Finding a silver lining in Covid-19

28 Feb

This last year has been awful. There’s no two ways about it. Covid-19 has brought sickness, death, separation and financial ruin to millions.

Our world has been put through the wringer. But while it’s really hard to see past all the terrible things that have happened and are still happening, if you look closely enough, it’s possible to see some positives that have come out of this experience.

I was chatting about this the other day with the nurse at school. In a normal year, children would often come to her office complaining of stomach bugs or with random (non-Covid) fevers. But thanks to the fact that everyone is wearing masks, she’s seeing those routine viruses a whole lot less. Kids are just not getting sick as much.

And that goes for us adults, too. I’ve usually contracted two or three colds by this point in the school year, but I haven’t gotten sick once. It’s not unusual for a stomach bug to run through the family as well, but not this year. Masks have reduced transmission, and since I’m not seeing family members as much, so they can’t infect me.

I realized there must be other ways in which our lives have changed for the better as a result of Covid. Here’s what I came up with, and maybe you can add some more:

  • Zoom. Like most people, I was totally unfamiliar with this program until the pandemic. But it quickly became an outstanding tool to stay connected with friends (like my regular Friday night virtual euchre game), family (playing Jackbox with family from as far away as Texas), and old school buddies (my husband’s old college friends’ happy hours). Over Christmas I also connected via Zoom with family members I hadn’t seen in years. None of this would have happened if we didn’t have a virtual way to gather.
  • Homeless animals are much happier. Many animal shelters were cleaned out by families who wanted to adopt a pet during shutdown.
  • We’ve rediscovered the outdoors. Shutdown meant that we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves aside from going bowling or to the movies or pubs. So we started walking and hiking and riding our bikes.
  • We’ve reconnected with our neighbors. Now everyone says hi when they pass by on their after-dinner walks. This was especially true in the early months of the pandemic. Everyone was just overjoyed to see other faces, even if you did have to move out into the street to pass by.
  • We’ve rediscovered hobbies. I have been reading more books and doing more jigsaw puzzles.
  • I learned the word “smize.” It means a playful expression with your eyes, or smiling with your eyes. We all do it, but now we’ve learned to recognize it, and know what to call it.
  • Pollution is down a lot. I read that the canals in Venice are clear, the reduction of pollution in China has saved thousands of lives, carbon monoxide emissions are down significantly, and the air is so clear near the Himalayas that the mountains are visible for the first time in decades.
  • We’ve developed a newfound respect for our essential workers, something which has been sorely lacking.

But I think the best thing that has happened in this last year is that we’ve all increased our generosity and connection to community. We’re supporting local businesses and restaurants. We’re donating to food cupboards and reaching out to community members who are struggling financially. We’re dropping off care packages, offering to shop for our older neighbors, checking on the health and welfare of family members. We’re looking after one another.

Basically, we’ve rediscovered our sense of community. When this pandemic finally leaves us all for good, let’s hope that sense of community does not. We must never forget this time when we really needed one another.

* * *

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6 Responses to “Finding a silver lining in Covid-19”

  1. Pat Sweetland February 28, 2021 at 9:33 am #

    Great article…………….and so true. You made me laugh when you talked about the villagers moving out in the street while walking to be social distanced. I live on a street off Culver Rd. When I walk on Culver and someone else walks by I move to the lawns and am always afraid a homeowner is going to come out and yell at me. They never do! I think this is one of your best writings, my friend!

    • websterontheweb February 28, 2021 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you for your kind words, my friend! I wrote this one on the spur of a “I need to write a blog tonight about something” moment. I never know when they might really hit a chord.

  2. Shanna LaDelfa February 28, 2021 at 10:19 am #

    I love all of this!! So true!!!

    • websterontheweb February 28, 2021 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks Shanna! We need some positivity these days 🙂

  3. Kathy Taddeo February 28, 2021 at 11:39 am #

    Terrific blog and timely reminder, Missy. Thanks for the upbeat version of this year.

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