COVID-19 has forced most of the world to change up its everyday routines. Social distancing is keeping us apart from one another. School and work are mostly being conducted remotely, and even going to the grocery store requires keeping yourself safe with masks and gloves.
While it’s easy to lament our old ways of life and familiar routines, which now seem miles away, there is – believe it or not – a bright side to this pandemic.
Although you might not be able to notice them now, there are lessons to learned from COVID-19. Some of them include:
We take many aspects of life for granted
The term “rat race” exists for a reason. Before COVID-19, workers, parents, teachers and children were spinning their wheels trying to keep up with life’s routines. Workers poured into offices earlier and earlier, teachers felt pressures of keeping up with mandated curriculums and parents and children raced between school, work and afternoon and evening activities. Now, more than 50 days into this pandemic, we realize that we may have taken many aspects of our pre-COVID-19 days for granted. Time, now, is our friend, not our enemy. Activities such as a simple family game outside while enjoying a beautiful day, writing a handwritten letter to a friend who moved away and sitting around your kitchen table enjoying a family meal are now more possible than ever. And these moments have become priceless.
Sometimes simple gestures mean much more than grandiose ones
COVID-19 undoubtedly has changed lots of behaviors. Social distancing continues in most places and is still halting much of our old way of life. For now, large gatherings, parties, get-togethers, even sporting events have stopped. Now, with more time on our side, it’s the little things that we are left with to make count. Many families are taking walks together. Sometimes a change of scenery such as getting outside can open dialogue and change attitudes, especially between parents and children. Simple hellos, smiles and friendly conversations with passersby are also more commonplace now as the rush of everyday life, for now, remains low. Families are now enjoying and really listening to each other’s conversations and even catching up over Zoom with distant friends or relatives.
Some hills are longer and steeper than others, but all eventually crest
It goes without saying that we’re still wading through difficult waters. School in New Jersey is remote for the remainder of the year and many end-of-the-year activities, sports and gatherings are either cancelled or postponed until later dates. It’s normal to be mad about this! It’s normal to lament what was once normal and now lost – but try not to wallow in it too much. Why? Because the hard times inevitably will lead to good times again down the road. At the end of this road, perhaps, you might find a new appreciation for the basic things in life such as offering help, lending an ear, or a kind smile to others. Hang in there!
So, as we all continue to adhere to the state and country’s guidelines during this COVID-19 pandemic, be on the lookout for the life lessons during this down time. Soon enough, we will all be easing back into our previous routines so now is the time to reevaluate what’s important in life. And remember — mom was right — wash those hands!