Let us think positively! Let us find some hope out of all pessimistic happenings around us even out of this global pandemic! We all know the story of "Glass-Half-Full". Covid-19 is undoubtedly one of the deadliest occurrences in recent human history that caused the death of more than 1.3 million people globally just in less than one year. While this lockdown has caused unlimited difficulties in businesses, social activities and wellbeing; it has also gifted us with some unique opportunities on the other side! Perhaps very few people will agree with me about those enlightening aspects of this pandemic, but surprisingly there are so many things that happened around us during these quarantined months that we can consider as positive outcomes. In a few words, we can say Covid-19 offered us a fresher nature, less pollution, less crime, less traffic, less accidents, stronger family bondage, dedication to humanity, more relax and less work-stress, more digital communication with friends and loved ones and much more!
Cleaner nature than ever before
Perhaps everyone will agree about the much cleaner and quieter natural environment during this pandemic. As people around the globe stayed quarantined for either state-issued lockdowns or voluntary self-isolation, fewer and fewer people come down to the streets using highly polluting means of transportation. Environmentally, the pandemic has brought a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG, mainly CO2 and NO2) and air pollution, mainly from a fall in fossil fuel consumption as airplanes are grounded, transportation reduced, trade hindered, and factories shut down. These bring important environmental gains as well as social benefits. The current drop in GHG emissions is larger than anything the world has seen since humans started to use fossil fuels.
Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions dropped dramatically around the world, with New York City recording a drastic 50% decrease since the city began taking measures to stop the spread of the virus. In China, GHG emissions dropped 25% since the beginning of the year and caused the world’s largest emitter to avoid some 250 million metric tons of carbon pollution—more than 50% of annual carbon emissions of the UK. And not surprisingly, there is a similar story in almost every city around the world. Although it is unclear whether this “pause” in our environmental pollution will create a sustainable effect for climate change as a whole, but for sure, it is at least, a transition towards the right direction. Another beautiful example of cleaner nature is the Himalayas. For 30 years, its summit has been hidden from view by thick smog (smoke and fog). The lockdown has indeed cleared it.
Dedication and compassion for the society
Indeed, the crisis brings people together. Hundreds of front line professionals sacrificed their lives by the unprecedented dedication and tireless service to the patients, the elderly and society as a whole. It gives a message to the entire humanity that human beings are by default created for serving each other regardless of their geographic location, skin color or any other demographic or social identity. During this uncertain time, we found more people with helping hands in the neighborhood, showing kindness to each other offering various sorts of assistance for people in need. People posted inspiring messages on social media. Artists sang motivational songs to encourage everyone. Individuals and families supplied food for the frontline service providers. Donor organizations, companies and private citizens distributed PPEs and other medical supplies. All these dedicated activities were full of hope that enlightened our heart during the entire pandemic uncertainties.
More time for loved ones
Because of the hectic schedule, many of us could hardly give enough time for our loved ones during normal life schedule. During this quarantined pandemic, we had a lot of time for our beloved family members that helped to build stronger bondage among us. In fact, the lockdown and social distancing created a great opportunity for all of us to help each other in our families that we very often miss in the other time. The months-long pandemic indeed was a great time for many of us to have more interaction with kids having more fun and more taking care of them.
Stress less daily working schedule
During the lockdown, we did not have to wake up early in the morning to catch the public transport or commute privately to avoid the rush on the highways. There was plenty of time to rest 24/7 or watch movies with family members and have tea or coffee anytime you want. Many of us, including me, could work remotely from home with a flexible schedule. Alternate side parking rule was also suspended in many cities including NYC, so there was no obligation to move the car. All these flexibilities created a sense of relaxation in our minds. And when you feel relaxed, serotonin level rises in your blood. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and mood stabilizer, colloquially known as a “happy chemical” that boosts your happiness and wellbeing.
There were less crime and a number of road accidents in most places in the world. Factories were closed or operated far below their capacity, road traffic reduced radically, and air traffic collapsed, and the lack of tourism has emptied the streets in overcrowded cities. While this may be bad news for most people, this is good news for our planet. We communicated more than ever with our friends, families and neighbors during the lockdown at least by digital means. The pandemic brought us closer by heart although we maintained physical distancing.
In conclusion, I should say, there are a few lessons we may learn from this deadly pandemic. One tiny organism disrupted the entirety of human civilization. We are almost helpless against this invisible organism. Although we have plenty of knowledge and sophisticated technologies, we cannot control everything; Covid-19 and its aftermath have come with many inevitable eventualities. It also came as a great lesson to human society: clearly demonstrating the human ability to keep well with the bare minimum. It made us bond by means of DIY haircuts and it also has given us a great opportunity to devise the collaterals by utilizing the less utilized resources. Changes in nature at this time are truly remarkable at least when we see the decrease in emissions, reduced road noise and eco-friendlier life around us.
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