As this unprecedented health event hopefully approaches “curve flattening” – if not it’s true apex – continued uncertainty, a myriad of stressors, and a drastic curtailing of normal life, I am trying to look at some of the positive aspects of Life’s disruption. This is not always easy, particularly when you wake up each morning wondering if that cough, sneeze, or runny nose means anything.
Just allergies, I think/hope/pray.
The biggest positive is the timing of this COVID-19 crisis in the beginning of Spring. Here in Southeast Pennsylvania the crocuses are blooming; tulips have already pushed up through the soil and are blooming; and the landscapes are a verdant green (assuming of course that you subscribe to Cranky Man’s Lawn’s Program for Lawn Love). Bought a new lawnmower the weekend before the lockdown hit, and cutting the lawn has been more “fun” than usual!
I’m hopeful that warmer temperatures and how it entices people outdoors could be a positive effect. It’s a welcome benefit to spend at least an hour or so each day outdoors when temps and weather permit.
Outdoor exercise is always a benefit when the weather is nice. Carol and I have been taking semi-regular walks together just to get out and about. It lifts the spirits a bit and invigorates … important when trying to avoid the potential for anxiety and depression, given the constant media obsession.
Here’s a solution for Constant Media Obsession: Turn off the TV. Get off the internet. I don’t even read the newspaper much anymore. Try NOT reading any corona-related stories and see just how quickly you can read a newspaper!
Let’s face it. Ten minutes of COVID-19 coverage and you know all you need to know. There is no (confirmed) cure, no significant flattening of The Curve (yet), no loosening of the isolation standards.
Back to the positives …
- Although spending a lot of time with family offers opportunity. Spending quality time – even an inordinate amount – with your children can work with a little creativity and ingenuity. Examples abound on social media.
- Take advantage of your backyard.
Spent early evenings the previous two days (rain today) on our backyard deck and saw more neighbors than you would normally see, even on the most glorious of Spring Saturdays!
- Working from home? I have avoided it up to now, actually enjoying my suburban commute to work and the socializing the office provides. But there are a few extra benefits to working two flights from the bedroom. And that’s even as I refuse to work in my PJs!
- Cannot remember the last time I had to buy gas for the car.
- With everyone under our roof being home all the time and no eat-in restaurants open, home-cooked meals almost every night. (Disadvantage Carol)
- People are friendlier. Every time we take a walk or step outside, someone is around getting exercise and fresh air; walking the dog; trying to exhaust their pent-up children; doing outdoor chores, etc. And all seem ready with a smile or a wave.
They say hard times make tougher people, truer friends, closer families.
What I think is that these difficult times force us all onto a relatively common level of hardship, challenge, and vulnerability. It strips down the barriers that tend to keep us apart and prevent interaction.
Take advantage of that! But only from a safe distance …