Adopting new routine helps families cope with social distancing


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Noah Bolen enjoyed a drive-by celebration for his birthday.

Melinda Bolen and Sharon Thomas and her husband Trevor filled their vehicles with gas, stocked their pantries with groceries and other personal necessities and organized projects they planned to do during isolation.  

Both families are following the guidelines established to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Bolen of Palm Bay, a lifelong piano teacher and church musician, is a widow who lives alone. Her days usually were filled by interacting with students, family and her church. 

“Lots of people would be coming in and out,” she said. “Now, I don’t have anyone. It’s different. I don’t see my family. I stay put in my home.”

Today, her routine is so different.

“I’m playing a lot of music (on the piano); I’m working on technology and different teaching methods,” she said. “I limit my outings pretty much. I did curbside pickup. I buy online. I have home delivery.” 

Bolen conceded the slower pace has been beneficial. 

“I’m a thinker and sometimes my days had been so scheduled I’d go from one thing to the next; but now, I can think.”

“Faith is my guiding foundation and will lead to peace and joy. We still have so much to be thankful for,” Bolen said. 

Her family celebrated her grandson’s birthday with a caravan drive-by waving and honking at 11-year-old Noah. It was a hit.

Thomas and her husband live in Viera. As a recently retired nurse, Thomas’ primary focus is personal accountability in maintaining good healthy habits, with respect to diet, exercise, hygiene and emotional well-being.

“We must take care of ourselves and each other,” she said. “We police each other.”

“When Trevor comes home (from an essential errand), I help to disinfect items he brought in and I remind him to wash carefully,” Thomas said. “We disinfect the mail before it’s brought into the house.”

Each also works on their individual projects. 

The Thomases maintain a diet emphasizing fresh fruits and vegetables and they take long walks daily.