Paul Gross has a positive spin on this pandemic
You know me: the glass is always half full, even now. I know we’re going through tough times...some dealing with much more devastating circumstances than others...but I was thinking the other day about COVID-19 and its impact on society, and a few positives came to mind. Yes, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and, no, it’s not a freight train roaring right at us. We’ll get past this virus, and here are a few things that will actually be positives.
Needing to stay at home sure took it’s toll...especially on very social people like me. I need humans! But I took advantage of all the extra time in the house to get a lot of stuff done that I, otherwise, found difficult to get to. This past weekend, I finally pulled my dryer out and cleaned the lint out of the vent tube. It’s been on my list to do for so long, but I never seemed to get to that part of the list, as newer, more important things had to get done. Another one of those things was replacing an old two-pronged outlet in my wife’s new home office (used to be one of my kids’ bedrooms) with a grounded three-prong outlet. I’m now tackling the massive job of cleaning out my den. I’ve also gotten to try some cooking that I haven’t had much chance to do, and have perfected a wonderful no-knead bread recipe, and I’ll just say right now that NOTHING tastes better than fresh hot bread right out of the oven. If staying at home has got you down, seize the bull by the horns and motivate yourself to get some things done. I can’t even describe the feeling of satisfaction I have knowing that I’ve accomplished so much.
Something that many Americans and their bosses have now learned is that people CAN work from home and be TRUSTED to be productive. I just saw a report on TV saying that well over half of the people surveyed said that they were actually MORE productive working from home. Naturally, there are some distractions and negatives to working from home...a TV meteorologist colleague of mine in another city was doing a live report from his front yard, and his dog walked behind him and started going #2, live on the air. Yes, stuff happens. But people have shown that they CAN work from home, and I suspect that, once we’re past this, people will request and bosses will agree that some work from home is a good thing. That’ll also have the added benefit of people driving to and from work less, which means less gasoline usage and reduced emissions.
There’s one final thing that I’ve noticed over the past month: people now understand what “flattening the curve” means. The concept is simple: by taking proactive measures now, we get a longer period of lower hospitalizations, instead of a massive spike that completely overwhelms our healthcare system...with more people not getting enough treatment and likely dying as a result. Why do I bring this up? Because many colleagues and I have been talking about flattening the curve for years now...but not in a medical sense. This has been the key message about global warming. We are already past the point of stopping the planet’s warming. However, by taking steps now, we can SLOW the warming, which gives plant and animal species time to adapt or migrate, and humans time to mitigate. For some reason, people just didn’t get the message when it applied to global warming. But now that they know what “flattening the curve” means, they can easily make the analogy with our changing climate, and understand exactly what needs to happen.
These positives don’t even approach and cannot replace the feelings of despair that some feel right now, nor will it take away the grief some are experiencing over the loss of somebody they care about. But I seek out whatever positives exist to get myself through any negative situation, and I hope that you can do the same. Stay safe, and stay healthy, my friends.
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