It’s truly sad so many people around the world are infected the COVID-19 virus, and I do feel for them, but in times of darkness, you should always look for some light…
Millions of people in the United States are experiencing the side effects of the disease outbreak.
People working form home, quarantines, businesses closing, workers laid off, fear, panic, confusion, etc., etc., are the new daily norm for life in America. It is extremely frustrating and an inconvenience, but there are some things I’ve noticed since this all began. And there are some things which might make life a little better in the long run.
The economy may be in the toilet, but the environment is going to benefit.
Italy has experienced this, most notably in Venice, where the water in the canals are now crystal clear. Fish are returning and nature seems to be healing itself.
With people being quarantined and working from home, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of vehicles on the road in the US. This obviously means there is going to be less pollution. You can already see change in the skies over major cities.
In Las Vegas, all the large casinos and hotels are closed. The city traditionally used an exorbitant amount of natural resources, but it’s now shut down. This could potentially help bring water levels of nearby Lake Mead back up to sustainable levels.
The Earth may get to live a few years longer…
With bars closed, maybe there will be less drunk drivers on the road. Maybe those who spend their weekends out drinking will find something else to do with their time, kicking the habit.
On the subject of driving, gas prices have plummeted. Granted, now that gas is cheap, you don’t have many places to go, but it’s helpful because fuel is a huge cost involved in everything of the world. If fuel costs come down, hopefully the costs of goods will too.
With fast food restaurant lobbies closed, maybe those who ate way too much fast food before won’t want to wait in the super long drive through lines now. As such, maybe they’ll get a little healthier.
The biggest thing I’ve witnessed is families doing family stuff.
While some are inconvenienced by having to work from home, this is something many people should be thankful for. These people have been given the gift of spending quality time with their family, which work all too often takes precious time away from.
I’ve seen more people out walking since the quarantines started than I have in a very long time. People are sitting on their front porches watching kids play outside. Even though social distancing is the thing, I’ve seen families playing on playgrounds, walking dogs, talking to neighbors and interacting, despite being “locked down.”
This is wonderful to see.
With entertainment options taken away, maybe some people in society will realize we don’t need to be so frivolous with always needing to do something. Maybe people will actually start saving money and planning for emergencies like this. Maybe “home” will become something more important in life.
The economy will recover eventually, but there will be changes.
I think restaurants will move toward a “grab and go” concept, resulting in smaller dining rooms (if any). I think tipped workers (servers) will be a thing of the past, moving to salary based positions. I also think stores will permanently adopt the changes they’ve made with hours and how they do business now.
On a much larger scale, maybe America will realize we need to reduce our dependence on foreign production for things we need in our everyday lives (like say, MEDICAL SUPPLIES?). Perhaps we can reopen closed US factories, giving jobs to those who will so desperately need them.
I guess only time will tell how it all works out. In the meantime, it’s actually kind of nice right now (assuming you or loved ones aren’t actually infected). It’s almost calming for me. But like the change we saw right after 9/11 (the world united, random kindness, etc.), it’ll be short lived. Soon enough, we’ll be back to our polluting ways, where we go back to work and neglect our families for the majority of the day and wastefully spend our money on assorted vices.
That’s why I keep telling everyone to enjoy it while we can.
If this teaches us nothing else, know that what we have can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Enjoy what you have.
~ Marty ~
Marty is a writer and columnist based in Kansas City
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