Three cheers for resilience: The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Christmas is upon us. This holiday and the impending New Year is another opportunity to reflect upon the past and the possible future.

The last 9 months has been tough for most people. From a health standpoint, countless individuals in this country and around the world have become sick while others have died. From an economic perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to many people and businesses. Hard working individuals have lost their jobs, material possessions, and have been driven deeper into debt. Many of those who contracted COVID-19 will now have to live with the unknown and unpredictable side effects of this virus.

On the other hand, there have been some silver linings in the otherwise perpetual overcast skies. Some people have reached out or have been contacted by long lost friends and relatives. This has been both uneasy, unsettling, and in some cases liberating. Old wounds may not have been healed by these interactions, but the possibility of rekindling a connection has now become a welcomed outcomes.

For the lucky ones who can still work, and do not have school age children or elderly relatives to take care of, many have doubled down on their work or explored an old hobby or started a new one. They have completed writing an article or book. Others have explored a hobby, like cooking, gardening, sewing or painting. Some people report being more into personal fitness like running or yoga.

Many of us are now teaching online. Although I still prefer to teaching face-to-face, the pandemic has forced me to step up my game, and teaching online is now one more skill that I can add to my repertoire that can benefit my students.

The COVID-19 pandemic has motivated many people, particularly senior citizens who were not that tech savvy, to improve their computer skills. Many of the older generation, not completely comfortable with Facebook and SKYPE, have now explored the possibilities of Zoom as an additional communication vehicle. .

Some other things to ponder. The pandemic might have also pushed our political system to better consider the use of mail in ballots so we can open up suffrage to voters who under other circumstances may not have voted this year. And Trumps shameful handling of the pandemic, costing the lives of 300,000 people and counting who did not need to die, was one factor in mobilizing so many people to vote for Biden and Harris.

Sure the pandemic sucks, there was and still is a lot of suffering, and many people’s lives and businesses have been significantly affected. Close to 329,000 people have lost their lives, lost loved ones, and their livelihoods, but those who were able to make the best out of the bad situation they were confronted with often prevailed, with a sense of optimism, hope, and empathy for those less fortunate then themselves.

Photo credit Georgia National GuardFollow
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