Been watching the e-mails roll in today: all events cancelled, Spring Break extended, colleges going to online learning, restaurants limiting the number of patrons they serve, retailers encouraging online purchases, grocery stores reporting empty shelves, churches stopping their Sunday services. There doesn’t seem to be a single area of our lives that’s not currently affected by this pandemic. It feels pretty scary right now, but I’ve always been one who seeks balance. I do not wish to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the suffering, but I keep my spirits up by wondering if any good might arise from this virus.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Human Connection Persists: I was speaking at a middle school yesterday and attended an event in the evening. Kids and adults alike had forgone our usual handshakes and hugs in favor of elbow and foot bumps. But these were administered with huge smiles and warm affection and even humor. See, we humans will always find a way to touch each other, to support each other, to show our love for one another. It was quite refreshing.
Good Habits Are Forming: I’ve been a germaphobe for years. I’ve always wiped down my airline tray table with antibacterial wipes, I’ve always kept a tissue in every pocket that I can sneeze into and discard, I’ve always pulled my sleeve over my hand to open a public door, etc. I haven’t minded being teased for my thoroughness, and now these habits are catching on, which, if they stick, might slow the spread of other illnesses and diseases in the future.
The Environment May Benefit: Studies are already trickling in showing that our carbon footprint and environmental damage is decreasing as we are driving to fewer places, staying home and using our own utensils rather than plastic ones at fast food restaurants, creating less waste and less pollution as our industries slow down. Maybe there’s a way we can look at the cutbacks we’ve made lately and continue to make them.
Generosity May Rise: We are becoming more aware of how linked our communities and economies are. Lately, rather than dropping a dollar in the tip jar for the barista, I’m dropping in a five, just to help make up for the lost income they are encountering. I bought a gift card for myself online today from my local bookstore to help tied them over. I’m not asking for refunds on my tickets to concerts that have had to be cancelled and may or may not be postponed. A friend of mine offered to take supplies to another friend who is in self-quarantine. Whether it’s with our money, our resources, or our time, I think people are finding ways to give back to those affected by this crisis.
Creativity May Get a Boost: This blog, of course, is about encouraging people to reconnect with their creativity. Most people I know are staying in this weekend now that all events are cancelled. Maybe they’ll dig out that knitting project they’ve ignored for months, or set up their easels and spend time painting, or finish that book they started weeks ago. Maybe they’ll surf the internet looking for new recipes or try to catch up on their scrapbooks. Maybe they’ll sleep in later and actually remember their dreams, and in those dreams, maybe their muses will visit. May we each uncover our own brilliance again.
Babies: They say we’ll see a baby boom in nine months. Babies are a nice thing.
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