Tips for thriving in the social distancing era

Dr Michelle (Mikhaila) Muscat, a medical doctor and consultant chemical pathologist in charge of the Toxicology Labs at Mater Dei Hospital, shares with us her list of what-to-dos while covid socially distancing in Malta.

Last February the curtains suddenly fell on the world we knew. Not even the simplest of things could be taken for granted. Many felt our world turning upside down. Yet, even in the midst of chaos, it is up to us to harness the opportunities. With some creativity we can transform this experience into a pleasant and fruitful one. Some tips:

Virtually explore the depths of the ocean and the wide expanse of the sky  

The biosphere and our ecosystems are nature’s treasure chests. Stunning underwater footage and amazing nature scenery from the live streaming of our seas or tropical islands can provide some tantalising virtual escapes during the bleak winter months. The array of online peeks is endless: from various aquarium earth cams (with live viewings that range from jellyfish to sharks) to tropical reef cameras and virtual field trips to aquariums in the Pacific. Glimpse at the Kansas City zoo penguins via cam, or indulge in nature relaxation films on YouTube with breath-taking footage of flying over Norway, Hawaii’s garden Island, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Pick a film 

Instead of aggregating in crowds, sit back and relax by watching a timeless classic or something new. Revisit the tracks of the past with tales that outlast a lifetime, tales that still haunt human history. Select some of the best cinematography, as it weaves an episodic narrative and transports your thoughts to a captivating plot.

Clear stuff in the house 

This is the perfect opportunity to do some impromptu ‘spring’ cleaning. Clearing out areas of the house gives a fresh and reinvigorated look to your home. This is an excellent (and productive) way of making the best out of the situation.  

A socially-distanced walk in nature 

Malta boasts of numerous cultural heritage sites and some fantastic sea views. Enjoy a quiet stroll, leave your footprints in the sand, and immerse yourself in the experience.

Try a new recipe 

It is always good to try something new and tasty, especially if it is a healthy option. You are what you eat, they say. Browse through various local and Italian recipes, amongst others. Discover some video recipes (may I suggest GialloZafferano?) or make  a dessert yoghurt using local seasonal produce.

Immerse yourself in music

Some songs have words that resonate with our thoughts, from echoing sounds, to words etched in our memory. Artful composition and stirring words can at times command our attention.

Learn something new

Have a leisurely view of a documentary. I can recommend The Business of Drugs, a 2020 Netflix series with an inside look at drug misuse and the drug trade.

Our ancestors too had to endure (even greater) hardships. Some of them have been through wars. And they had to see them through without the help of an internet connection! I do not want to minimise the discomfort and the ramifications of the current situation, but all that is being asked of us, for the time being, is to stay more at home and mingle less with people. These considerations should give the current situation a fresh new perspective.

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