A Cosmonaut Gives 5 Tips on How to Maintain Sanity in Quarantine


With more than  third of the world population confined to their homes to decelerate the coronavirus pandemic, many are concerned how long they will be coped up.

But being isolated can be “a good thing” and something “to take pleasure in,” says veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.

The 61-year-old, who has made five flights to space, spending a joint 671 days onboard the International Space Station (ISS), says the crucial thing is to stay optimistic.

​Here are his five tips for enduring quarantine:

Get fresh air

On the ISS, cosmonauts work “in an unfamiliar environment, encircled by metal and plastic,” Yurchikhin told AFP.

“There are no plants and no trees – except for the ones used for experiments, but we consider it as if it were our home.​

“But you guys, you’re actually home!

“Remember that in space, it’s impossible to get out” or get some air. At home, you can open the windows or go onto the balcony, the cosmonaut says.

Call friends

“Remember you have friends and relatives you haven’t called for centuries because you were too occupied.”​

Why not get in the routine of calling them every day, when you’re in quarantine, Yurchikhin said.

“This is the ideal time to get in touch with your friends.”

Family time

Yurchikhin advises those in quarantine to use this time to “establish an entirely different style of communication within the family” and to give more attention to kids.

Now is the right moment to check off items on the to-do list: finally hang a painting on the wall, go through archives, or read a book.​

“Take care of this today, because when this time is over, you won’t get round to it again!” he said.

Do some physical exercise

And “Don’t forget your health!” he says.

You can let spending all day in a confined space impact your fitness, says Yurchikhin. “That’s why you should do an activity.”

You do not need a gym affiliation to exercise “at least twice a day for 30 minutes.” With many aerobics or yoga courses available online, “you can do it at home,” he says.

Laugh it off

“If you only see the pessimistic side of quarantine, it will feel like a prison,” Yurchikhin said.

“So take this situation with humour. “Humour should extend life and shorten quarantine


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