I’m a “glass half full,” “focus on the positives” kind of person. I like to assume the best in people and I take things in stride as they come my way. The coronavirus pandemic certainly tried to shake that nature, BUT, spending all my time at home has given me plenty of time to consider the bright side of a pandemic.
Facing a Pandemic
The first time I read that COVID-19 grew into a pandemic, I wasn’t sure what to think. After a quick Google search, I felt both reassured and nervous. It seemed like major global organizations had processes in place to help manage and contain this type of situation… but, the news, numbers, and projections just kept pouring in.
About the time I found myself scrolling through the news more than I was reading anything else, I knew it was time to refocus my mindset and try to find the bright side of a pandemic.
Taking Stock of What We Have
Right before the news became all about Coronavirus, I was walking through Target. I turned down the toilet paper aisle and was shocked to find it empty. The same thing happened as I made my way to the check out lanes and passed empty rows of hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes. Even though I knew we had plenty of all those things at home, I found myself wondering if we needed any more. …you know, just in case.
One bright side of a pandemic is you have the time to take stock of what you have. By nature, I like a good deal, so when cleaning supplies are on sale, I stock up to get that $10 Target gift card. This ended up paying off when the pandemic came to town, because I really didn’t need extra supplies.
In fact, we had plenty of shampoo, toothpaste, and other necessities to last our family for quite a while. Living through a pandemic and feeling the scarcity mindset will stick with me forever. I’ll always keep a reasonable supply of non-perishable foods and household items on hand, just in case. There’s a fine line between being prepared and being a hoarder. I think we’re all learning what that means now.
Taking stock of what we have in our lives means so much more than the consumables in our pantries and closets though. As I looked around my cozy house, I was so grateful for the things I saw – plenty of food, comfy beds, and most importantly happy people.
The brightest spot in a pandemic was realizing how much more family time we would have. We’d all be together as soon as our jobs and school work were complete. No more commutes in stressful traffic, no more rushing to after school activities.
My family loves a good plan. We knew, as soon as schools closed, it was time to figure out how to keep the days as reasonably normal as possible. This meant making a schedule, setting boundaries, and also being flexible.
We had time to talk and play, bake and invent, and so much more. While a pandemic can be scary, right now today, we’re safe and healthy and loved.
Discovering a Whole New World
The bright side of a pandemic is that there aren’t any rules (other than hand washing and covering those coughs). There’s nothing to compare yourself to, because you’ve never lived through this.
You can give yourself some grace and loosen the media rules that may usually stand. In fact, you might be surprised by what you find online! I feel so fortunate to have access to the internet to supplement our days with amazing resources like NatGeo Kids, YouTube read aloud books, zoo home safaris, and so much more.
My daughter has spent the last few weeks diving in to learn more about subjects she’s interested in, “visiting” national parks and museums around the world from the comfort of our couch, enjoying “lunch doodles” with her new favorite author, and so much more that we wouldn’t have known existed before the pandemic.
Finding the Bright Side of a Pandemic
While the statistics and projections are terrifying, there is plenty of good to focus on too. Whether you’re thankful for a comfortable home or enough food to eat, try to find the bright side of a pandemic. For better or worse, this will change you.
Note: By the time this posts, coronavirus will have impacted tens of thousands of people in our country and even more around the world. This isn’t meant to diminish the scary reality that we’re facing, only to shed a different light on what’s a very uncertain time. The way we, as parents, approach scary things will imprint on our children and change the way they approach the world.