The current COVID-19 situation is terrifying and unfortunate, and I am in no way downplaying the devastating effect that this pandemic has, and will have, on businesses, jobs, and lives. However, it's always a good exercise to visualize the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I am mentally exhausted and I need this more than anyone else, but I am confident that we will come out of the other side stronger, more compassionate, and more socially and environmentally conscious than before.
First off, social-distancing should be re-labeled as physical distancing. Obviously I am not the first to suggest this, as you can be socially connected while physically apart. COVID-19 has taught us that social connections are absolutely vital to our mental health. On social media, everyone talks about calling someone who may need support, offering assistance to a homebound neighbour, and video chatting with family and friends. Yes, I do this, but I’m beginning to realize that I do this for my own well-being as much as theirs.
-Douglas Nemecek, MD, chief medical officer for behavioral health, Cigna
Loneliness is now considered a public health threat, as it affects both your physical and mental health. The epidemic of loneliness and social isolation are frequently linked to a number of health risks, including depression, heart disease and stroke. Therefore it is not surprising that our bodies and minds are wired to crave social connections.
A recent poll suggests that hugging friends and family, and reconnecting with people, rank as the top things people look forward to post-COVID.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, as they say. Through our 'work from home' practices and alternative communication tools, we have incidently enhanced our connection with colleagues and peers. In our current reality of virtual meetings where the scene of bedhead, pajamas, and children (of the human and pet variety) running around are commonplace, we have taken a peak into our co-workers' ‘work from home’ lives. We see them more as people, with real lives and issues, just like ourselves.
In a post-COVID world, these social connections that we yearn for, and the relationships that we have solidified will not be taken for granted. We will make time to converse, to care for one another, and to hug each other more often.
-Biking through Castelldefels, Spain 2019
By now, we have all heard of the positive impact that COVID-19 is having on the environment. The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die from air pollution each year. With flights canceled, businesses and factories closed, and fewer cars on the road, there has been a significant improvement in overall air quality. Between March 16th and April 6th of this year for instance, southern California has seen a 20 percent improvement in air quality.
In a separate study, researchers suggest that the two months of cleaner air in China resulting from the coronavirus restrictions has saved between 50,000 to 70,000 people from dying prematurely. COVID-19 ironically saved more lives than it has taken during the same time period in China.
This environmental experiment brought on by COVID-19, has allowed us to see first hand the devastating impact our choices have on the environment. With retail spending during physical distancing at record lows, and factory outputs slumping, people are learning to make do with less. In a post-COVID world, we realize less is maybe what we needed all along.
-Our friend Kassie, Sunnybrook Hospital
I have never seen change management so effective, and change so quickly adopted than during this pandemic. Things we thought could not be done, and things we were scared to do, we did.
I just had a doctor’s appointment over the phone, my realtor has virtual showings, my neighbourhood restaurant just started doing delivery, my 9 year old nephew has online classes, and my 65 year old mom just used Google Hangouts for the first time.
In a post-COVID world, we learn that change is not that scary after all.Share this :