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  • Cameron Oglesby

These self-quarantine tips could help prevent something worse than coronavirus

Long before the Coronavirus outbreak, thousands of people over 65 have been quarantining themselves – not from pandemic disease, but from human contact and mental stimulation. And that kind of isolation can have equally real effects on physical health, not the least of which are higher risks of cardiovascular problems, some cancers, hypertension, depression, anxiety, loss of cognitive function, and even osteoporosis.

Thanks to today’s technology, there are plenty of ways to enjoy social and personal contact without physical contact.

You can reach out to and hear back from friends individually on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or a group of friends with WhatsApp.

You can not only talk with people, but also see them and let them see you with your smartphone’s Face Time or the video feature on your Skype or other VOIP account.

For mental stimulation, if you have a public library card, you can borrow hundreds of e-books and audiobooks with any of several library apps; download music, digital movies and comics with Hoopla; and more than 300 magazines, cover to cover, on Overdrive or Flipster.

You can even choose from hundreds of free online courses from universities including Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Caltech, Stanford, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Hong Kong Polytechnic, and the Sorbonne, to name a few.

If you’re self-quarantining as a precaution against Coronavirus, don’t forget your physical needs. You can buy anything from groceries to clothing to restaurant meals online and have it. With most supermarket chains, you can shop online, then drive to the store and pick up your purchases, without ever setting foot inside.

Many Medicare Advantage Plans can fill your prescriptions by mail and include an allowance for having over-the-counter pharmacy products delivered to your home. But if your plan doesn’t cover those, you can always avoid exposure by phoning in your refills and picking them up at the drive-up window.

If you have any questions about coping with COVID, with isolation, or with your retirement years in general, please feel free to call or email us. Just as we always have, we’ll be happy to give you good, objective answers.

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