Well, I guess being quarantined means I actually have the time to write another blog post. When I revamped messinadress.com a while back, I had every intention of posting more often. But, as we all know, life happens. I wanted to start again to connect with others, raise awareness for otherwise muted causes, and spread some positivity. Now, more than ever, I’m happy I have this little blog. Today I want to share my experience with the coronavirus outbreak and share some silver linings with you.
A Reduced Carbon Footprint
According to BBC News, carbon monoxide emissions, mainly from cars, have dropped by almost 50% compared to 2019. I realize it’s still early, and no one knows what the long-term effects of this will have on society or the planet. But, a temporary cleanse and allowing the earth to breathe can’t be a bad thing.
My hope is that when all this is over, people jump at this progress and use it to change behaviors where they can.
Thwarted Mass Shooters
I don’t have any evidence or data, but just my own thought. Unfortunately, as a millennial, it’s natural to think of mass shootings and the likelihood of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What I do know is mass shooters prey on environments where a large number of people congregate. Think schools, concert venues, corporate offices, and movie theaters. Now that these places are nearly vacant, I’m curious to see the numbers when they’re available. I have to think we will see a decline from the roughly 20 mass shootings per month in 2020.
Improved Digital Literacy
If you have a job where you can work from home, you’re doing just that. Otherwise, you’re likely a first responder, healthcare worker, or on the frontlines of this pandemic. Or worse, you’ve been laid off because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Teachers, anyone in corporate America, therapists, the list goes on, are now suddenly working with what they have from their own homes. As a country, because we don’t have a choice, we are learning how to make things happen with the help of technology.
In my opinion, this will have positive long-term effects. For example, more corporations could allow for a flexible work environment. This may seem small, but it’s extremely important to my generation and those that follow. And an adjustment will improve the health and longevity of said corporations.
Another example could be schooling and telehealth becoming more widely accessible. This will help so many people have the opportunities that many of us take for granted. You know, things like disabilities and unreliable transportation (and so much more) can get in the way of school and healthcare.
Appreciation for Our Fellow Humans
Earlier I mentioned first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers. I’ve seen an outpouring of appreciation for those risking their lives for the rest of America. And for those that play a strong hand in raising our country’s children. Not to mention, everyday people we see working at grocery stores each week. They’re all compromising themselves and going the extra mile to help.
I hope this continues once we’re on the other side. It has to and it’s long overdue. And from a personal standpoint, I’ve gained a new appreciation for my friends, family, and co-workers. Not being able to freely see them and hug them has really helped me focus on what matters.
If I’ve learned anything through this, it’s that perspective is important. And I know I’ve preached that before, but we could always use a nudge, or sometimes a pandemic-forced shove, to remember. I’ve also used this time to come to terms with the level of control I have over things. That’s where my comfort lies; when I have control over a situation. These past few weeks have helped me become comfortable in the unknown and release some of that anxiety. It’s not up to me how the coronavirus outbreak will impact my work, scheduled appointments, plans with family and friends, and ultimately my wedding. All I can do is do the best I can with what I can control.
I hope this reaches someone that needed a step back from the media, stress, and fear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared, stressed, and struggle to find peace. But, we’re all in this together and can make lemons out of lemonade. Or, if we need to, squeeze them into our vodka sodas.