Stay with me, I know we don’t leap straight to thinking about the positive impacts of the coronavirus pandemic…
Most of us have been perpetually baking banana bread, strolling around the same neighbourhood and listening to headlines that remind us of steep curves, restrictive government measures and death rates. I myself was becoming increasingly stressed about the information appearing in my notifications. Not even banana bread could cure me from my existential dread. In an attempt to regain a positive mindset, I’ve taken a moment to scale-down the coronavirus pandemic and reflect on its outcomes through an individualistic lens. In doing do, I’ve begun to realise the positive impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, how it has highlighted the inefficient choices I’ve made in my life until now.
I urge you to examine what the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted in your life and, offer some examples of the ways in which it has corrected the way we are all living.
An Emphasis on ‘Essential’:
A few words have taken permanent roles in our vocabulary during this time. ‘Essential’ takes precedent as one that has changed the way we look at food, activities and people. This label insists that we don’t go to great lengths to purchase unnecessary items or partake in unnecessary activities. I’ve noticed that it hasn’t been particularly difficult to adjust to limited takeaways and that leaving the house for my daily walk or run has made me appreciate the importance of staying active and getting fresh air.
‘Essential’ has also gained itself some hero-like connotations. Industries such as health-care, delivery services, food and agriculture and transport, to name a few, have remained active during this time in order to cater to our ‘essential’ needs. As someone who initially felt inconvenienced by this pandemic, I’ve come to see the privilege of being able to rely on these workers and industries. As much as we are learning to appreciate the goods that are essential to our lives we also have to appreciate the services and learn to re-evaluate the ways in which we perhaps have been misusing them.
Corona has positively impacted the way we perceive the essential elements in our lives that we previously hadn’t given a second thought to. We can look at the everyday with more appreciation and perhaps, most importantly, correct the way we appreciate these ‘essentials’ in the future. We can differentiate between what we ‘want’ versus what we ‘need’.
Giving the environment a break:
Self-isolation has also had a positive impact on the environment. We’ve all heard stories about lakes and canals clearing up and animals migrating back to cities. The reasons for these positive developments have been due to obvious reasons, including the reduction of air and noise pollution created by everyday activity. But this is nothing new. What we need to be taking into account during this time is that perhaps ‘saving the environment’ isn’t just about adjusting our habits to be more eco-friendly, but allowing the environment to re-adjust itself without human intervention. We didn’t exactly need to do anything for wildlife to emerge and waters to clear-up. It is doing nothing that has shown to make a difference.
Can the adjustments you’ve made be pulled forward when lockdown is over. Working remotely a few times a week can become the new norm. Thus, preventing unnecessary travel, and subsequently, unnecessary pollution. Humans are progressing at a pace that the environment cannot keep up with. As a result, we need to consider ways to allow the environment to stay on track with us. Find ways to make your own life sustainable and consider that the Earth may benefit from a ‘me-day’ too. Lockdown is showing signs of correcting the impact we have had on the environment. It’s our turn to correct our own actions to maintain the positive changes that we are seeing.
Giving our minds a break:
In order to stay safe from the pandemic, governments have been insisting that we stop and do nothing. I initially struggled to take a break from my normal routine and ‘keep calm and carry on’. I was either feeling anxious about the safety of my family and friends, or worried about the fate of humanity. It wasn’t until I cleared my mind that I could re-adjust my perspective and move forward from the negativity.
In a world where we are constantly progressing and desiring more, we rarely give ourselves time to reflect. This puts us at risk of ‘burning out’. Taking a break allows us to find new ways to reignite our light. ‘Doing nothing’ makes you realise that maybe it’s okay to do ‘less’ and that less is often actually ‘more’. Learn to appreciate what you already have during Lockdown. That way when you are given the opportunity to have ‘more’, you’ll learn to appreciate it as well.
2020 hasn’t marked the end of mankind as we know it. We are in an enlightening period that will make us better acquainted with our lives and the world around us. We will learn to understand how we should be living our lives in a way that’s better for others and the environment. The world doesn’t revolve around the Coronavirus. As long as we stay safe and ensure that others stay safe as well, we can move to a more positive future. I hope that you take time to think about how the coronavirus pandemic that positively impacted the way you live.
Has it taken a whole pandemic for you to finally realise what’s important in life?