We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 shut down. It's been a rocky and eye-opening experience filled with sadness, mourning, loneliness, fear, disruption and...oh you know the rest because we have all experienced it real-time.
But there have been some "gifts" that have arisen from the Covid-19 Pandemic and have surprised me. Here are a few that come to mind and actually bring gratitude that the world has been forced to make changes.
Time to pause - Many of us have lamented that "we don't have enough time". Time to reflect, regroup, to read, to write, to spend on hobbies. Just unscheduled time. Well, Covid gave us that. Now we need to self-assess; how did we use that time?
Improved environment - The pandemic brought reduced carbon emissions, improved natural water, return of biodiversity in nature as humans stayed at home. It shows us what is possible for the future.
Family time - Staying at home, closure of schools, working from home, sheltering-in-place created family time and closeness that may never have happened any other way.
Happier Animals- The animal shelters and rescue societies found themselves empty of animals to adopt. It seems being at home makes it easier to have a pet and animals everywhere are so happy to have their "humans" at home. Dogs are pack animals and now the pack is with them.
Home cooking and gardening- One of the best ways to eat healthy is to grow vegetables and cook at home where you can control the ingredients and menu. Recipe websites, cooking shows and garden shows have had increased interest and family meals are back.
Decluttering spaces- As people reconfigure space for a home office or home work area for children, they are getting organized. Marie Kondo has become a verb: "Marie Kondoing" is all the rage.
Telemedicine- In healthcare we have been begging for telemedicine and the ability to communicate with our patients via phone and video for years. Driving, parking, taking time from work is a huge barrier to getting care. And people in rural communities have had no access to specialists or treatment before this. The Covid crisis forced the government and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow telemedicine. Now we need to make sure it stays after the pandemic recedes.
Appreciation of front-line workers- May we never forget to thank and appreciate the food chain (farm workers, packers, shippers, grocery clerks), the health workers and janitors and trash collectors and mail deliverers. The teachers who visited students and taught them on porches and on zoom. The bus drivers and repairmen and delivery workers who never got a break and worked overtime to make sure we had supplies.The home care, hospice and nursing home workers who are paid minimum wage to do God's work. ( Raise that minimum wage to $15 now).
Community Spirit- Covid-19 charitable community giving has increased and one just needs to look on their local "Next-door" app to see how communities have come together. Volunteering in local communities is up 57% on average since the pandemic hit and the focus for giving has shifted to local communities.
Free learning- The free zoom and online webinars have exploded this year. Want to visit the Rembrandts at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam? It's free online. So is visiting the MET, Opera, learning the Ukulele, meditation, meet authors, writing seminars, and women's studies.
What other gifts has Covid brought you? Go to the comments at the bottom and let us know.