3.68 million cases
1.21 million people recovered
The US tops the table with 72,000 deaths and 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment. I don’t know about you but I found myself sitting at home reading the news and having panic attacks. Combine those with broken sleep patterns and the feeling that every time you coughed or sneezed, you had IT.
What I realized is that there is a silver lining to this dark, viral cloud and many ways to remain positive.
When I say gone, it obviously depends where you live. If you’re out in the woods in Alabama, you might not have a car pass you for an hour. But when you see Los Angeles and Times Square in New York empty for long periods, you realize that something profound has happened.
I hate traffic. I mean I have the worst allergy to it. I avoid it as much as I can and work from home for the majority of the week for that reason (I live in San Diego, California so although it pales in comparison to the traffic in Los Angeles, it still feels insanely congested to me).
So coronavirus has presented us with this unique moment in time. We are in self-isolation or in a state quarantine period. We don’t want to risk getting into a car crash to then have to go into hospital to then risk contracting coronavirus.
So suddenly you see people walking and cycling more. I love that Oakland saw this opportunity to open 74 miles of streets to walkers and cyclists. For now, cars are gone. That means less traffic accidents, less stress, less congestion and no more painful commuting. Is that such a bad thing?
With the reduced traffic on the road, there is less demand for gas. And with this dwindling demand comes lower gas prices. I used to live in Austin, Texas and the prices there were so low compared to California. Well looking at the gas station boards, I feel like I’m back in Austin! We are hitting all time low prices at around $2.30 per gallon.
Electric cars haven’t quite broken through into the mainstream in the US. As a result, we still have gas guzzling, carbon dioxide spewing machines giving us smog, breathing problems and a nice black layer of soot on our houses. But not now. Cars are off the roads. In addition to this, most planes have been grounded.
Mother Nature has been given a reprieve.
But with tools like Zoom that allowed teams to do meetings online and collaborative workspaces like Slack that allowed them to work together, teams could connect from anywhere in the world.
High speed broadband and low cost laptops like Chromebooks allows anyone to become a digital nomad!
In a world that was obsessed with reality TV, celebrities and superficial nonsense, it is refreshing to see doctors, nurses and healthcare workers getting all the accolades.
With trending hashtags emerging like #ClapForOurCarers ,#ClapForTheNHS (UK) and #HealthcareHeroes , the front line workers in hospitals are getting all the attention for putting their lives on the line to save the lives of other people.
It’s also nice to see headlines that focus on people working hard for the cause rather than orange presidents with bad hair bragging about themselves.
OK, that’s a little OCD but at the same time we would rather be a little paranoid and safe than too relaxed and end up in the intensive care unit on a respirator.
Humans around the world have had to raise their game and hygiene levels. In addition to this, people are eating better and exercising regularly to keep their immune systems as strong as possible.
With less people outside, less cars on the road, no planes in the air and stores closed, the world is suddenly a quieter place. The chaos has subsided and been replaced by calm. Suddenly, we can think.
We can be present. We can meditate. We can learn.
At first there was the shock of having to babysit your children all day every day without any break. Home schooling was no longer a niche thing. Everyone was doing it.
Kids want to be with their parents in their formative years and parents miss their kids when they are at school. Coronavirus has presented this rare gift and we can now watch them learning and growing in real time.
It has forced parents to be creative by embracing online videos, building forts in the back yard or teaching them to paint. And their kids love every second of it!
As millions of people lost their jobs or were furloughed, they realized that if they had no income for a few months, they could not pay bills. So many companies have had to react and the domino effect is that people have extensions on their bill payments.
The elderly have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Younger people know they cannot risk being too close to them in case they transfer the disease to them. So they have done their grocery shopping for them or driven them to the hospital if it is an emergency.
People overall are being charitable during this crisis and it is humbling to see some of the random acts of kindness throughout the world.
Fast food is a popular choice for Americans and much of the world. Being forced to stay in our homes longer due to quarantine measures means we have to be more creative with our food.
We also have to be more healthy than usual. With home cooked meals, we can choose every ingredient. We are sick less. If you are allergic to certain items, it is easy to control what is going into your body. Healthy body, healthy mind.
I personally feel much better eating more at home and this has made me more positive and productive.
If you live in America, you frequently get the sense of being on a treadmill with speed set to HIGH. Now the hectic schedules have been replaced by siestas, meditation, rest and relaxation.
Coronavirus has forced us to take a step back, evaluate where we are on our journey called life and emerge stronger on the other side.
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