Everyday we are flooded with bad news about COVID-19; which is understandable in a crisis like this one. We’re all aware of the negative effects of the virus, but have you ever thought about the good things that have emerged? Have you given yourself space to see through to the other side of this crisis?
Let’s start first with ourselves and our loved ones.
Yes, many of us are tired of spending our days in lockdown and of being away from friends and family. But what’s amazing to see is how this outbreak is bringing some people together. For people like me, living in family units, now we finally have time to spend together, to do activities at home we’d planned a long time ago and never had the opportunity to do and to enjoy the creative cooking and family time we’ve always wanted. These will be times we won’t forget and one day when we get back to our normal lives, busy work and full family schedules we will miss this quality time we’ve been spending together.
If we look closely you may discover we talk more now with everyone we love. Yes, it’s true that we can’t hug or be with others physically but we have so many different social media apps, that group video calls become really easy. We have been forced to change the way we socialize but maybe it has brought us closer together? Did you know that there was over a 70% increase in video calls and the amount of time spent on these group video calls has doubled globally?
So, maybe this will make us value all the time we have to be with others and to make every minute worth a thousand minutes. This outbreak has made many realize how much we care, and how much we love our family and friends. It definitely makes us appreciate the small details.
Have you thought about how it’s bringing communities together and bringing out the best in people?
Think about all the friendly neighbourhood groups created, all the support zoom video calls made, the global choirs created and the art initiatives of so many artists. There have been long conversations and activities that people have been doing together through their windows and balconies to keep distance. Distant, but not socially distant. In all countries we see creative ideas of people helping each other, entertaining and bringing joy to other people’s lives. Think about all the global and individual charities we’ve been seeing, all the donations made across the globe, all the support and acknowledgement to the NHS staff worldwide and everyone that is working hard to help people who are in need. So, maybe this is making people think more about others and leave their own cocoon? It sounds counterintuitive, but this distance has actually brought us closer together.
What about our planet?
If we think about the land we live in, the most important thing to preserve and the one thing we cannot live without – our planet. The climate is improving quickly, with industry’s slowdown, with less traffic on the roads, in the sea and sky which results in fossil fuel burning dropping, and loads of other things. The air quality is finally getting better. Take a look at China’s example, where in just two months their sky became almost completely clear again. According to researchers, 100,000 premature deaths caused by air pollution could be avoided if the country’s economic slowdown continued. And it’s not just about the pollution in the air, it’s nature as a whole. You can see more wild animals everywhere, the sky is full of birds singing and insects that can live their lives without human interference. Seas and rivers are becoming cleaner. Think about Venice in Italy where for the first time in many years they can see their canals clearly. Think about all the fauna and flora we’re saving and even the diseases we are avoiding due to air pollution.
The planet is really benefiting from countries’ slowdown worldwide. And so are we.
To begin with, and because most people are currently working from home, we’re using less plastic, less resources, travel less and shop less. So it’s a win-win situation, for our wallet and our planet. We’re saving money, we’ve stopped buying as many clothes, toys and gadgets. We were forced to adjust our living patterns. In addition, because many suddenly have (a lot of) time to think, we may be finally faced with the fact that we are buying too much!
Many people have started making conscious choices when it comes to nutrition and exercise.
So, use this time for yourself, read that book you’ve been talking about for years, send that caring message to that old friend you’ve lost contact with, show ‘your people‘ how much you really love them and how important they are in your life. Fix your home, clean your wardrobe, get rid of all the things you don’t really need (give them to someone who needs them), choose a more minimalist lifestyle. Start doing yoga and meditate in the morning, paint, sing and dance again! Rethink your life and yourself. Bring out the good of this bad and challenging crisis.
Of course, the bad is really bad. Thousands upon thousands of premature deaths. But people always say how important it is to be optimistic and to try to see the good in situations. So this is definitely a good opportunity for us to try and do it! Be optimistic, be brave, and be caring to others. Appreciate what you have, love those around you, and cherish your elders. Choose to make the difference somewhere, no matter where. It can be in your country, your neighborhood or even your house! And don’t forget: things will be better, this will go away, and think that everyday that goes by is one day less for the moment you will be able to hug whoever you miss the most, there are many reasons to be cheerful!