but when they are rocket science, you should ask a rocket scientist. Living in space taught me a lot about the importance of trusting the advice of people who knew more than I did about their subjects, whether it was science, engineering, medicine, or the design of the incredibly complex space station that was keeping me alive.
Especially in a challenging moment like the one we are living through now, we have to seek out knowledge from those who know the most about it and listen to them.
See also: Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s guide to self-isolation (Thanks, Robbo!):
Image: NASA, Public Domain.
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