During this mandatory “staycation” we are forced to spend time alone or with our loved ones. However, we can choose to turn this into an opportunity. Despite any discomfort and challenges of self-isolation, we can let ourselves grow and settle into who we are today and who we want to be when this is behind us all. Here are just a few examples of the Silver Lining…
Increased Child + Parent time
We should not be surprised if the 2020 Pandemic becomes one of our childrens’ fondest memories with increased daily playtime and constant affection from parents. This time is an opportunity for parents to strengthen relationships with their children. To do such things as improving manners, reading and communication. It is amazing how quickly children have adapted to social distancing and the topic of COVID-19.
Cooking, Cleaning, Gardening and Reading
Our homes and gardens are getting some extra TLC. Those chores we have put off for years are now on the “done list”. We have opened cookbooks, dug up old family favourite recipes and brought new foods to the table. Books have come off the shelves and we have found time to read again. Our gardens are weeded, and many folks are experimenting with vegetable growing for the first time. There is a newfound sense of appreciation for the abundance we live in.
People are putting cut-out paper hearts in windows, volunteering to deliver groceries, buying gift certificates to support local businesses, posting grateful messages to the frontline and essential-services workers. This is a shining moment for the Canadian way of life. Facebook groups have sprung up connecting people and businesses (who knew of Zoom before this).
Farmers’ markets and other direct-market sales models have been considered high risk or have been cancelled. Innovative solutions include partnering with other businesses to reduce direct contact by offering online sales and delivery. It is incredible how many farmers have made their local produce available through technology.
Reduced Spending and Saving Money
Experts point out that over half of Canadians live paycheque to paycheque and they predict that a recession is inevitable. However, they also say that we will survive this but “with levels of debt equalling those at the end of the Second World War” (Vaughn Palmer). This pandemic is teaching us how little we need to survive. It is forcing individuals and families to budget and meal plan. When we can’t shop daily, are limited to online purchases, can’t go out for dinner or travel and thereby decrease our gas consumption, our spending declines and we actually save money. With so many people unable to work, we must prioritize which bills have to be paid. We are finding out quickly which expenses are essentials (needs) and which are luxuries (wants). Just like those who lived through the great wars, we will also have to carry these new values into our post-pandemic lives. The advice our parents or grandparents gave us to save and buy later, have come to fruition. Some people are seeing money in their savings accounts again.