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The key is to remain engaged, but how?

EN Photo by Julia Bonavita.

By Erica Fish
Staff Writer
As we continue to protect ourselves and others from exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), spending time at home and away from our family and friends has been a frustration.
Americans have been asked to remain at least six feet apart from others, per the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health considerations.
Practicing social distancing, wearing masks and facial coverings, and washing hands and sanitizing are the most essential and frequently used methods to combat the virus.
“In order for masks to work, everyone needs to wear them, and that’s a similar thread for social distancing,” said FGCU student Mya Gwinn, 19. “I know it’s hard but this is the only kind of apocalypse that can be solved by caring for each other.”
But counting to twenty seconds when scrubbing your hands isn’t exactly stimulating.
Keeping yourself busy and occupied can be a struggle when you’re isolated from others, however, following CDC guidelines doesn’t have to be boring.
“It’s definitely hard to remain positive throughout these times, but constantly engaging and challenging yourself is a way to improve your skills, especially if it means remaining in a good head space,” said Gwinn.
So, what are some things that you can do before you say again, “I’m bored?”
If you’re a student living on campus and tired of counting your ceiling tiles, some outdoor suggestions include visiting popular beach attractions like Naples Pier, Marco Island or Sanibel Island.
Even though beaches have been packed with crowds as of lately, taking an early morning jog or watching the sunset from inside your vehicle, and kayaking are activities that can be done while remaining physically safe, while also abiding to preventative Covid-19 practices.
You could also leave earlier so as to avoid any crowds.
“Remaining positive is an important focus to have throughout all of this,” said FGCU student Glenn Lopez, 20. “It does not mean you have to physically be with other people. If you are hesitant about going out, start with a phone call to a friend, this can cheer up anyone.”
Along with local parks, attractions like Naples Botanical Gardens and Naples Zoo are two places college students can check out, especially if there’s free admission.
The first Saturday of every month is at no cost at the Naples Zoo, whereas the Botanical Gardens offers discounts for students.
Changing parts of your daily routine can also help to keep a person sane.
Personal health has become more important for me throughout all of this and exercise has been my main motivation to remain active,” said McKenna Houston, 19. “Everyone can take a quick walk or slightly change their eating habits to improve how they can better view themselves during this pandemic.”
Breaking up your quarantine cycle by seeing friends is healthy to do, especially if you’re an incoming freshman and would like to meet new people.
Regardless, it’s important to take precautions and not to push yourself into any situations that you feel are unsafe.
“Never feel like you are demanded to physically be out with other people if you’re not ready,” said Lopez.
Sat next to a stranger while taking the campus shuttle? Ask for their snapchat. In a large lecture while socially distanced? See if you can form a study group.
If you’re a resident in FGCU’s South Village and do not have accessible transportation, take an afternoon to rest at the pool or ask several hallmates if they want to get ice cream at Sovi Dining. North Lake Village’s waterfront is also a relaxing place to visit.
As for in-door activities, laser tag is a great alternative to remaining active, while also social distancing.
HeadPinz in Fort Myers not only offers laser tag and bowling, but it also has an arcade. You can get your game on solo or go with a group, just don’t forget your masks and hand sanitizer.
Additionally, changed operation hours for restaurants and stores shouldn’t limit a person from checking out activities off main campus, especially if it means shopping at Miromar Outlet or the Gulf Coast Town Center.
“I feel there is a guilt people may have if they go out and enjoy themselves,” said Houston. “There shouldn’t be worry if they followed guidelines correctly and took other’s health into account.”
A concern for most college students is attending their respective universities and remaining on campus, this can only be ensured if all members of a college community stick to what is asked of them for the safety of themselves and others.
“We need to do our part to keep that in place for us,” said Houston.
It is especially important for others to remain conscious for those who may be more susceptible to the Coronavirus.
When we are desperate to get out of the shells we’ve formed after months of isolation, it’s easy to forget that we must also be cautious of the impact of our actions on others.
Remaining proactive by following CDC guidelines is what can improve the fears of remaining isolated from everyone and everything. Doing your part can sustain that.
“With new information every day, we can only take it day by day and just do our best,” said Gwinn. “It’s important to realize that our best isn’t always doing everything we can in the moment.”

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