Over the past year and a half, we have dwelled on all the sudden changes the pandemic forced upon our lives – both at work and at home – mostly negative. But have you stopped to think about the ways in which it has positively affected you? Every dark side has a bright side.
1. Leaders learned they can trust employees. For the most part, employees have proved they can be highly efficient and productive when working from home.
2. Life slowed down. Everyone was busy until everything came to a screeching halt around March 12, 2020. At first many felt like they were missing out. But after a while, the slower pace was a relief for many.
3. We learned what matters most to us. The slower paced lifestyle that was forced upon us led many to rediscover their hobbies or how much family time means to them.
4. Animal shelters are emptier than ever. Did you get a “COVID puppy?”
5. The COVID pandemic drove a record drop in global carbon emissions. Global greenhouse gas emissions fell by roughly 2.4 billion tons in 2020, a 7% drop from 2019 and the largest decline on record, according to research from the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter and the Global Carbon Project.
6. Appreciation for essential workers increased. The important roles of grocery store worker, teachers, nurses, CNAs, etc. was greatly recognized and appreciated like never before.
7. Family time increased. More time has been spent with immediate family. Puzzles and board games made a comeback.
8. Pollution decreased. Venice canals are finally clear, two months of pollution reduction in China probably saved 77,000 lives, and New York researchers found a 50% drop in carbon monoxide emissions. For the first time in decades, the air is so clear the Himalayan mountains are now visible.
9. Drive-in movie theaters made a comeback. Something old became new again!
10. Sweatpants became acceptable work attire. I think everyone can admit that sweatpants will be missed when returning to the office.
Here is some good news that never made the headlines in 2020:
- Finland moved to give new dads time off with their newborns.
- Congo discharged its last Ebola patient.
- Dogs trained to protect wildlife saved 45 rhinos from poachers in South Africa.
- Crayola unveiled new inclusive skin-tone crayons.
- Polio was officially eradicated on the African continent.
- Uganda reported a gorilla baby boom.
- University College London found more people quit smoking in the year 2020 than in any year since its survey began in 2007.
It’s important to be able to find the positive in everything. It’s always easier to dwell on the negative, but challenge yourself to find the positive.