What Covid-19 Can Teach Us

What Covid-19 Can Teach UsWe’re living through history. The COVID-19 outbreak, and the lockdown it has necessitated represents one of the most unprecedented and sweeping public health issues in the world. Across the globe we’ve seen horrific loss of life with over 2 and a half million confirmed cases worldwide resulting in over 170,000 worldwide deaths at the time of writing. Even those of us who are lucky enough not to have been directly affected by the virus have had to deal with significant personal and professional changes. The way we work and live our lives has been temporarily upended. While most of us do our best to adhere to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, there’s no denying that remaining in our homes for almost 24 hours a day is beginning to take a toll on many of us.Still, instead of bemoaning the lack of places to get our haircut or eat a cheeseburger, perhaps it befits us to think about what we’ve gained from this crisis. Because, even in times of great loss and hardship, there’s always something to be gained if we have a mind to look for it. There are some stark lessons to be learned from the crisis while we’re under lockdown which can help us to live a happier and healthier life throughout the lockdown and beyond. Lessons like…

Our Hobbies Keep Us Sane

Those who love their jobs have been dealt a hard blow in recent weeks. Indeed, even those who were decidedly ambivalent about their jobs are coming to realize how much they miss them. Many of us are able to work from home. However, some of us have been placed on furlough, unable to do the jobs that lend us fulfillment and satisfaction. Thankfully, we have our hobbies to keep us sane. The lockdown has shown us that our hobbies, crafts and creative interests are more than just a fun way for us to pass the time. They’re a big part of who we are. Many of us have used the lockdown to seek the creative fulfillment we’ve not been getting (or indeed have never gotten) from work. We’re learning new skills and refining our existing talents. We’re learning for the love of learning and we’re loving it. Whether we’re upcycling, painting, knitting, sewing or getting creative in the kitchen, we’re experiencing the empowerment and satisfaction that come with expressing ourselves creatively.  Long may it continue.

Washing Your Hands Has Always Been Really Important!

Is anyone else kinda slightly disturbed at how many people seemingly werent washing their hands before the pandemic? While many have chosen to panic buy and stockpile hand sanitizer, the cooler heads that have prevailed have realized what we should have known all along. That there’s no better way to kill a virus than good old fashioned soap and water. If you ever wondered why your parents were so adamant that you wash your hands before dinner, the outbreak has shown us in no uncertain terms. We just may not have known why it was so consistently effective. Viral cells have a layer of fats called lipids around the outside. When we wash our hands with soap and warm water, this outer layer deteriorates extremely rapidly, meaning that the viral cells get torn apart. 20 seconds is all it takes to get your hands clean of any traces of the coronavirus (or any virus).

It’s Vital That We’re Proactive About Our Health

We’re arguably likely to be more health conscious than ever in the wake of the pandemic. We’ll be thinking twice about our behaviors and how they can impact on our health. We’ll be thinking harder about our food choices (more on that later) and how the food we eat can not only keep us leaner but make our bodies better prepared to handle whatever viral challenges life throws at it. We might also be thinking more about what we can do to test for and guard against seasonal allergies or getting better at recognizing the signs and symptoms which are early warnings that we need to make changes to our diets and lifestyles. We’re taking more time to consider our health in a holistic way-thinking not just about our diets and exercise regimes but about our water intake, our sleeping patterns, our digestive and dental / oral health and, of course, our mental health.   As we adapt to keep ourselves physically and mentally healthy throughout this crisis, we’re developing a much more rounded and multifaceted understanding of all the different things that impact our health. Which can only mean better choices further on down the road.

We Need To Be More Careful About The Food We Put Into Our Bodies

There has yet to be a definitive answer to how the coronavirus started. However, what we do know suggests that the virus passed from bats to humans via pangolins (a scaly ant eater found in Asia and Sub Saharan Africa). The prevailing theory is that the virus was transferred to humans via the eating of pangolin meat (believed to be a delicacy in certain parts of China).  Many, including animal rights activists and vegan advocacy groups have taken this as a sign that we should no longer be eating animals. Even if you can’t imagine going vegetarian or vegan in the immediate future, you’re probably thinking a lot harder about the food you put in your body… and that can only be a good thing. You’re likely thinking a lot more about eating more whole foods and more fruits and veggies which are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which can boost your immune system and keep chronic illnesses at bay. Because processed foods are harder to come by on lockdown, you’re likely getting used to living without them, or making your own healthier alternatives. Which, again, can only be a good thing!

Maybe It’s Time To Get Rid Of The Gas Guzzler

Those of us who live in once bustling city centers and large towns will notice that the world seems a very different place when they look outside their windows. They’re seeing the clean air where there once was smog. They’re noticing less soot and grime accumulating on their windows, gates and doors. And when they turn on the news they’re seeing how the lockdown has caused pollution to plummet.  In this context, it’s understandable that many of us may be thinking twice about the gas guzzlers sitting on the driveway. We’ll be thinking about whether or not we want this aspect of our society to be going back to normal. Whether this means joining a car pool, cycling or even walking to work more often or even switching out your old car for a more ecologically sound alternative is up to you. One thing’s for sure though. If we don’t want to return to grindingly tedious and stressful rush hour commutes or smoggy roads, something’s got to change. We can all do our part to make a greener and more sustainable world.

Our Friends Are So Important… And We’ve Been Taking Them For Granted

Self-isolation is a test to even the most cheerful resolve. Right now we’re all really missing the little things like a brief coffee and a catch up with friends, a meal in a restaurant or a rainy Saturday a the movies. Fortunately, thanks to digital technology, we have more means to keep in touch than ever before. But still, you can’t feel a friend’s arm around you over video chat. We’re all coming to realize just how important our friends are in keeping is happy and healthy. The relentless pace of life may have distracted us from our friends. It may have caused us to decline one invitation to dinner too many due to stress and fatigue. When all this is over, we’ll likely be making a lot more time for our friends and family, and way less time at home in front of the TV.

We Can’t Afford To “Not Do Politics”

Some countries like New Zealand, Australia, Germany and South Korea have handled the COVID 19 crisis with aplomb – implementing compassionate approaches based on science rather than political and economic ideology. As a result, intervention was early and swift. Deaths have been minimal (just one was recorded in New Zealand) as has the strain on healthcare services and the damage to the economy.  Whatever your political affiliation or your opinion of the current administration (and others across the world), there are many that fall way short of the high standard set by these countries. Whatever your personal leanings, this outbreak should be a stark lesson in the impact that our politics and our politicians have on our day-to-day lives. So, whatever the future holds, the one political inclination we can’t afford to have… is apathy! If we don’t show up to vote but later disapprove of the actions of our governments, we only have ourselves to blame.

Every lesson we learn from the pandemic has the potential to improve and enrich our lives, making us better friends, neighbors, parents and even consumers. What lessons have you learned about yourself in this difficult time?

What Covid-19 Can Teach Us

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