On April 15, comedian Stephen Colbert, who is hosting “The Late Show” direct from home for the past one month, called the International Space Station to acquire a few of the isolation tips from the NASA astronaut Jessica Meir.
Meir is the one who launched the space station in September 2019, and she has been on board in the orbiting laboratory for 162 days. She is also among the three Expedition 62 crewmembers who were on space at the beginning of coronavirus pandemic. Together with her two Soyuz MS-15 crewmates, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan will return to Earth on Friday, April 17, 2020.
“It is hard for us to believe that we are going back to a different planet,” Meir said during the space-to-ground interview with Colbert, which was aired on NASA TV. “And it is shocking to feel that we are just the three of us here up – and we are the only human beings who are not prone to the coronavirus infection at this time,” she added. “Billions of people are subjected to this deadly disease, and they are trying to deal with it in one way or another from various places. For the three of us, it is sad to see it all unfold.”
“Okay, everyone here on Earth is doing well with social isolation issues, and I know you astronaut are trained on how to deal with isolation,” Colbert responded. “My question was, do you have some advice on the world and people who are at risk of getting cabin fever?” Meir answered that she and other astronauts have been giving their advice and tips on social media since coronavirus began.
Colbert also asked the space station’s treadmill. Meir responded that the treadmill that was named COLBERT by NASA is still up and running. COLBERT treadmill was launched to the station in 2009. “I was on the COLBERT treadmills some hours ago. The astronauts use it daily to either run or bike on the treadmill.
When living in isolation, everyone needs to take personal care. “When isolated together with the roommates or family members, it is necessary to play nice with others,” Meir said. “Just as we work as a team in space for several months, those in quarantine require treating one another with respect and kindness.” She added.
Living happily together in isolation requires extra effort, “it is important to have fun despite the situation,” Meir said. She said that this is essential for our overall health and psychological well.