The coronavirus sure has changed things for everyone.
Students aren’t in school. Businesses are closed. Borders are closed. We’re hearing daily reports on how many new cases there are, how many have died and how bad it could get.
And I understand the value of putting out credible and accurate updates and information.
But we can really only take so much bad news. If for no other reason than having a positive mood makes you less likely to get sick. Whether it’s the coronavirus or something else we should all want to stay healthy.
With that in mind I’ve put together the 14 best things to happen as a result of the coronavirus.
1. Better Hygiene – How many times a day do you now wash your hands? Before every meal. After every visit to the bathroom. At the start and end of the day. After training and any other activities during the day.
Add to this the extra disinfectant, hand sanitizer, wipes and cleaning supplies we’re using and we’re definitely making a better attempt to stay cleaner even if only manually. Even before the coronavirus research has shown hand washing helps reduce gastrointestinal illness 31% and respiratory illness 21%. (1)
2. Sincerity – Have you noticed conversations are more real lately? For example, when you call someone and ask how they’re doing they answer. They simply don’t say ‘Good. You?’ Instead they will take the time to fill you in on how things are going and how they’re managing. And as the listener, you actually care and listen. You are able to empathize with what they’re going through and this seems to help both.
3. Renewed Value of Human Contact – Before the current pandemic there may have been days when I would get upwards of 100 high 5s, knuckles or maybe even a hug or 2 per day. I haven’t been in the gym since March 10th. And I’m starting to feel like Tom Brady.
Jokes aside I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that we sure miss connecting in this way at the gym and finishing off a session with a high 5 or fist pound.
4. Renewed Value of Human Gatherings – Have you had to cancel some events? Were there some sporting events on the calendar? Even if it was just for work I’m sure there are some things in your life that didn’t happen to prevent gatherings of large crowds.
For me, there were a couple of conferences that were cancelled and a ski trip with some friends. And on Tuesday we’ll celebrate Evangeline’s 5th birthday while in self-quarantine after returning from the US.
5. Stock Market is On Sale – The drop in the stock market can be viewed in different ways depending on your perspective. If you’re retired and experienced the drops in the market you may not see this as a good thing. And you may not want to spend years waiting for stocks to recover.
But if you’ve got a fairly good risk tolerance and time on your side now is not a bad time to load up on some solid blue chip companies. Definitely don’t take this as investment advice but Disney, Apple and travel companies haven’t been this low in years. For example, last week Warren Buffet bought $45 million in Delta Airlines. In the past year Delta traded at a high of $63.44 per share. Last week it hit a low of $19.10 per share or a drop of 70%! I sure I could chat with Joyce B., Dave T and Ben S. about this!
6. Renewed Appreciation of Travel – We were 2 days into our cruise when it was cancelled. We learned that many of the ports may not let us dock. And the captain decided it was better to cancel and return to Florida than to risk floating at sea until a port allowed you to dock.
Although it was a short trip we had great weather and the food was excellent. We were upgraded to an ocean view room with a balcony and have no regrets at all. Even though we came home early it definitely made us appreciate getting away and having some fun.
7. Reduced Pollution – With the cessation of travel and business the environment has been the big winner of COVID-19. Apparently the air quality in China has improved to such an extent that up to 100,000 lives may be saved. The canal waters in Venice have never been cleaner. And wildlife and ecosystems that had been suffering are being renewed.
8. Home for Dinner – Pre COVID-19 I would be in the habit of working long days. And while I always planned to be home in time for dinner there many times when I’d stay a little later. It might be to connect with a client. It may be to check in with the parent of an athlete. Or we might be busier than expected and I’d hang around to coach.
Since March 9th I haven’t been late for dinner once. It has been great to sit down with the whole family and hear about their days. Vangie leads us in grace and then the girls tell us about the best part of their days. Click the link here if you’d like to read a study on the benefits of eating dinner as a family. (2)
9. Less Time Commuting – Even though we’re isolating for 2 weeks, I’m sure our experience is not that much different than yours. We haven’t been in our vehicles for 10 days. We haven’t been in traffic. We’ve haven’t had to search for a parking spot. We haven’t had to deal with crowds at all. And it’s been great.
10. Memes – You have to admit. There have been some pretty fun COVID-19 memes on the interwebs. This has to be one of my favourites.
11. Respect for the Elderly – Typically we value human life based on what it can produce. And when the production stops by leaving the work force the value can be deemed less. Now at least we’re making a better attempt to show respect for the elderly. Sure I get it. Giving someone early access to Costco is not really the best reward to look forward to but at least it shows we’re trying to keep things safe for the older members of our community.
***Personal challenge…if you have family members north of 70 give them a call. See how they’re doing and if they need anything.***
12. We Are All Neighbours – In the past I used to look at disease, famine, drought etc as problems elsewhere in the world. Sure we would do our part and maybe make a donation or pray for those that were suffering. This is the first time I can remember that something such as this effected the whole world. We are learning from each other. And we are feeling the pain of our ancestral lands as they deal with this. My mom’s family is Italian and it’s devastating to see the impact this has had on Italy.
This quickly reminds us how united we are. It’s not a case of ‘we’ and ‘them’ but one of ‘us’. For a feel good story of a priest who contracted the coronavirus and gave up his ventilator so someone younger could use it, click here.
13. Support Local – As a local business owner it’s been amazing to have so many of our clients continue to support us. And it’s reminded me to invest locally where I can as well. Where in the past I may have gone online to Amazon for books I’ll now look to Mosaic Books. And if there’s training equipment we need for the gym we’ll be going to Flaman or Rocky Mountain Fitness. Hopefully others will do the same and Kelowna will recover more quickly than otherwise.
14. Better Prepared in the Future – Remember when you were a kid and you used to do things you shouldn’t? As long as you didn’t get caught you kept pushing the envelope. At the time we were never grateful we got caught but looking back it was probably the best thing for us.
This is a similar time. We’ve ignored investing in health and medicine. We’ve let cleanliness and hygiene slip. And we haven’t listened when given warnings. Maybe this will get our attention and we’ll be better prepared for the next one.
Everyone will agree that there have been some devastating stories as a result of COVID-14. But there have been some silver linings as discussed above. Hopefully when this pandemic ends we’ll continue to appreciate and value the little things that really matter.
- Aiello A, Coulborn RM, Perez V and Larson E. Effect of Hand Hygiene on Infectious Disease Risk in the Community Setting: A Meta Analysis. 2008. Am J Public Health. 98(8): 1372-1381.
- Harrison ME, Norris ML, Obeid N, Fu M, Weinstangel H and Sampson M. Systematic review of the effects of family meal frequency on psychosocial outcomes in youth. 2015. Can Fam Physician. 61(2):e96-e106.