You think about coronavirus and instantly three words that strike your mind are – death, panic, social distancing. People are scared and misinformation and no information has set everyone in a frenzy. Its specially hard for those who have their families living in other part of the world which are at a complete lock-down and the only support they can provide is – good wishes (what were you thinking – Toilet paper … come onnnn that is all gone). So why am I am writing this blog post? I am writing this because I am “look at the silver lining” , “optimistic” , “glass is half full” kinda girl. I am a girl who is now being asked to work from home indefinitely and social distancing and lack of people around has forced her to think positive in order to not loose the sanity. For someone who is in habit of taking vacation every 3 months , this sudden lock-down is a little suffocating. And while travelling has now become thing of the past , I still want to thank God to give me more than my fair share. This blog post is not to preach social distancing and wash your hands and other best hygienic practices. This blog is not to scare you because I think news is doing that job well . Rather , this blog post is to make you feel hopeful. This blog is to make you feel thankful about breathing and being alive. This blog is to make you look at the positive side and give you a good laugh. I mean if you see my list of “10 things I always wanted that coronavirus gave me” , I am sure it will put a little smile on you face and make you think – So after all there is something good about this situation….
Before I may start , please bookmark the links below to get the latest and the most accurate information on Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak:
To know the affected places and no. of people affected : Corona Virus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University
To know what is the situation like in United states and recommendations from CDC : Website for CDC
Relief for mother nature :
I think if any good that has come out as this coronavirus- it has to be the relief for mother nature from all the pollution that we inject in, knowingly or unknowingly. With less flights , less transportation and almost the entire world at a lock-down , I am sure this is a sigh of relief for mother nature. A very necessary slowdown that was call of the hour but impossible to impose. With corona-virus I think we have given nature some breathing space.
Shutting down of cruise ships :
Yes , as of now all of the major cruise lines have shut down. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, the top three cruise lines in the U.S., all have announced temporary suspensions of their operations in an effort to help quell global spread of the novel coronavirus. And you know what , coronavirus or no coronavirus , I feel the cruise ships should be permanently shut down. Cruise ships in my mind are the worst thing that has happened to travel industry. A passenger’s carbon footprint triples in size when taking a cruise.On top of the pollution caused by their exhaust fumes, cruise ships have been caught discarding trash, fuel, and sewage directly into the ocean. And frankly there is nothing on a cruise ship ( activity wise) that you cannot do on the land. So why make marine life suffer.`
Airlines to be considerate about the passengers aka zero Cancellation and change fees for air tickets:
This is the first time that I am actually living the statement – “Customer is the king”. I mean I can’t tell you how much the flight change and cancellation charges irk me. I can still make peace with the cancellation charges but change fees , come onnnn. Being a regular flier, I have run into numerous situations and paid thousands of dollars to airlines for change or cancellation. Everytime my verdict was the same – Airline companies are there for your money and they will use every possible reason to get the last dime out of you. If it is not cancellation , then its legroom. If its not luggage then there is price to pay for the convenience of early check-in. There is nothing in airline industry that calls for considerate. So it was quite refreshing to see airlines succumbing to the impact of corona virus and being literally brought to their knees. They are coming up with offers to lure customers so that they could keep up their booking numbers. It was started by Jet blue by suspending change and cancellation fees for all for travel through June 1 on new reservations made between Feb. 27 and March 11 and now American airlines , Delta and United have hopped on to the same wagon.
Note : If you really want to take the risk of flying , now is the cheapest time to buy tickets
Ability to read the fine print on Insurance Policies :
Who actually reads the fine print in the travel insurance documents. You just buy the cheapest one and then roll with it , wishing that it never comes to use. I mean you do not want any health related problem on a vacation . DO you? And I always thought as long as my insurance covers a visit to emergency room or even repatriation , I am good. With the outbreak of Coronavirus , travel health insurance companies have made it very clear that pandemics or epidemics are not part of any coverage. Definitely something that I will pay attention to next time i buy health insurance.
Less commute time to work :
With schools being closed and people working from home , the traffic to my office has been close to nothing. I have been beating my record time to work every day – 30 mins, 25 and then finally 18 mins door to door. With such commute , I don’t mind coming to work everyday. And if you are wondering how much time does it actually takes me to reach my office – close to 45 mins at peak rush hours. Sooo, I guessss thank you Corona Virus.
Note : This is my pre-work from home scenario. I am pretty much locked in now and working from home.
Love for reading :
I love books but I have never been an avid reader. Most of my free time goes in blog writing , editing and even if I do get my hands on a book (once a while) – I am able to find more important things to do than to read. Since the social gatherings are to minimum and no commute to work , I now have absolutely no reason to not take an hour or two out and read the books. Yes , I have finally developed the love for books. I now make time to read them. If you are wondering what am I reading these days – its Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.N I am lovingggggg it.
Work from home is overrated :
Yes , my office has mandated work from home. Its me , my computer and endless work calls and webex sessions. N for once I have now realized the importance of being in office as a person and interacting with my fellow colleagues. There have been times when I have made lame excuses to work from home , just to get a break from office monotony. But being subjected to work from home for indefinite time , is sooo boringgggg ( something I never expected I would say). So thank you Coronavirus for making me realize the value of human contact and what it really means to co-laborate.
A general sense of hygiene among all :
They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. But clearly we “HUMANS” have not been doing it the right way. One thing Coronavirus has made very clear to us is that any shortcuts in personal hygiene is not only dangerous to oneself but also to the people around. So the fact that people are now paying attention to the way of sneezing or washing hands , even though a bit astonishing but still a relief. Its never too late to opt for hygienic way of life and now in the middle of a pandemic , its more important than ever. I now just wish “hygienic” way of life becomes the new norm and not something as per need basis. So thank you coronavirus for this realization.
Time for board and indoor games :
Manhar has never been a board game person and I loooveeee board games. This corona-virus quarantine has changed by husband for good :). I now do not have to wait for the game night to play board games. I have found good player at home itself. On top of it , to keep ourselves entertained, we have finally made good use of our 3 year old investment in form of ping pong table. Yes, I am improving at the game and now i am able to beat him. This game is true magic.
An Urge to slow down :
I think this outbreak has given me a great realization to just slow down. Coronavirus has put the world to a stand still. and travel will be 9( at least for some time ) a distant memory of a happier time. While I definitely miss being on the road and visiting new countries , being home bound is not that bad for itself. I have time to self care , meditate , focus on my health and more importantly nutrition. There will always be places to see , there will always be new adventures and there will always be experiences to seek. We will get through this and happy times will come. Till then reminisce those travel adventures , sought out those tera bytes of photos and build your memory wall – that you always wanted.
So yes , if you really want to see the glass half full , I must say – Coronavirus has given us a new way of life. We should count our blessings and feel blessed to be alive. The air around the world is cleaner. Less pollutants are entering the air and water. The roads are less crowded and more safe . Our surroundings are less noisy. Families are forced to spend more time together ( a cry for our generation) and we have been forced to slow our pace. We have been given gift of time to self reflect and introspect.And I hope all the good qualities we are inculcating because of the fear of CoronaVirus , become part of our life – our new way of life. Don’t you think?