Dear Crabby, What Does it Mean to Self-Quarantine?

Dear Crabby, What Does it Mean to Self-Quarantine and How Does it Work?

Sincerely, Youno Touchme


Dear Youno,

Ah, yes, another coronavirus question. They just keep coming in. It’s like all my readers are stuck inside without much to do. And since most of my readers are older like me, that’s a normal day without a health crisis. Every new scare offers the world new terms. 2020 will be remembered as bringing us self-quarantine, self-monitor, and social distancing. But what’s the difference?

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

As most of the world, we’re all trying to figure it out day-to-day. Our leaders, other countries, and local businesses are doing what they can – we’re going to get some things wrong and some things correct – as we learn to be less social. Now, I’m normally a anti-social person to start with, so much of this isolation seems pretty good to me. However, I love time with my grandchildren. Just like my weekly column, I look forward to sharing my experience – through tips, suggestions, and opinions – to anyone who will listen. And just like I did with my own children, I like to sit my grandkids on my lap and tell them how to live their lives. It didn’t work so well with their parents – they just did want they wanted when they grew up – I still have hope I’ll be able to instill Crabby Principles into the future generation.

So, it’s tough when I hear “Don’t touch grandpa” and “stay away from grandma” when the family comes over. Fortunately, we’re all healthy, but us older folks are more at risk and these are precautionary measures. I know it breaks their little hearts not to be able to get a dose of their grandparents’ wisdom. So what do all these new terms really mean?

Well, social distancing is what we do when no one is showing symptoms or has been around anyone who may have been exposed. This is what my kids and my grandchildren are doing with us. The six-foot rule. No handshaking, being in large groups, and no sitting on grandpa’s lap. We’ve closed schools, theaters, museums, sporting arenas and more. If someone might have been in a room of a person with symptoms, then that someone should self-monitor, which means check your temperature and watch for signs of fever, cough, or shortness of breath. But say that someone spoke directly to, or touched, that person with symptoms, then you would want to self-quarantine. That means to close yourself off from other people and do not share a bed, bathroom, or other items with anyone. Just like that cruise ship, everyone was confined to their quarters without access to the rest of the ship. You would still self-monitor, but you are now at a higher risk of infecting someone else … so stay away from others (and me!) for at least two weeks.

The good news is everyone can catch up on reading or re-reading all my columns. You may start with these two:

Sincerely, Dear Crabby.


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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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