Isolation is a strategy health officials may employ during a pandemic to slow the spread of the illness in a population. Isolation is also a strategy freelancers may employ to avoid seeing other people on a daily basis. Change next to nothing. Now you can avoid other people and avoid infecting other people in the process.
Do not suddenly turn into someone who attends large public gatherings. Carry on conducting most of your friendships through texting. If a friend tries to schedule a time to meet up in person, ask for a rain check. Not because the idea of carving out a dedicated time to socialize in person leaves you feeling overwhelmed and anxious (even though it does), but because the CDC would appreciate it. You’re simply doing your civic duty. Approved new activities include such pastimes as jigsaw puzzles, podcasts, and spending lots of time on your computer. In other words, keep up the good work.
Continue the quarantine you began several years ago when you decided to work from home and then slid deeper and deeper into your hermitage with each passing season. Your voluntary isolation is suddenly beneficial to society. Basically, behave as if you are an introvert who chose a career path specifically tailored to social distancing, or pretend the anxiety you now experience about the coronavirus has always existed, and that you’ve had to manage it in various ways, like building your life in such a manner that you rarely attend meetings in-person.
If you must attend an in-person meeting, whether socially or professionally, remind people to stay 6 feet away from you at all times. A public health crisis is no time for them to invade your personal space, and the perfect time for you to demand no less than 6 feet of it.
As usual, leave your home only for emergencies. When you do go out into the world, restrict your interactions with others as much as possible. Wear your headphones to signal you are not looking for a conversation. If Trent in the vegetable aisle tries to talk to you anyway, leave your headphones on and do not touch your ears. This time your excuse is COVID-19 and unwashed hands. Walk away from Trent. You are here to buy your food, bring it back home, and then leave that home as little as possible until the next time you need to restock food.
Finally, whatever you do, you should definitely shower more. Although it certainly doesn’t hurt health-wise to bathe frequently, this has little to do with COVID-19. Have some goddamn self-respect. Sure, no one can see you, but come on. It’s been like four days. And change your sweater while you’re at it. Jesus.