As the nation tries to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19), you’ve likely found yourself in a state of isolation. Working from home, staying in, and avoiding large crowds have become the status quo for the foreseeable future. So what does this all mean for those of who use cannabis? How can you avoid transmitting the virus, and what should you do if you become so bored that watching paint dry sounds like top-notch entertainment?

Learn about what it means to isolate, stop the spread of germs, and follow our guide to making the most out of social distancing to break up the blasé days to come.

What do quarantine and social distancing mean?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you have an elderly loved one or know someone who is immunocompromised, it’s in your (and everyone else’s) best interest to practice social distancing. We must gather as a community and protect our most vulnerable from the coronavirus, which has an unprecedented high mortality rate for those susceptible.

But what’s the difference between quarantine and social distancing? Vox recently reported on coronavirus and the utilization of social distancing to help quell the spread of the virus. To quarantine is to separate individuals completely from the public if it is believed that they have been exposed, yet aren’t yet showing symptoms, of sickness. Social distancing, on the other hand, requires the public to refrain from social gatherings and maintain a conservative and clear radius around oneself and others when out and about.

Even if you are symptom-free, you can still be a carrier of COVID-19. According to various experts interviewed by The Atlantic, you should be avoiding social interaction as much as possible at this time. This includes skirting the gym, canceling non-essential appointments such as beauty treatments, stepping away from birthday parties and large family or friend gatherings, and keeping a healthy separation between you and the public when grocery shopping or running errands.  

Avoiding germs and getting sick

Should you give up getting elevated during the coronavirus outbreak to avoid germs? Not necessarily. Per the CDC, as long as you keep clean, wash your hands, use sanitizer, and shine up your living spaces, you should be good to carry on with your usual habits. Bonus obvious tip: don’t share your cannabis accessories with any friends or family at this time.

It’s also an excellent idea to use your isolation to sanitize all of your cannabis gear. Break out that bottle of isopropyl alcohol and clean out any pipes, bongs, and vaporizer mouthpieces that have been used within the last year.

Feeling a tickle in your throat? If you haven’t avoided getting sick this year for any type of cold or flu, consider our guide to using cannabis while sick. The bottom line: weed smoke can be harsh on the respiratory system when it’s already under stress due to coughing or hacking from the flu — consider other methods such as topicals and edibles after speaking to a trusted doctor.

Keep yourself occupied

Okay, so you’ve meticulously cleaned your entire home, sanitized all cannabis accessories, stocked up on an extra 500 rolls of toilet paper, and got through the nitty-gritty of your at-home work assignments. Now what?

If you’re looking to keep yourself occupied during self-quarantine and you’re in a legal state, take a crack at growing your own weed. If it’s something you’ve always considered, but never had the time to pursue, you’re now in luck — as long as you have access to quality soil.

Don’t have the space to grow? No worries, try making your own concentrates instead. You can go all out with the Rosinbomb Rocket. But if concentrates aren’t your thing, home in on your joint rolling skills by creating the best damn crutch you’ve ever seen.

And if you’re heartbroken over the cancellation of numerous sporting events, occupy your time with our own Weedmaps March Madness strains bracket. Root for your favorites and follow which one will come out on top.

Sports not your thing? Not feeling creative? Want to just hang out with no plans? Then simply veg out solo with our guide to staying in and finding your chill amidst the social distancing. 

Illustration by Angelina Bambina/Shutterstock

Hannah is a Seattle-based writer and editor. She’s worked in the cannabis industry for three years and continues to learn and explore.

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