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Contributed by Jim Nelson, consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~

This is truly a strange time … very few of us have ever been forced to restrict our movements to our home for such a long time. Suddenly, on a day in early March, we were attacked by a virus that threatened sickness, contagion, and death. Worse, it appeared that the coronavirus could be spread for two weeks or more before the carrier showed any symptoms! The ideal vehicle for the spread of a deadly illness!

The rapid spread of the coronavirus changed our world overnight. Businesses closed, jobs evaporated, hoarding became the norm. There was a serious run on face masks, on hand sanitizer, and in some sort of odd knee-jerk reaction … on toilet paper. Spam became popular again. Some of us are fortunate enough to get to spend more time with family at home, but for many others, particularly those who are single elderly adults, this period of time has been a time of isolation.

So what to do? Cable TV can offer only so much distraction. After you have binge-watched your fill of medical shows and enjoyed every movie ever made by Tom Hanks, what then? How about all of those books that you have been laying aside for years? Read them and then alphabetize them and then sort them by color. At least read them …

What activity gives you pleasure? Are you a neophyte gardener or painter or wood-worker?  Use your new-found free time to create something wonderful! If you enjoy writing, use your laptop or tablet or cell phone to create a memoir. Chances are that your memories will be new to your children or grandchildren. They will treasure them! You can also record an oral history.  Tell them what you saw when you looked out the kitchen window in the house where you grew. What are your memories of your father? Of your mother? What did you do as a child that got you in trouble?

Take a drive. If you are careful about gas pumps and shopping, you should be safe. If you live in a retirement community, buy or borrow a projection screen and invite everyone you know with a golf cart to a drive-in movie night. Just make sure that they observe social distancing. If you are involved with social media, use the medium to display family photos or examples of your own photographic skill.

The thing is, you must take care of yourself! If you are reading this, chances are that you have at least one condition that makes you vulnerable to the ravages of the virus. The wearing of face masks serves a couple of purposes; self-protection and the limitation of your ability to spread the virus. The microscopic viruses are spread mostly through respiration; breathing or talking or coughing. It is very difficult to know what kind of exposure anyone else has had. Without that knowledge, there is little chance of protecting yourself from infection. Yet, you must! You owe it to yourself and to your family and friends to keep yourself healthy.

Please stay safe!

~ Uncle Jim

Jim Nelson is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for COPD patients throughout the U.S. and around the world. He and his wife, Mary, are well known patient advocates and brand ambassadors for those organizations who tirelessly endeavor to help those individuals who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases and the caregivers who support them.  

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor. 

The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.