Much has changed since the beginning of this pandemic. Wearing masks, not being about to sit down at a restaurant, long hair, plans canceled, no more crowds, working from home, and for many, losing jobs. While change is difficult, there are many changes to look forward to on the other side of the pandemic. Are we 100% sure what life will be like? No. But, there are already positive changes taking place that points to a brighter future for our world.
A thriving environment. While we may be having a difficult time seeing the pandemic benefits, wildlife is having zero problems. The birds are chirping louder, and the pollution on our Earth has decreased. Mother nature has never been happier. With fewer cars on the roads, the air is cleaner. With no one on the beaches, waters are cleaner. The coronavirus has given nature a much-needed break. Post-COVID, if we want to continue to allow our environment to thrive, going green is crucial. Ride your bike or walk instead of drive. Take quick showers. Recycle. Take advantage of reusable materials. Don't buy in excess. Buy clothes second-hand. Bring your own mug to the coffee shop. Plant your own garden. Protect this planet and allow our environment to continue to thrive.
Kinder people. While wearing a mask is not always an option, it's to protect the people around us. This mindset of considering others first can be applied to life after the pandemic. Next time you put on your mask, think kindness. It's quite contagious. Paying it forward inspires others to do the same. This spirit of looking outside ourselves should continue on the other side of the pandemic.
Appreciation for the small stuff. Oh, what simple lives we have learned to live. When you rid yourself of distractions, you start to notice a lot more. We have become more appreciative of our surroundings and more attentive to what we often take for granted. For me, it was my car. My car allows me to get away. It's my safe space. I drive a 2007 Ford Fusion with over 160,000 miles on it. It's nothing special but deserves all my love for what it does for me. There's no better feeling than rolling down its windows on a beautiful day and jamming out to some of my favorite tunes. What small thing have you learned to appreciate more during quarantine?
Virtual integration. This is an obvious, big one. When the virus first hit and everything transitioned online, I started to panic. An all virtual world is one that frightens me. I value being in the physical presence of other people. After being part of too many Zooms to count, I have more profound gratefulness for face-to-face interaction. While the internet can never replace in-person communication, I will admit there are considerable benefits of going virtual. It can allow one to accomplish more or work at a faster rate. For example, take a student studying abroad. An online class format could enable that student to enjoy the abroad experience while also studying online. Or look at friends and family separated by distance. They can now interact online. However, this rather new form of interaction can never replace the old fashioned face-to-face conversation, but rather, it can enhance our lives. Let's move into the future by learning how to healthily integrate an aspect of virtual living into our lifestyles.
Here's some more good news, we decide what to leave and what to take from this period in time. Let's take care of our Earth, treat others with kindness, learn to appreciate our lives, and incorporate virtual living into our lives in ways that keep us connected to each other. There is hope for life post-COVID-19.