Dealing with Cabin Fever caused by Corona Pandemic-related Social-Distancing

Ok, so we are now deep in our self-isolation due to the pandemic. Social distancing obviously works (see this Washington Post article), so my wife and I “bolted the house door” and have dramatically limited our excursions into the outside world – like most of our acquaintances here in Germany. Not surprisingly, cabin fever has set in; that dreadful experience when the walls of the house seem to be closing in on you. It is as if breathing becomes more difficult, and the boredom is so stunning that our senses seem to be covered by an all suffocating net. I am pulling the (last) hair from of my head while gnashing my teeth! A quick look at the clock: our self-isolation has been going on for a full TEN hours!

How will we feel in ten DAYS? And what can be done to against cabin fever? I have checked across the internet and collected some ideas.

Cabin fever (also called stir-crazy, stir as in prison) is not a disease as such, but a claustrophobic reaction, resulting in irritability and restlessness, that happens when a person ends up in an isolated or solitary location, or stuck indoors in confined quarters for an extended period of time.

What helps?

  • Going out: even brief interactions with nature are helpful: garden, balcony, or even opening a window. Careful for those dizzy spells caused by a sudden intake of fresh air, you don’t want to drop down the building.
  • Keeping a schedule and regularity, for instance for your meals and activities.
  • Physical activity: indoor sports (push ups, crunches), yoga or breathing exercises. Take a look at this bloke running a marathon in his apartment. If you want to follow his example, do coordinate with your downstairs neighbors.
  • Keeping your mind intellectually occupied. Perhaps try solving an intriguing problem over a longer period of time – like challenging crossword puzzles.
  • Reading (I suggest these pandemic adventure stories).
  • Talking with people; by telephone, or shouting from your balcony. Carefully select the channel, you may not want to share details of your sex life with random passers-by.
  • Shaving
  • Writing (like this blogpost you are reading now).
  • Playing board or card games.
  • Cooking.
  • Creative arts (drawing, painting, singing, dancing). Get inspired by these Italians singing.
  • Can’t sing? Listen to music. Here my favorites.
  • In short: stimulating your mind helps keep you moving forward and reduce feelings of isolation and helplessness.

What doesn’t help?

  • Alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much coffee or using other stimulants.
  • Sleeping too much (a good nights rest will strengthen your immune system, which in turn will help protect against infection; still, sleeping for long periods is also a symptom of cabin fever).
  • Eating too much. Don’t give in to food cravings.
  • Binge watching or computer gaming. Having that said, I am quite envious of my two millennial sons. After all, millennials know how to survive for weeks in a darkened room, feeding on potato chips and whiskey shots, while staring at a display, without any face-to-face interaction.
  • Try to limit your social media time.
  • Reading or watching too much news.
  • Counting and sorting your rolls of toilet paper.
  • In short: too much of any single activity is definitely detrimental.

Take some time regularly to evaluate how you are coping. Adjust your daily schedule if necessary. And most important of all: keep calm and try to keep a sense of humor. My wife and I are now well into our 11th hour of self-isolation and, at least superficially, still acting like rational, compassionate human beings. If we can cope, so can you :-)

More about the pandemic here.

The Raven (Oil on Canvas with Ocker and Gold. 2020. Clemens P. Suter)
Advertisements

Haiku. “Pray, you try Japanese Hokku, my American poets!”

Night and the moon /
My neighbor playing on his flute /
Out of tune /

Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry in three phrases, characterized by three qualities. Find out more on Wikipedia. The quote in the title of this blogpost originated from Japanese poet Yone Noguchi’s “A Proposal to American Poets” (in the Reader magazine in 1904).

—————

My adventure eBooks on iTunes

Listen to this: the Tale of the Fig Leaf (starring John and Daphne)

A man (John) enters a fancy dress store. “Listen darling,” he addresses the proprietress, “I plan to attend a costume party, and I have decided to dress up as Adam, and hence I need a fake fig leaf.”

”OK,” says the woman (named Daphne), “Just a minute.” She disappears in the back and after a few minutes returns with a plastic fig leave.

”Sorry love,” says the bloke, “That’s too small to cover MY manhood. Don’t you have anything bigger?”

The woman shrugs and disappears, returning with a larger leaf.

”No, that is still too small! That won’t cover my penis by half!”

Grumbling, the woman disappears again, returning with a huge leaf, big enough to cover a man’s torso.

The man shakes his head angrily: “No, no, that won’t do. It’s simply too small!”

”OK,” says the woman, “Here’s an idea, mister. If your penis is that big, why don’t you just stick it in your ear and go as a gas pump?”

Did you like this post? If so, click LIKE and share on social media!

More humor? Find all blogposts tagged with HUMOR: https://clemenssuter.com/tag/humor/

The Magic Pool (Variation on a classic German joke).

Practically everyone seems to dislike Greta Thunberg. Obscurely so, as she is ‘only’ a girl from a remote, partially forgotten and ex-socialist Nordic country. People seem to forget that humor is still the best weapon to deal with serious political issues… so here a joke featuring the Climate-Change Angel.

It is conference time in Saudi Arabia and dignitaries meet to discuss the climate crisis. International guests have been invited by his Royal Highness, Freelance Hacker, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (known to friends as “MbS“).
The Prince invites Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump and Jordan Peterson to a very special evening event. In the Palace in Riyadh, between the harem and prison, a magic pool has been installed. The sign at the entrance reads: Fantastic news! Jump into the empty pool, wish for your favorite drink and swim in it!” (below that the sign says: “No dogs allowed. No refunds. Skinny dippers will be whipped in traditional fashion“).

As the true gentleman that he is, MbS suggests that Greta should be allowed to jump first. Greta thinks for a few seconds and says in her cute Swedish accent: “I wish that the pool fills itself with soy milk, since ordinary cow milk production is associated with high levels of the gas methane; a gas that is 32-times as potent as the gas carbon dioxide in accelerating the global warming!” The three men smirk, and the Prince pats her on the head belligerently: “Now jump in, little one!” Greta climbs the ladder to the board, jumps into the pool and shouts “soy milk!”… and indeed the pool instantly fills up with the nutritious milk substitute. Greta lands in the white liquid, swims about, and takes big sips of the delicious non-alcoholic potable.

A pool-attendant steps forward and switches on a pump, so that the pool is emptied and the next person can jump in. A slight shuffle takes place, which Jordan (champion debater) wins with one of his typical kill-all arguments (in this case a quick knee to the groin). Jordan climbs the ladder, shouts “orange juice !”, the pool fills up, and Jordan can start swimming and drinking.

Finally, it is Donald’s turn. He climbs the ladder and starts out on one of his rambling speeches, during which he somehow seems to suggest that he is the greatest swimmer since Johnny Weissmuller; and most people leave. Then Donald takes a deep breath, jumps and shouts: “Soda !”

Thud! Donald hits the bare tiles at the bottom of the pool. The pool did not fill with any liquid. He manages to crawl to a ladder, climbs up, and staggers to the pool attendant. “What the hell happened,” says the Donald, “The sign said fantastic news and the pool didn’t fill?! Sad!”

The pool attendant looks at the sky quizzically and says: “…fake news?”

More humor here: the adventures of John and Daphne

IMG_1266

A pirate story – John Hawk

John inserted the spade into the ground and started digging. The pile of dirt rapidly increased in height. It was hard work though, the sun beating down on his dreadlocks, and every now and then John halted his work to wipe away the sweat and to drink from his jug of water.

Deeper and deeper went the spade. John checked the map to exclude any mistake. No, this was the right spot.

Suddenly the spade hit an object, and John dropped on his belly to remove the dirt with his hands. The lid of a chest became visible. Hurriedly he cleaned away more sand, and finally his hands found a handle, and with considerable effort he managed to pull the heavy chest from the ground. He pulled his pistol and shot the lock to pieces.

He threw back the lid and the insides of the chest became visible: coins, coins coins! Ecstatically, John threw his hands in the air and did a weird dance around the treasure.

„Hullo dear, I’ve brought you a cup of tea,“ said Daphne, still in her nightgown, She handed him a mug and looked at the hole skeptically. “Are you sure that this is better than a bank account? Seems like an awful lot of work…”

Mr. Wanamaker, their neighbor, smirked. “It’s pretty ridiculous, if you ask me. Look at your goddamn lawn! It’s a disgrace. You’re the laughing stock of the neighborhood.” Exasperated, he turned away from the fence and continued watering his potted plants.

kevin-bhagat-769346-unsplash

More About John and Daphne.

The Tension is Unbearable. A story of Crime and Passion (starring John and Daphne).

“John?” Daphne shook him. He didn’t stir.
“John! Oh god, what have I done? John? Please wake up.”
She shook him again, panic rising in her voice.
“I need you to wake up. John! Please. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, I… John, oh John! Please, please!” Tears flowed down her cheeks and she swallowed hard.
John stirred and opened his eyes. “For heaven’s sakes, woman. Why this bloody theatre every single morning? Can’t you just wait for the frigging alarm to go off?”

charles-deluvio-550068-unsplash

More humor? Find it all blogposts tagged with HUMOR:

https://clemenssuter.com/tag/humor/

Pissoir joke. Skip this one, as it is slightly tasteless (and it doesn’t star Daphne, only John)

Several years ago a young man (for the sake of making him more distinguishable from the other personae in this story we will presume that he was red haired. And his name is John) went out for a night with his friends. After many rounds of beer he decided that he had to use the bar’s bathroom, in order to relieve himself.

As he stood at the urinal, a sturdy man with a crew cut entered and started using the pissoir next to him. The ginger boy couldn’t help noticing that the man didn’t just relieve himself with one stream of urine, but in fact three separate streams hit the porcelain. Due to the combination of alcohol and curiosity, he decided to overcome his usual shyness. “Tell me sir, I noticed that you do not pee with a single stream but in multiple streams. I wonder, is this an acquired phenomenon or a hereditary defect?”

The sturdy man turned to him, smiled and answered politely. ”Actually, ginger boy, I’m somewhat flattered that you ask me this. It is in fact an intriguing story. I am a veteran from the second golf war. One day we were hunting down the enemy and we formed a foot patrol to do so. Alas, next to our footpath the enemy had hidden a IED *), which went off just as I passed by. I was lucky: a piece of shrapnel damaged Mr. Willy, but through diligent surgery, the doctors managed to rescue my manhood. However, ginger boy, I have not been able to pee in a single stream since.”

In awe, the boy left the facilities, and couldn’t wait to tell his chums.

Many months later, the boy visited the same bar, and again after a long evening of drinking he needed to go to the bathroom to relieve himself. As he stood at the urinal, a powerful yet obviously drunk marine, also with a crew cut entered, and took position at the pissoir next to him. Ginger boy stole sideward glances at the man. Finally he couldn’t restrain himself any longer. “I’m sorry sir! I couldn’t help noticing that you are not peeing in a single stream but in fact you produce at least a dozen streamlets! Are you perhaps a veteran of the second golf war!?”

The other man looked down and cursed.  “Damn. I’ve… I’ve forgotten to open the bloody zipper.”

patti3

*) in case you do not know what an IED entails, make sure to read pages 130- 150 of my novel Fields of Fire

Another joke – “airplane crash” adapted to modern times

Another tale: story of the Japanese runner that finished the marathon… in 54 years.