There is no doubt about the horrific consequences on the world and the impact on every single one of our lives. With illness, death and unemployment rates soaring across the planet, it is easy to only see the negatives of this destructive virus! Nevertheless, some of us a glass half full kind of folk and I thought it would be interesting to list some of the great outcomes that could have a long-term positive effect on our planet and the human population.
The first positive effect is how carbon emissions are down globally with manufacturing and air travel grinding to an almost immediate stop! The planet took this change to rejuvenate itself. Even China reported a more than 80% increase in days with good quality air between January and March of 2020.
The terribly polluted canals in Venice are clear and fish and other wildlife are starting to return and can be seen with the water being so clear due to a greatly reduced influx of tourists.
Around the Great Barrier Reef, divers are helping to restore the coral reefs which are threatened by climate change, bleach and storms, now that there are very few guests allowed around the Reef.
Most humans crave interconnectedness. We need to be part of a pack and with self-isolation, there was a real danger of mental issues rising due to a loss of belonging. But people across the world created innovative ways to stay connected and send messages of positivity to their neighbours, families, friends and communities. In Italy, people joined their voices and musical talents to create music from their balconies. Social media platforms such as Zoom parties, Zoom movie nights and Facebook groups with supportive messages have been formed to keep everyone connected and even the elderly were inducted into becoming social media gurus. There are very few nannas around who do not know how to use Zoom, so to that effect, the empowerment to our elder population is invaluable.
Innovation and Resilience
You just have to look around to see what innovation has taken place since lockdown became part of our daily vocabulary. Restaurants and cafes started doing take-aways and changing their inventory to adapt to add things like face masks, bread and milk. Gin distilleries started making hand sanitiser, even Louis Vuitton started using their perfume production lines to manufacture hand sanitiser when there was a huge shortage. They delivered those free of charge to health authorities across the world.
Online services have grown overnight with retailers adapting to online websites and in some instances reimaged their business to great success.
Kindness from corporations has taken a front seat through the pandemic! Companies are donating money, food and medical equipment to support communities affected by COVID. Smaller companies are making a difference in offering free coffee at McDonalds, free masks from Johnson & Johnson and many restaurants have been providing food packages to overseas students stranded during lockdown with no means of getting an income and not being eligible for support.
There was a massive transformation in education due to necessity. With schools closing down indefinitely, teachers started digitising their classrooms, provided online education, games and tasks for self-led learning. Education globally will be changed and home-schooling will be a bigger possibility and parents will be more involved and exposed to what their children do at school (many parents will dread this). Universities are implementing augmented and virtual reality to provide real-life experiences to enhance curiosity, engagement and commitment which helps prepare students for the workplace.
COVID has provided us with a gift of appreciation and gratefulness. We have a new perspective on our life, our freedom, leisure, connections with work and family – all the things we took for granted and did not appreciate. We never for a minute questioned that life as we know it, could be taken away from us.
Embrace our new life, show gratitude and value the people who make a difference such as health care workers who literally put their lives on the line for us!
Don’t put anything off, thinking you will have time in the future. You may not have the time or the freedom.