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Fond du Lac woman teaches community her skill to battle isolation

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DULUTH, MN-- With Stay at Home Orders in effect in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, people everywhere are trying to find ways to keep themselves busy and avoid feeling isolated.

After returning from a trip to BANFF recently, Sarah Agaton Howes' life had changed dramatically.

"So I flew home thinking you know the world would continue as it was and everything changed," said Agaton Howes.

She went from being out and about in the community to being quarantined for the last three weeks.

"Being so isolated from each other is really difficult, especially for people being in a generational community all the time," said Agaton Howes.

She's relying on her art to get her through.

Agaton Howes usually teaches people face to face how to make moccasins but now she's directing her knowledge to virtually helping others who are also stuck at home.

"Helping share like a beadwork tip of the day on my blog, posting things on my Instagram like here's another thing you can try, here's another thing you can try," said Agaton Howes.

Agaton Howes says she misses that special face-to-face connection.

"I really love being around people and I really miss that personal connection that you get from other people," said Agaton Howes.

Many Americans right now are feeling that exact same way, says UMD Assitant Professor of Public Health, Marzell Gray.

"As humans, we all thrive on connections and being connected to other people," said Gray.

Gray says it's vital to still find ways to keep the connection alive whether it be through social media, webcam services, and facetime.

Also having a daily routine can help fight the feeling of isolation.

"Get up and get ready like you're going to work, set yourself aside to an area where you can do some work and focus but then take breaks," said Gray.

Another way that has been working for Agaton Howes is by remembering what she's grateful for at times of uncertainty.

"I am so grateful that we are here, we are alive, and we come from so much hardship that we are still here, and I am just going to just keep digging into that patience every day," said Agaton Howes.

Remember, under the extended stay at home orders, you're still able to go outside and get some sun and exercise.

Lyanne Valdez

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