The world as we know it came to a screeching halt over the past few weeks. Basically, this is the month that time stopped and froze. Although we live in scary times right now with an invisible enemy looming about, there is still some good to be seen. Yes, I know how that sounds but once you think about, you'd be amazed. Like any strange situation, this has pros and cons. So, let's look at the pros.
Think about the planet's benefits.
With society being in a state of lockdown, the human carbon footprint has been reduced. Since most jobs are closed and people are working from home, you're seeing so many more cars in the driveway. Instead of driving to work or school, people are riding bikes just to get some fresh air. Schools are shut down so busses aren't polluting the skies every single morning. Factories that cause an increase in pollution are closed down for the time being. The Venice Canal has become clear in Italy. Dolphins are swimming closer and closer to the shore. China has record-breaking pollution cuts already. Los Angeles skies are clearer than ever. Fewer planes are flying out, that's benefiting the air as well. We've rewound who knows how many years' worth of climate damage in just a few weeks. It is possible to do it!
Family time as well.
Now that companies are finding ways to employ people from home, parents are able to spend more time with their kids. People are able to sit around the dining room table with their entire family and share meals again. State parks in certain places are waiving fees so families can come and enjoy some time together outside of the house, but safely away from crowds. Parents have more time to do fun or important things with their children like teaching them how to cook, playing board games, showing them how to help themselves become more independent. When is the last time you were able to sit down with your babies and watch a movie or play a game?
Your humanity is showing.
Clearly this isn't all rainbows and sunshine. Except now, people know how to help others in their time of need. People are giving away extra baby formula that they have leftover. Others are posting statuses of where to find specific items that are running low, or helping friends come up with ideas on how to end the boredom at home. We've come up with solutions like giving people a break on their rent, paying them from home so they don't go without. Grocery stores are opening up specific hours just for the elderly so they can get what they need before it's all out. Schools are offering food in designated places for the kids who rely on their daily breakfast and lunch. Smaller essential businesses like family-owned farms and grocery stores are finally being noticed since the conglomerates aren't able to provide us anymore. Our human race is waking up, even in such a scary time.
Back to the old days.
Kids are getting bored of being on their electronics all day. A few days with their face shoved into a screen and by then, they've gotten so sick and tired of it. Never in my life have I seen so many kids actually playing outside or coming up with more creative ways to pass the time. Going for a walk or bike ride, playing outside with their dogs, building forts in the living room. Even in social distancing, children are able to do the fun things we used to do before iPads took over the world.
A little bit of evidence.
One thing out of all of this that blows my mind is the fact that nobody is exempt from this. No race, gender, age, orientation, political party, or tax bracket is protected right now. It could get ANYONE. Obviously, immunocompromised people such as myself, or the elderly, children, and pregnant women are more at risk. But when you dissect this experience and look at the bigger picture, there are so many points to be proven. Right now, we are living the reality of what life was like before vaccines. No source of protection bigger than someone else's, no herd immunity, nothing. This is a prime example of how we take vaccines for granted. Also, this is a good time for people to learn what it's like to have anxiety. Millions of people who haven't been anxious a day in their life are anxious right now. Maybe this can help humanity grow some empathy for those who struggle with this feeling of panic and anxiety every single day, even when a pandemic isn't occurring.
We still have a lot of work to do.
It's heartbreaking to see the negative side that society is facing during the pandemic. Racial slurs, unpaid jobs, lives lost, and people who aren't able to get the necessities that they need. Any optimistic observation above doesn't take these painful parts of the pandemic away. Except, you can make the world a better place by being kind to others, now and after this is over. Help those who are in need. For once, just be a human. Rely on no other part of your identity other than the fact that you are exactly the same as the next person.
Be a human. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Be kind to others. Keep the hope. This won't last forever, but we have the ability to make the positive parts last a long time if we put our minds to it.