With a constant barrage of worrying headlines and stories landing in our newsfeeds and bombarding the airwaves, we thought it was time to share some positivity.
While it may be hard to believe right now that anything good can come out of this global health crisis, we hope the follow 7 positive outcomes of COVID-19 will open your mind to the fact that there is always a silver lining and there are always things to be grateful for. Sometimes you just need to know where to look.
The following 7 positive outcomes have not come from an Instagram influencer, media personality or wellness blogger. They are from an article written by a renowned TED speaker, author and professor of management at the Macquarie Business School, Debbie Haski-Leventhal.
1. Carbon emissions are down globally
With air travel and manufacturing significantly limited globally, the positive effects on the environment have been nothing short of profound. Notable examples include fish and other wildlife returning to the normally polluted canals of Venice, now filled with clear water. And China, where the pandemic first broke out, recorded an 85% increase in good air quality days in 337 of the nation’s cities between January and March.
2. Increased levels of peace in the world
The United Nations called for an end to all wars as the world confronted a brand new enemy common to every nation: COVID-19. While armed conflict persists in many parts of the Middle East, a ceasefire was declared by the Saudis fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen and stronger lockdowns will hopefully lead to less fighting in other countries too.
3. A sense of connectedness
As social beings, we crave contact and interaction with others. With lockdowns and social distancing enforced upon us, people all over the world are finding new ways to satisfy their need for connectedness. For instance, in Italy, people joined voices and instruments to create cohesive music from their balconies at the height of their lockdown. People are also using social media and software like ZOOM to stay connected all over the world. And people are checking in with loved ones and neighbours more frequently.
4. Unprecedented levels of innovation
Many businesses have been forced to reinvent themselves quickly through innovation and outside the box thinking in order to survive. Cafes and restaurants have become takeaway venues, gin distilleries are making hand sanitiser, gyms and yoga studios are teaching online, designers and clothing manufacturers are designing and making masks, to name just a few of the innovative ways businesses are reinventing themselves. For many businesses, their innovations are here to stay post-pandemic.
5. Corporate social responsibility
The global health pandemic is driving a new wave of corporate social responsibility. Some companies are donating food, money and medical equipment to support people affected by COVID-19. Others are donating supplies or free coffee etc. to healthcare workers or introducing things like special shopping hours for seniors and people with a disability.
6. Digital classrooms
While it hasn’t been by choice and it hasn’t been easy for everyone, lockdowns have driven education out of the classroom and into people’s homes. This has led to rapid innovation and a need to reimagine education very quickly. Teachers have done a brilliant job of delivering online education and most students have managed very well with the massive changes under the circumstances. Professor Haski-Leventhal says, “We are globally involved in one of the largest-scale experiments in changing education at all levels. Home-schooling is becoming the new way of learning, exposing many parents to what their children know and do.”
The global health pandemic has given us a new perspective on the most important things in life; things like family, friends, love, freedom, work, shelter, good food and nature; things many of us took for granted before. The challenges of the past six months have given us a new sense of appreciation and gratitude for the simple things in life. We have also learned to have a stronger appreciation for our frontline workers and be openly grateful for all they do, from doctors and nurses to police, retail workers and cleaners. Gratitude also helps us develop resilience, an important quality for getting through a crisis and recovering well on the other side.
Hopefully once COVID-19 is behind us, we won’t lose sight of the many positives to come out of this crisis.