I had the privilege of interviewing Buzz Aldrin a few years ago. The second man to step foot on the moon (and first to pee on it) had just released a new book, and won his first ever March Madness bracket, and the first thing he told me over the phone was how he'd spent his 80th birthday scuba diving in the Galapagos with his son, but got in trouble when he broke away from the group and grabbed a whale shark by the dorsal fin just so he could ride it.
Buzz Aldrin is a god damn national treasure and a real American badass. (I'd also love to see the look on that scuba instructor's face if/when they realized that the old man they were scolding was in fact Buzz Aldrin.)
Now, Aldrin is 90 years old, which puts him at particularly high risk for infection by the novel coronavirus. But this national treasure has a solid plan to stay safe, as detailed to Eric Berger at Ars Technica: "Lying on my ass and locking the door."
Aldrin is a survivor — of outer space, of shitty jobs, and of alcoholism and depression — so I tend to trust his advice. But if you're looking for something more substantial, Forbes spoke with several other astronauts about their time in isolation, including NASA’s Human Research Program Director Bill Paloski, Ph.D.; John Grunsfeld PhD, a retired NASA astronaut and Hubble Space Telescope repairman who spent over 59 days in space; and Dr. Leroy Chiao, former commander of Expedition 10 who also spent 6 months on the International Space Station. A few of my favorite takeaways:
Start a new project or challenge that you’ve wanted to do but didn’t have the time. Trade your commute time for learning a new skill.
On the ISS one thing we’ve learned is to make sure each crew member has their personal space that they can decorate with family photos and be alone when they want to. For folks confined to their homes or apartments with other people, my recommendation is to try to spend some ‘away’ time each day to give your brain a ‘socialization’ rest.
In your own home, make sure that as much as possible things, you're in a state of good repair, and you're making your surroundings as comfortable as possible. Make sure the systems are working. Keep on top of malfunctions.
More at the link.
Buzz Aldrin has some advice for Americans in quarantine [Eric Berger / Ars Technica]
Former Astronauts Share Ways To Cope With Social Distancing & Isolation [Valerie Stimac / Forbes]
Image: Public Domain via NASA