This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC Illustration)

Introduction

After a thousand articles on “how to work remotely”, after million tips on “how to work effectively during COVID-19”, I’ve decided I can put in two pennies worth. Unlike other authors, I’d like to take a step back. I’d like to take a look if there is a chance that coronavirus is affecting us in a positive way? If you are already thinking that I am going to write about home office, please stay with me. I will do my best to keep your attention and I promise no to touch that topic. I would also like to encourage you to think about other positive aspects that I didn’t mention.

Although we are pissed that we can’t go shopping or to the cinema, there are benefits from COVID-19. Without further ado, let’s take a look at them!

Decreased air pollution

According to many sources (because of lockdown) the air got better in many cities. In this interesting article, you can see satellite images of the same areas from March 2019 and March 2020. Even someone who does not know what he is looking at can see the difference. Having clearer air has also led to the Himalayas being visible from 125miles. It won’t be that interesting unless you add one more information to it. That they are visible from 125miles after 30years!

Endangered species

Many cities all over the world decided to close public places. Among cinemas, theatre, shopping malls there were also zoos, aquariums and beaches. This means that finally animals were left alone. In Chicago’s aquarium, it led to a situation when penguins became visitors of their own aquarium. On this video they look pretty curious. Leaving animals alone also means that they finally have some intimacy. In Hong Kong zoo, after 10years of trying (sic!), giant pandas were finally mating. I don’t know what does “a decade of trying” mean, but someone didn’t use imagination. How could you have sex when many people are looking at you through glass? 🤦‍♂️
Another advantage of having people locked in their houses is that beaches have finally become empty. We were not leaving trashes after our visits, we were not making noise. This left a pretty neat environment for endangered turtles to hatch.

Let’s sum up this part of the article.

As you can see from the examples above our lockdown is helping nature coming back to normality. It has a positive effect both on fauna and flora. Is that good? Are we (as humanity) willing to give our total freedom to sustain the natural element of our planet?

More spare time

Let’s move to positives that affect human lives. In many countries, there is some sort of quarantine. In Poland, for example, people need to stay at home. They may go out only if they have a justified purpose. The purpose can vary. It can be grocery shopping, going to a pharmacy or taking a walk. Our law is messy and it’s up to policeman to decide whatever what you are doing makes sense or not. There are rumours that people got fines (up to 30.000PLN which is ~6600€) for running or cycling. I don’t want to get into more details. What I am trying to say is that we are locked. Staying at house means that we have more time. Cinemas, theatres are closed so there is not much we can do anyway.

Creativity

So we became creative. I can see that during lockdown people are starting their own podcasts, creating online courses and writing blog posts. Unfortunately, I don’t have any reference that can affirm my thesis. This is my feeling based on my social media. And I am not talking about being creative online! I’ve seen many posts that people started painting (I’ve also tried to draw something. Don’t ask for results 😅), cooking, doing handcraft etc. Looks like some of us released their hidden potential.

Learning

What’s more, based on my inbox I can see that more authors started hosting Q&A sessions, webinars and much more. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe it’s not. For sure there is more online content available. This leads to another benefit that we spend more time learning. We take part in those recently created courses, we watch webinars etc. Of course, this does not apply to everyone. Some people clean their houses, watch Netflix or read books. This ain’t bad at all! What I am trying to say is that we finally have time to do stuff we normally don’t do. For example, after 8 years of leaving my house, I’ve finally started cleaning my attic. If this is not the best time to do it then when?

Exercising

But watching Netflix and cleaning houses it not what we only do. I’ve also noticed that people also started exercising inside their houses. Suddenly, when not being able to go out, we’ve noticed that we need some kind of sport. On YouTube and Instagram, you can see many videos on how to do full workout inside your house. If you take a closer look those videos are pretty popular.

Economy

Before we start this paragraph let’s face the truth. The situation is awful all over the world. People are losing their jobs on a daily basis. Only in the USA, in one week, 3.3m Americans file for unemployment. That’s terrible. If you somehow lost the job, I’m very sorry. Please skip this paragraph as it may not be relevant to you.

Pocket money

If you are still reading, let’s take a look at a different angle on COVID-19. In the paragraph above, I’ve stated that we are more or less locked. Let’s take a look at what does it mean for our wallet.

With everything being closed, we have limited options where to spend our money. This means that more money is staying in our pockets. What’s more, if you are working from home, this means you are saving even more money because you don’t commute. You don’t buy petrol, monthly tickets for the train etc. Profit?

Stock market

On top of that, people got interested in investing in stocks and the economy in general. At degiro.nl which is a Dutch brokerage company, there is a line to register. I am not sure how long the line is, but after 3 days of waiting, I am still on 1480 place.

I am not an economist, so I won’t write if that’s good or bad. I hope that everyone who is waiting to be registered has some knowledge (or is learning) about the economy. For sure I can say one thing: the more educated society is, the better it is for humanity.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”

I wanted to write this article because I would like you to step back and think about this COVID-19 situation. I am not doubting it’s bad. It is. With this article, I’d like to ask you to think if there is anything you can learn from this situation? Maybe we can finish quarantine wiser than before?


Header image from: Health.mil

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Positive and refreshing approach in all the news that surrounds us I’d like to add one more point: many people’s lives will get a ground shake-up and I do not envy most of them. But there will be part, where finding ‘new normal’ will result in landing a better life than before. Some employees (richer/smarter companies/countries) can allow themselves to take yearly sabbatical every 5-7 years so that they could make a pause, and re-evaluate their choices, goals, and life satisfaction. It’s not the same because of many reasons, but I personally took this compel as a chance to do… Read more »