My Self-Isolation Manifesto

PhotoSource: #ThanksMrRogers.

Kat Kelly – Today is Wednesday, March 18, 2020. I’m writing this in the early morning from my home just outside of Atlanta. The birds are singing in the spring air outside. They seem louder and happier.

These are odd days we are living in, aren’t they? For the purpose of #TheTimeCapsule that this article will be plugged into, it’s no secret we are on the front end of the Coronavirus swell here in the U.S.

Last week, when I first thought about writing this (it takes me forever to get the words down sometimes), I was feeling like this could be a gift. I knew it would hit us hard, but I was hoping it would be quick and there would be a spiritual awakening of sorts.

But, as we move into a time where many people are refusing to self-isolate, still thinking this is a hoax, I’m realizing not everyone will catch the opportunity for an “awakening” in all of this.

I wrote those last four paragraphs last week (see above about how it can sometimes take me a while). And in the past week, things have already changed. As of today, March 24, 2020, here in the United States, each state is being left to handle this pandemic the way they see fit. When the state doesn’t take adequate action, local municipalities are taking the actions that they deem necessary to protect people as best possible.

Doctors are begging for the supplies and help to keep them and their patients as safe as possible. Critical surgeries are being put on hold due to overwhelming demand at area ICUs.

These are unprecedented times in the world and in the US. For my family, we are entering week three of a voluntary self-isolation at home. We have only gone out for rides and our only closeness with other people has been when we come near them and they seem to not understand how to stand back and give space.

While we are really explaining to our children why we are doing this, I can’t help but think the way we are staying away from other human beings is making a lifelong imprint on them.

With all of that in mind, I do think there is a bigger lesson in this for all of us. I do believe that we are called to reflect upon ourselves, become better, dig in and to be a little kinder.

So, I am writing this as a bit of a manifesto and I encourage everyone to look at this time, examine what is on your plate, determine how you are going to look at it and juggle it, and identify who you want to be on the other side.

First, I will focus on being more mindful, praying with intent, and meditating. This one is a hard one for me. When I pray and meditate, my mind wanders. I will work on being more deliberate and accept that God and the universe are not judging me for how I’m doing this.

Next up will be my focus on the food that I am eating. Two weeks ago, I posted several things I would work on, including food. But, the truth is, I have probably consumed five pounds of cheese since that time. This is not what I need. I mean, don’t get me wrong, cheese is da’bomb, but it’s just not good for me.

As a follow-up to that, I started getting moving last week. Instead of focusing on how little walking I did last week, I will celebrate that I did some and aim to do more walking, strength training, and exercise moving forward.

Also, I will work on exposing and exploring new things. We have been trying to do that by visiting different faith services online and by checking out digital seminars and live performances from a variety of people and artists. I will keep it up.

In another area, if you have read anything I have written, you know that I struggle with clutter. I live with four other humans and am still sifting through things that others have left behind for me to clean up. Getting organized is something I can really work on during this time.

Next, I will figure out how I can be one of “the helpers.” While we know Mr. Rogers meant that first responders and those on the front lines were helpers, but he also recognized that each of us could help one another. What are my skills? What can I offer? How can I help others? After all, this isn’t just about me, #ThanksMrRogers.

Finally, I will focus on learning acceptance of where I am in my journey. I will focus on acceptance of things that I am unable to change. I will focus on acceptance of others. And I will allow myself to feel what I am feeling without those feelings defining me.

These are unprecedented times. There is no question that this will change us forever. Who do you want to be on the other side?


Kat Kelly is the founder of Vexteo. She is passionate about the power of humanity to lift one another up.