What we gained from the pandemic: time and perspective


Lojuanda Weary/The Lion's Roar

2020 seemingly started out like any normal year. We all celebrated New Year’s together in January, and then we celebrated Mardi Gras together in February. 

Unfortunately, March had something else in store for us, and so did every month after that. 

Has every single thing been unfortunate up to this point? No. 

Whenever we all went our separate ways due to the pandemic, each of us found something. Each of us uncovered something we did not even know was buried. For some people, that might have been a connection with the outdoors. For others, it might have been a passion for personal, at-home projects. For you, it might have been a connection with family or even yourself. 

Something I have noticed in my town is that more people are spending time outside. On a regular day, with no virus running rampant, I always see an older neighbor riding his bike down my street for his daily exercise. Now, I can’t even count on my two hands how many people I see riding past on bicycles, 4-wheelers, golf carts or going for a walk or run. I bought a bike too—a cute women’s cruiser bike, one that I have wanted for a long time. 

I never would have made myself find the time to ride a bike, much less buy one, without the quarantine keeping me inside and at home all day for weeks on end. I would not have found the opportunity to ride my bike at least twice a week, where I wouldn’t have gotten to smile and wave at everyone who is sitting on their front porch or working in their yard, people I otherwise would not have seen that day or week or month. 

Houses are freshly painted. Driveways are pressure washed. New gardens are grown. At-home gyms are built. New skills have been developed. Whatever it may be, it was like each of us found motivation in the boredom, created new personal goals and achieved them in the past few months. 

I have seen so many cute and funny videos of people during the quarantine with their families in their households. It makes me realize how much more time they are able to spend together and how much we may have taken that time for granted before. I know it isn’t true for everyone, but this pandemic has brought some of us closer to family. 

The free time we gained from being quarantined can be viewed as boredom, or it can be seen as a blessing in disguise. 

On a global scale, the positives have been different. Whenever quarantine began, the world noticed cleaner air and cleaner water. Pollution decreased due to a reduction of human output into the atmosphere. Everyone was inside, so the world could thrive without interference. Of course, that is changing once again as cities and countries are reopening, but we got a glimpse of what the world would be like if we treated it right.

The coronavirus outbreak was just the first domino to fall in a long chain of social changes that needed to happen. The world, or at least those on the right side of history and those with functioning eyes and ears, are realizing and emphasizing that the “normal” we were in before the pandemic was far from normal. We must not go back to our old ways.

Remember to take care of yourself and to love others.