Coronavirus: self isolation and practical tips

Hi everyone,

We hope you are all doing okay?

We thought with everything going on, we would start a thread for you all to share any practical tips for those you affected by self-isolation.

Take care and stay safe everyone,



Gosh - what a week! I was sent home from my teaching job yesterday as I am on the ‘at risk’ group. Hate not being there to help out now that schools are closing but will do what I can from
home me over the next couple of days. I’ve kind of played it down a little and was surprised to be sent home. However, realise now, how important it is to follow advice X

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Hi I have been virtually self isolating for 6 weeks now, Originally it was mainly because I agreed a work from home setup as I was having some side affects from treatment See post Then of course, as I followed the news about coronavirus it increasingly looked sensible to remain working at home.
I am happy to share my experiences with you on this and help if I can, though I am not pretending that I do everything perfectly! Take care all

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Hey there
We took the kids out of school this week, following the 12 week lockdown guidelines.
The school have been great with us since my diagnosis in the summer, and have provided lots of learning tasks to get on with.
My wife used to work in a primary school, and I’m a teacher at Uni, so we’ve got a head start, but we’ve really noticed how active the kids need to be. We’ve all stepped up our exercise routine - yoga and trampoline, exercise bike and even just dance video games. It really makes the time fly.

I’ve been pretty much in quarantine since August anyway, so I’m kinda used to it, but there’s a real chance that I will start craving a trip to the village shop to buy chocolate.

My best tip is to take out amazon prime.
Not only do you get free, quick and easy deliveries, but you get free streaming tv too.
And it’s not just books and DVDs- we snagged a 24 pack of toilet roll from amazon too. Certainly worth a look at if you’re having trouble buying household staples.

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So here are my practical tips, As I said, I have been virtually self isolating for 6 weeks now (at the start mainly working from home, though I did go to the cafe when it was quiet - no longer of course) And it was also influenced by fact that I could no longer run due to joint pain, so maybe another example of a blessing in disguise - that seems to be my history with CLL, every time something bad happens it is compensated by something good (though I will not be saying that if I cannot get running again soon!)

I digress, back to the practical tips - or if I want to be self critical, random musings :grimacing:

  1. Follow the news, yes, do keep informed, but do not watch too much. You do not need me to tell you how depressing the news is right now, so I try to ration how much I watch. I would not blame anyone who decided to switch off the telly, In this case just follow the important updates (NHS / Govt and of course here)

  2. Find as distraction, something that relaxes (same advice as dealing with stress / fatigue). I know this sounds obvious, but it can be incredibly easy to focus on negative all the time (as in point 1), I sometimes have to force myself to relax)

  3. Shopping: A tricky one. 2 main options - get a friend or family or shop online (But both easier said than done- and ideally the friend or family should not be in high risk group or living with you Online shopping is becoming harder, so I hear. To be honest, I did not do the shopping bit perfectly, We went to our supermarket after midnight and luckily it was very quiet, pplus they were replenishing the stock. I mainly stayed out the shop (Could not walk anyway!) But I think the official advise is not to do this now - though my last trip was before the 12 week self isolation proclamation,

  4. Another obvious one - try to exercise as much as possible. NHS site has some tips for exercising at home: Though, if like me, you are normally highly active, you will find them insufficient- they are really best for people who have problems with more stenuous exercise (Oh my goodness, how I miss my running -I am rubbish at doing them, I have been a couch potato these last 6 weeks! But I hope to get going soon - and I would probably run where I know there would be few if any people - but please do not take that last one as necessarily sensible since this is probably not entirely risk free.

  5. Try to vary your routine, Life can get very boring otherwise, Fair enough if you are one of those that take comfort from routine.

  6. If you are having treatment, and concerned about self isolation or its affects, do not be afraid to seek further advice and help e,g from your clinical support (or of course here!) I am expecting my next appointment to be by phone, and receive my drugs by courier, but obviously check with your your clinical support, as mentioned already in Gemma’s update. e.g for some people it might still be vital to attend in person, and I am sure they will put safeguards in place for you in this case. I am sure that many will receive direct advice on this by email or phone,

  7. Well you knew this one or you would not be here now - forums are really useful for keeping in touch with people to help reduce isolation. So not just fantastic forums like this but other tools such as whatsapp are great for keeping in touch with friends Plus the other ones we all know (Facebook etc) Be careful with whom you are sharing messages however, check who can read your messages. Make sure it is only the people you want to see them (which is why I like Whatsapp as you can set up a list just for friends and family)

  8. Find a new hobby em, might be a bit hard, obviously you cannot take up sky diving from home! I suppose the obvious one is gardening (or if you do not have a garden maybe just plant. Plus golfing - yes, just kidding about that one. But seriously, dig out a game or two (I just love Trivial Pursuit)

  9. This one I am definitely not good at, but look at is as a chance to sort things . / fix things at home (I am going to get round to this I promise!)

  10. I ran out for now, but just added this to make a round number :grinning: But no bungee jumping for now unfortuantely. I suppose I could just echo @Jamie77 in that it might be a chance to catch up with some telly (Amazon Prime, binge watch that series on iplayer,etc etc do not forget on Youtube you can subscribe to channels e,g Bloodwise (plug plug!) etc etc - remember to come up for air though!! By the way, welcome to the list Jamie!

Hope you found something that helped in that list



Hi Jamie, yes a great big welcome to our community forum which I find informative and supportive and even more so at this anxious time for us all.
Thanks @DavidAmbassador for your handy hints. I am a great believer in getting fresh air and since self isolating I have been very lucky with the weather, but today is drizzly. I have a couple of DVD’s, suitable to my exercise levels and needs, so they have been dusted off. I am determined not to get obsessed by housework but I will attempt some of my ‘to do’ list. What I do not want to do is to start getting up later or to sit in front of the TV all day as I will get depressed by the continual news coverage or hooked on Homes Under the Hammer. I did not realise how quickly I would miss my social interaction and I have written a list of people to keep in contact with either by an email, text, a card or letter. I want to sort out my Skye connection so I can carry on working. I was also very used to getting my weekly supermarket home delivery without a problem, I cannot even book a slot now.
As I think of more practical tips I will re-join this thread. I await others to give me ideas.


excellent tips Erica.

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I would say VIDEO CALLS. I know many people HATE the thought of them. I did too once. But trust me when you haven’t seen a friendly face for ages (or you have only seen the same handful of faces!) then if you can get over the first couple of minutes of “oh I have never done this before…” it is SO much better than a phone call. There is a reason we usually look at people when we speak to them “face to face”

In fact, I think it would be great if we could talk to Bloodwise about starting some virtual support groups held via video calls. To just chat to some people facing the same issues as you can be so encouraging.

And of course this can be powerful with family that you can’t see at the moment too.


Lots of good ideas here. I used FaceTime to connect with one of my daughters and my grandchildren. Agreed we will have a weekly slot. Also did a WhatsApp with some ex colleagues and have agreed that will be weekly too. Also am learning Spanish and had my Spanish class today via Skype. Am also using Duolingo to enhance my Spanish.

Am certainly going to have a larger phone bill as I am keeping in touch with others. On the other hand not going on holiday so will save in that sense.

I have a good number of books to read and if you don’t want Amazon Prime can still download lots of books for free or 99p on Kindle. We are lucky to have a garden and trying to do some work there and my husband is busy painting the walls of our raised beds.

All in all plan to keep busy and avoid isolation too.


WhatsApp is free if you have Wifi at home,so maybe use that mostly for your calls (and make them video)


We are using house party. It’s a video call app that multiple people can use. We are a large family who usually get together often so it is a safe way to do this. Tonight we are having a family quiz.


Hi everyone , there are some brilliant tips here! This page will be so useful to signpost to. How is everyone getting on and feeling at the moment?

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I’m encouraging my daughters to keep a diary and ordered these. They came today. I am so pleased with them!


Oh, Nicola, good thinking there. We await others ideas.

Such a brilliant idea @Nichola75! Such a nice thing for them to keep and look back on as well!

Has anyone else found anything that’s been particularly useful to them at this time?

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Only just got round to reading this thread. Very useful ideas from Davidambassador; especially as they are from real experience. Only one problem about gardening (we have 1/2 acre to keep in check, but that’s not actually the problem. Yet) . Because horticultural suppliers were not considered essential, unless you were methodical and stocked up with seeds/plants/compost etc. before the lockdown, it’s difficult now to get these essentials. Our local garden centres are gradually getting organised for contactless collection, but it’s getting late for a lot of things, even up here in Scotland’s “cold shoulder”!
The other problem that seems to be quite widespread is getting delivery slots from supermarkets, or even getting registered with them. Friends in South East England, who have been occasional users of delivery services and are now locked down by the management of their retirement village, have been unable to get slots even though they count as vulnerable. Doesn’t affect us, as we have daughter and neighbours who shop for us (just cycled a few miles to meet daughter on neutral ground for contactless passing over of groceries!) but surely the supermarkets should be being more constructive?

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Hi @DickM I hope you all is okay with you? It’s really good to hear you have been able to get support from your daughter and your neighbours. We do actually have an advice page here on our website: about accessing foods and other essentials safely during lockdown. I hope this is useful? And you also may find our page about general advice around shielding helpful too: Please do let us know if you have any questions around this :+1:

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Thanks for the reply, SuBloodcancerUK. As of this morning(!) I’m fine; no real problems with necessities and out here in the wilds, we are generally pretty lucky. Been too busy to check out the forum for a while, but the two links you give look very useful for those in less good conditions.

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@DickM really glad to hear you’ve been okay! and of course, we do completely understand that especially with everything going on, some people may need to take some time out from the forum. Which is no problem at all :slight_smile: We’re always here if you need us :slight_smile:


Hi @DickM, I am so pleased you have support from your daughter and neighbours it really means a lot doesn’t it. Just when you might have time and weather for gardening it must be so frustrating to not be able to get supplies. Take care and stay safe,