POSITIVE SIDES TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC THAT MADE PEOPLE SLOW DOWN, RECONNECT WITH NATURE AND SHOW GRATITUDE
by ASJAD NAZIR
AS THE year slowly comes to an end, most will look back on the negative things Covid-19 has given us, but among the dark times, there have been rays of light.
These bright beacons of hope ranged from kindness to unexpected discoveries and making a reconnection. Not one to dwell on the bad times,
Eastern Eye went back through the past 12 months to find good things that didn’t allow coronavirus to crush us and ones if continued into the new year will help rebuild a better world.
Selflessness: Whether it was the nurses and doctors putting themselves in the firing line or the kind-hearted volunteers who stepped up to help, the year was filled with kindness. The sacrifices and good deeds helped make an impossibly difficult time better for everyone, including saving lives, and inspired us all.
Gratitude: With lives being lost, liberties we took for granted suddenly taken away and being isolated from loved ones, we all learned to appreciate our blessings a little bit more. The knock-on effect of that will be fully felt when lockdown is over for good and the appreciation of everyday things will sky-rocket. Practising gratitude also made the decidedly difficult situation easier.
Unity: With so much division in the world, largely fuelled by politics, there were uplifting moments of unity in 2020. This included the nation coming together to clap for the NHS every week, following self-isolation rules, supporting good causes and cheering on national heroes like 100-year-old Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised more than £32 million for the NHS.
Health: Gym closures and a raging pandemic didn’t stop many of us from becoming healthier. There was an increase in eating healthier home-cooked meals and more people were doing outdoor exercise than ever before. The need to protect ourselves from Covid-19 made us all a lot more aware of good hygiene and looking after ourselves more.
Stronger bonds: There was a significant decrease in taking others for granted. That greater appreciation of loved ones led more people to check in on one another and a rapid increase in Zoom calls. The knock-on effect of this after lockdown ends will (hopefully) be more quality time being spent with those who matter.
History-making Harris: Even those who don’t follow politics cheered when Donald Trump was defeated at the US election by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Her path-breaking achievement of becoming the first African-American, Indian-American, female and daughter of immigrants to be elected as vice-president was a moment in time that resonated around the world. Breaking that glass ceiling will inspire a generation and was a moment of joy.
Adaptability: Everyone was able to adapt to a terrible situation and showed admirable strength of character. Many crippled by the closures, including exercise teachers, music acts and those forced to work from home, found ways to carry on using technology. Others who had less made use of what they had and were quick to help the community, when needed.
Creativity: Whether it was experimenting with new dishes, trying new hairstyles, DIY, finding ways to keep kids entertained or picking up a paintbrush, this was the year we reignited our creativity. Being more creative was a huge stress reliever and will make the world a brighter place when the current Covid-19 emergency is over.
Comebacks: Things that were much-loved in the past made a comeback like drive-in movies, playing board games and yes, reading. Many of us used that extra time indoors to pick up books and losing ourselves in new worlds between the pages.
Nature: We reconnected with nature and it felt wonderful. The restrictions pushed us towards taking walks in nature and enabled us to breathe in beautiful fresh air. This prompted many people to move out of the more polluted big cities and be around gorgeous greenery.
Finances: We became more financially aware this year and altogether more responsible with our bank balances. Some even managed to save money and realised the importance of good money management, which will be a good thing going forward.
Hope: Last, but not least, all these positive things made us all realise that hope will always be there, not matter how bad things get. We all saw there are bright rays of light ahead that will help guide us through the dark Covid-19 tunnel and hopefully, make 2021 an amazing year.