First, I hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy (physically and mentally) during this insane time. And thank you to all those on the frontlines taking care of us and making sure essential parts of our lives are still serviced and accessible. An important part of living the jawesome life is to live on the bright side. There are always positive takeaways from any situation life throws at us, and I wanted to throw some light your way during this difficult and uncertain time. So, here are just a few positives that Covid-19 has brought us thus far:
1. Washing Our Hands Better
Hopefully, when this is all over, we will all continue to wash our hands as thoroughly and often as we are now, because we're probably all much more aware of how many "things" we touch every day. Maybe not AS often, because I'm sure I'm not the only one whose hands feel like they were baked in the Mojave Desert, but you know...more often than we did before COVID-19. And hopefully we will continue to wash our hands as thoroughly as we do now, making sure we don't miss the backs of our hands, our thumbs, and even under our nails!
2. Staying Home When Sick
At least in American culture, for some reason we grow up thinking we wear a badge of honor if we can suffer through Geometry while trying not to eat all the snot dripping out of our nose. Those perfect attendance records are as bad as yearbook superlatives like "Most Likely to Be Famous." Then as adults we pass our colds on to each other in a never-ending cycle of "there must be a bug going around" in the office. Too many of us worry about getting behind at work or school if we miss a day or two, and we're punished for doing so. But now, hopefully COVID-19 has taught us the importance of staying home and even isolating ourselves when we are sick. It's selfish to risk other people's health. So, I hope we can shift our culture to actually value our health and encourage people to rest and recover their bodies when they are sick. Employers are as much responsible for this as employees are.
3. Learning New Skills - Becoming a Hairstylist
Now that we are mostly stuck at home, I'm sure many of us are acquiring new skills. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn how to knit and now you have plenty of time to do so. But one skill probably many of us will need to learn, particularly men (and/or their partners), is how to cut our own hair. My husband had planned on getting his haircut a couple weekend ago, but then I went into labor. By the time we left the hospital, social-distancing began, and shortly after "shelter in place." So, we've ordered hair clippers, and I'm going to learn how to cut men's hair.
4. Greater Appreciation for Teachers
I'm sure many parents who are now in charge of their children's education have a newfound and greater appreciation for teachers. 'Nuff said.
5. The Opportunity to Work Out All Your Family Issues
When you're stuck in close quarters with anyone for an extended period, you're bound to want to chew each other's heads off at some point. Normally, you might be able to cool your jets by heading out, creating some space, and taking a breather. However, there's no escape now so it's the perfect time to work on issues that require your compassionate attention and improve communication skills with your loved ones.
6. Increase in Adoption of Sustainable Practices
As people rushed to the stores to hoard toilet paper, I laughed because I've got a bidet! When I heard diapers were also flying off the shelves, I laughed again--we have cloth diapers! Then I needed more pads to deal with my postpartum healing, and everything was back-ordered or out of stock, and I wished I had cloth pads. Admittedly, I'm not quite there on my sustainability journey, but I have started looking into menstrual cups. I'm just not allowed to stick anything up there yet, so I need pads. In any case, I hope that our irrational human behavior has encouraged more of us to adopt sustainable practices in our every day lives.
7. We Are All Connected
Hopefully, the way that this virus has so rapidly and vastly spread around the world shows us how connected we all are. We live in a global world and we must address certain issues from a global perspective. One incident that may seem like it is so far away from us, may just be a few degrees away and right around the corner.
8. Hope and Restored Faith in Humanity
I love seeing people coming together to use their resources to help out. Christian Siriano is utilizing his team and their skills to make masks for healthcare professionals in New York City. Many in other places are also taking the time to fashion masks. Louis Vuitton is using their perfume labs and resources to make hand sanitizer for hospitals in France. This is how we should operate. Seeing people mobilize in this way certainly sends a message of hope and provides restored faith in humanity.
These are just a few positive aspects of a very bad, scary, and uncertain situation we all face now. When all is said and done, I hope that we will all walk out of this better, stronger, smarter, and more considerate of each other.