So far, the year 2020 has been difficult for people around the world. Millions have been sickened by the COVID-19 virus, laid off from work and are feeling financially and mentally strained. It's been hard to find good news out there, so we rounded up eight good things to come from the COVID-19 pandemic to share with anyone who could use a smile.
To spread some positivity, check out some of the good things that have happened this year.
1. Lower Carbon Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to fall by almost eight percent - marking the largest decrease ever.1 Economies slowing down has caused a decrease in fossil fuel usage, which has led to cleaner air all over the world.
2. Working Habits are Changing
While many essential workers are not able to work from home, some jobs have switched to remote work.
Here are a few ways in which the switch to working from home has made some positive changes for employees:
- It allows for more quality time at home with your family
- You save on gas and travel, which not only saves you time and money but helps the environment
- More flexibility to do things like workout, get dinner started, do laundry and other tasks around the house
- Less of a commute means more time to hit the snooze button in the morning
- Technology, such as Zoom is helping employees streamline their work by cutting out (often unnecessary) in-person meetings
3. Essential Workers Are Gaining Recognition
It has been heartwarming to see videos of people applauding healthcare workers when they switch shifts or delivering meals to nurses and doctors who are working late hours to care for coronavirus patients.
Delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and grocery store cashiers are also being recognized as they have been working hard on the frontline to ensure that people are getting the food, water and other essential items that they need.
4. Healthcare Reform Is Growing Stronger
In America especially, the coronavirus has brought to light potential flaws or areas for improvement within the healthcare system. Especially as hospitals and medical facilities across the nation struggled to keep up with the demand for care the virus has created.
Some areas identified for improvement include:
- The need for medical schools to add public health to their studies
- Create spare capacity in hospitals
- Investing in safer housing amid outbreaks in nursing homes
- Implementing more “telehealth” appointment capabilities2
With the onset of COVID-19, there’s a potential for improvements like these to be fast-tracked in the future.
5. We’re Connecting With Loved Ones
For six months, most of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands than ever before. With this free time, we’ve found ways to connect with friends and family who are near and far. Thanks to technology like video conferencing, anyone can easily connect with friends and family while hosting large virtual gatherings.
Even though this isn’t as good as the “real thing,” it makes it easier to gather and will make the times that groups can get together again even better.
6. More Community Involvement
From community singalongs to hosting food drives, people are coming together to help others and boost their community’s spirit. These times are incredibly difficult, especially for those already suffering from mental illness, compromised immune systems and the elderly. People around the world are offering their time, money and resources to help out where they can.
7. More People Are Getting Outdoors
With less time spent in the car and the office, people are finding more time to get outside and enjoy being with their families or trying out new workout routines. As long as you get moving in a socially distanced and safe way, heading outside can be a great way to stay active.
Some socially distanced activities you can enjoy outside include:
- Explore new trails or jogging routes in your area
- Ride bikes solo or with your family
- Check local or state parks to see if they are open and safe (Check with the local parks and recreation office to make sure they are open)
- Explore your neighborhood with your children
Some things to keep in mind as you head outdoors:
- Bring a mask if social distancing isn’t always possible
- Wash your hands when you leave the house and return home
- Stay home if you’re feeling under the weather
When done safely, this is an ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors - especially if you’ve been too busy in the past to really do so.
8. People Have Been Focusing On Hobbies
From painting and graphic design to candle making or personal training, more people have been focusing on perfecting and monetizing their personal passions than ever before. With extra time to focus on marketing efforts or establishing an online store, people are finding ways to make their favorite hobbies a profitable business.
With the extra time on everybody’s hands and the need to stay home, it’s been an effective way to stay busy and productive in light of all that’s going on.
The pandemic has turned the world upside down, but taking away something positive will make you more grateful, help you find the good in others and make you more mentally strong as we all go through this together.