10 Silver Linings of the Coronavirus Crisis
I’ve always been a “glass half-full” kind of girl. In this difficult time, I’m trying to find the silver linings in the rather dark pandemic cloud that has enveloped the world. Thankfully, for the majority of people (including members of my own household), the illness presents relatively mildly. I realize that I am extremely fortunate that my quarantine conditions are comfortable, my job can be done at home, and my children are at self-sufficient ages. In no way do I mean to make light of the fact that people are suffering and dying from this illness, and that quarantine and closings are causing real strain and financial hardship for people. This piece was written from the “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” school of thought. Wishing everyone good health!!
10) Germaphobe Validation. I’ve been carrying hand sanitizer in my purse and keeping one in my car for years, and I can’t remember the last time I went on a plane without a package of cleaning wipes. And don’t get me started about subway cooties or eating at buffets. People used to mock me. Not anymore.
9) The Memes. There are some really funny people out there and thankfully they are hanging out on Facebook and Instagram making me laugh.
8) The Creativity. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention, and I’ve been truly impressed with how businesses and individuals are adapting to the current situation. One local dermatologist is offering drive through appointments. An art teacher organized a live online class and sold inexpensive supply kits in advance that could be picked up or dropped off for those in quarantine. Authors are having virtual book release parties. Restaurants are offering door-to-car service for people’s take-out orders.
7) Easy Schedules. Yes, the kids have online school and you are working from home, but there’s a more relaxed pace to the morning. No racing for the bus, or scrambling to find keys, phones, gym clothes, etc. Your kid can’t find his left soccer cleat? That’s okay he doesn’t need it! And no carpools! No racing to karate or ballet or debate club. Many of these activities have moved to online platforms, so kids can still have fun at home. (To those of you with children who take the drums, I’m sorry!)
6) Nesting. Whether out of necessity (“hey, we are stuck in the house I can’t take the mess”) or choice, this is a great time to clean up and organize things around the house. My son has been so bored he voluntarily has been cleaning out his room. It’s a treasure hunt! I rescued an old CD Boom Box he unearthed and was planning to discard. (“Mom, who listens to CDs anymore?” Children of the 80s that’s who, hand it over!)
5) Increased Hygiene, along with Decreased Vanity. Everyone is more careful about washing their hands (see #10), but at the same time, there is little reason to fuss with your hair or bother with make-up. Yes, you definitely should get dressed every day to give yourself structure (especially if you need to be on video calls for work) but you can wear what makes you happy and comfortable (your favorite work appropriate sweater with your most comfy jeans and fuzzy slippers—no one can see your feet on Zoom!).
4) Friends. Thanks to social media, and the fact that a lot of people have a lot of time on their hands, this has been a great time to catch up with friends near and far whether by phone, video call, or texting. We can each make our own cup of coffee and schmooze on Google Hangouts (again with the fuzzy slippers!). My local group of friends has also been particularly good about offering to help each other out with errands (“I’m in the store does anyone need anything?”) and the willingness to “ding dong ditch” supplies at quarantined houses. We’ve also been having a great time sharing the funniest memes and videos we can find.
3) Enforced Downtime. There’s nowhere to go. There’s no FOMO. Without any guilt, you can sit and read a book, learn to knit, do a jigsaw puzzle, play a video game, exercise, meditate, try a complicated recipe—basically anything you can do from the comfort of your own home either alone or with your family, which brings me to…
2) Family Time. I’m sure I’d feel differently if I was trapped in a small apartment with needy toddlers, but I’ve really been enjoying spending time with my family. My college kids are home, and for the first time in years we are all together for a significant amount of time. Since they are all in “virtual” schools, I get a nice glimpse of what they are doing. We’re talking, having family dinners (I’ll admit the increased cooking part is not one of my favorite things), watching movies, and playing board games. (FYI Risk is still a really good game.)
And finally, the best thing about right now…
1) We Are All in this Together. Not since the post 9/11 days have I felt the same sense of community bonding that I’m feeling now. Thanks to social media, we’re more connected now than we were then. Yes, there are still partisan politics and anger and frustration, but you are seeing less of it. The news is all pandemic, all the time. Anyone remember we’re in an election year ? My social media feeds used to be dominated by political opinions, now I’m seeing pictures of kids at online “home school,” creative activities, helpful suggestions for things to do (online museum tour anyone? see #8), stories of compassion and kindness (I’m intentionally ignoring the stories of toilet paper hoarders), and let’s not forget the memes (see #9 again).
We will get through this challenging time, and eventually life will return to normal. Hopefully, we will remember the positive lessons (wash your hands!) and continue to look out for one another and treat each other with kindness and compassion.
Let’s be careful out there!
by Gail Katz Dukas, Chief Operating Officer