Jewish astronaut in space gives Israelis advice on isolation
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Jewish astronaut in space gives Israelis advice on isolation

Speaking from the International Space Station via the US’s Jerusalem embassy Twitter account, Jessica Meir urges earthlings to look after both their physical and mental health

International Space Station (ISS) crew member, NASA's US astronaut Jessica Meir waves as she boards the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft before its blasts off for the ISS, on September 25, 2019 at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Maxim Shipenkov/Pool/AFP)
International Space Station (ISS) crew member, NASA's US astronaut Jessica Meir waves as she boards the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft before its blasts off for the ISS, on September 25, 2019 at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Maxim Shipenkov/Pool/AFP)

Speaking from on board the International Space Station via the US Embassy in Israel’s twitter feed, Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir gave Israelis and all earthlings advice Thursday on how to stay both physically and mentally healthy while cooped up indoors.

“It is very strange and a bit surreal for us to see it all unfold when we’ve been up here for the entire duration of what’s going on down on the ground and it seems that we will be completely going back to a different planet,” she said in the video posted by the Jerusalem embassy.

Answering a question posed by the embassy — “How can we stay engaged and healthy indoors?” — as part of program in partnership with NASA, Meir said, “It’s something we think a lot about up here.

“And I think there are a lot of things that people can do to make things a little bit easier on them. And some of the things that we do up here is we make sure to stick to our routine. We stick to our exercise routing to stay fit and healthy,” she said. “Exercise is something, as we know, that’s important not only for our physical fitness but also for our mental well-being, and that’s something that we emphasize a lot up here.”

Meir also said it was important to “maintain regular contact with family and friends and loved ones,” noting how many people are using video conferencing to stay connected. “And that’s something that we do regularly for our psychological support on the space stations as well,” she said.

Last month, Meir posted on Twitter a photo of Tel Aviv that she took from space with the usually bustling Israeli city seen looking desolate amid the spread of the coronavirus.

“Gazing down at the city in which my father was raised, I take to heart one of his most uttered expressions, ‘This too shall pass.’

“Wise words to remember, in both good times and bad. Goodnight #TelAviv #Israel! #GoodnightFromSpace #TheJourney #EarthStrong,” she tweeted.

Meir frequently posts photos of Earth taken from the International Space Station, where she has been since late September. In November, she posted a photo of Israel, in a tribute to her father.

Last October, Meir participated in the first all-female spacewalk. Since the first spacewalk in 1965, there have been 227 spacewalkers, only 14 of them women. Meir became No. 15. All but one of these women has been American.

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