SHENZHEN, China-- If you're already starting to get a bit stir crazy from being locked up at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, know this, you have plenty of company.
Thankfully, we're getting some helpful advice on how to navigate it. That wisdom, coming from a local man who's been living in isolation in China for weeks.
38-year-old Patrick Loney grew up in Mukilteo and received his law degree from the University of Washington.
He formed a financial advisory and law firm in Shenzhen, China where people have been mostly locking themselves inside their homes since January.
“I took really extreme precautions," Loney said. "I never left the house. Just bought a bunch of black beans and rice and stayed inside for a week straight and totally went crazy. You know, sitting by yourself for a week straight, it was just a recipe for disaster.”
Thinking of friends back home in the Pacific Northwest now entering his lonely reality, Loney a message on Twitter, saying in part, "Hey all. I'm a Seattleite based in China. Just a heads up that self-quarantine can get stressful, so don't be too hard on yourself or your loved ones for going a little insane. It's natural."
Advice, from a man's who's been there.
Loney said, "There was a point where I felt like I was in 'The Shining.' Where he just slides into madness. It was kind of like that I was argumentative with friends and loved ones.'
When he would leave his place, it was weird!
The driver of his rideshare had sealed off the front seats, which was scary enough to drive Loney to more time at home alone.
He said, "It kind of starts with admitting that you're scared, or you don't know what to do, or you're bored, or being so closed to loved ones 24-7 for ten straight days can lead to conflict."
For a time, he would only go out at night. Loney would take his skateboard and roll down relatively empty streets when no one else was around.
"You can exercise every day," Loney said. "You can get outside. You can smell roses. I would think there's a very low likelihood roses have coronavirus on them."
Then ten days ago, the Chinese government strongly encouraged people in his city to go back to work. For Loney, it was the light at the end of his isolation tunnel.
His tweet ends with more wisdom, to help us with our loved ones at this time of stress and anxiety.
Loney's tweet advises us to, "Say I love you. Say sorry. Have a cry. Reset. It will be okay. #WeGotThisSeattle"
Guidance from half a world away -- that the key to not feeling so alone during isolation is to lean on each other.
"I just thought if I could provide a little bit of help, it would destigmatize the whole process of sliding into madness, admitting it, and coming back to life."