First let me explain that I know the COVID pandemic has been devastating for many people.  This article is in no way meant to minimize the effects of the pandemic in any way.  I pray for anyone dealing with COVID, and especially for anyone who has lost loved ones.

For the rest of us let’s be grateful and look at some of the little ways our lives may have improved as a result of changes made necessary by the pandemic.

I originally wrote this article back in the fall of 2020.  The pandemic was in full force and getting worse.  It is now the spring of 2021 and there is hope due to the vaccines but things are still far from normal.

No Commuting (if you are able to work at home)

There is a big divide between people who had jobs that allowed them to work from home and those that didn’t.  For those that can work from home, be grateful.  Getting rid of long commutes is great in several ways.  You are less exhausted at the end of the day.  You aren’t as frazzled from dealing with traffic.  You have more time for your interests and more time to spend with your family.

You Might Be Saving Money

When you are not commuting you save a lot of money.  You save gas, wear and tear on your car, and you even don’t need to spend as much on your career wardrobe.

You are not eating out as much at restaurants and that can save a ton.  Even if you are using take out it is usually less expensive than sit down dining.

You Might Be Eating Better

In theory if you are eating more at home you might be eating more healthy meals.  This isn’t guaranteed of course, but most homemade meals are better for you than fast food.  You might even get better at cooking, which could be healthier long after the pandemic is over.

People Care a Little More, or at Least Ask How You Are Doing

It’s weird, I’ve noticed people are generally more tense, but maybe a little more thoughtful of others.  I see this in little ways.  People are a little friendlier to cashiers in the store.  They say thank you to the delivery person.  On Zoom calls everyone asks how everyone is doing and if their families are healthy.  In this crazy political climate this is nice to see.  Hopefully this is another trend that will continue after the pandemic is long gone!

Good for the Environment

A little less driving means a little less pollution.  National and state parks are not as busy which is good for the animals and creates less strain on their ecosystem.  And when people do go to the parks I think they appreciate them more.  In fact, during this pandemic I think we are all appreciating things we used to take for granted just a little more.

You Get More Reading Done

More time at home means more time for reading.  Yes, I know some people are just glued to the TV, but that gets old eventually.  Then people that haven’t picked up a book in a while might give it a try.  And avid readers just have a little more time to enjoy their books.

You Try New Hobbies

The media has been touting the virtues of hobbies to help people cope.  Some are listening and that is good for us.  In my case I’ve always had the problem of too many interests, but I’ve gotten back to some that I drifted away from over the years.

Some People Are Starting New Businesses

The pandemic has encouraged some people to think about their careers.  For some this is because they have a little more time to think. For others it is because they have been forced due to layoffs and closing businesses.  I predict that we are going to see a lot of new and creative businesses come out of this pandemic.  And that can be a good thing!

More Exercise – at home or outside.

The media also has encouraged people to exercise more as a way to relieve stress.  I think they are listening.  I see more people outside walking.  Bike sales are way up.  This is another trend that hopefully will continue.

Some People See More of Their Kids

I saved this one for last because I know it is a double-edged sword.  Many kids are still not able to go to school.  And Moms and Dads must step up.  And I know it is tough!  You love your kids but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time or energy.  But you know what?  I think years from now kids will look back fondly on that time they had to stay at home and spend more time with their parents.  It will probably make for some funny stories around the Thanksgiving table.

I pray for all of you going through the pandemic.  If you are fortunate enough to not be touched personally let’s make the best of it!

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash