Hey there! The Coronavirus pandemic, to say it lightly, put a damper in our lives. The entire world seemed to shut down for sometime. But that said, there are silver linings to the pandemic that have changed us as a whole. The way I look at it is, there's a silver lining to everything, and this is no exception!
In this post, I'm going to discuss the silver linings to the pandemic and how the pandemic has created many new opportunities for many people.
Due to the pandemic, we've needed to quarantine at home and practice safe social distancing. This caused a lot of companies to set up remote working, or telecommuting. Many people who once worked in offices are now working from the comfort of their own home.
Some of the benefits of working from home include:
- Save money on transportation costs: Whether you drive to work or take public transportation, you're saving money from not paying for gas, maintenance, or for the price of bus and train passes. This savings raises how much money you're effectively making at your job.
- More time in the mornings and evenings: For many of us, we can sleep in a little later and go to bed a little later because we no longer have to spend time commuting. This means more time for breakfast and more time to spend with your family.
- Save money on clothes: When you work from home, you spend less money on clothing because you don't need to wear businesswear on a daily basis. This means less clothes purchased and less money spent on services such as the dry cleaner.
- Less spent on lunch at work: Now that you work from home, you're saving money that you would have spent at work on lunch. The average person spends up to $10 per day on food at work, which effectively saves you up to $200 per month.
Related Post: Is Your Job Worth The Time and Money It's Costing You?
2. Saving Money on Going Out
Another silver lining to the pandemic is that, as much as I enjoy eating out, we're not spending money on eating out. As of this writing, restaurants are starting to open up, however for three months, most of us were unable to enjoy a meal out.
While I'm all about eating out, the shelter in place order ended up saving my wife and I over $400 per month for three months because we stopped eating out.
We've become better at cooking while also learning that we don't need to eat out as much. That is, we spend more time together as a couple at home and outside walking instead of spending upwards of $50 on a meal for two out.
With restaurants reopening, we still find ourselves going out to eat at a minimal. We've dropped from twice a week to once or twice a month. This translates into saving us approximately $300 per month going forward – no small number.
3. More Time Spent with Family
Since being stuck at home, my wife and I not only have had more time to spend with one another, we've also had more time to spend with her parents, virtually. Every day, generally at 2 PM, the two of us and her parents hop on a video Skype call and hang out for 20-30 minutes. This daily check-in has been great for passing the time and just generally being together more.
In the past, we only see my in-laws every six or so weeks and we exchange emails. The daily face time allows us to share our days and what's going on – similar to how you might when you were a kid at lunch with your family.
For those with kids, being home with family is the perfect time to find fun activities to do. Whether you're playing board games, video games, running around in the yard, crafts, or just generally spending time with your kids while they're young, make good use of this extra time.
4. Distance Learning
It seems like we've had a difficult time with distance learning before the pandemic. Distance learning, which has become popular on the internet on sites such as Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, and LinkedIn Learning, is big for adults, but for children, we've not seen so much.
A silver lining of the pandemic is that we're finding ways to distance learn for children and for college students. Distance learning benefits include:
- Adaptability to the student: Each student can have a customized education plan that goes with at the pace they're comfortable with. Scheduling can now work around the student, instead of the classroom as a whole.
- Easy access: Distance learning allows for easy access to your education resources. This is especially true for college students who might have time or commuting constraints that prevents them from attending a traditional classroom university.
- Save money and time: By not commuting to school and by not living on school grounds (college students for example), you are saving loads of money. Time is saved by only doing schoolwork when schoolwork is required versus all the nuances that one goes through on an average school or college day.
The pandemic has seen the rise and wider acceptance of telehealth. While telehealth can't be applied to all specialities, many consults can be done over the phone. For example, I was having back pain recently and went in for an X-Ray. The day after the X-Ray, I spoke to a spine specialist over the phone, which saved me a (painful) drive to his office and back.
Therapists are another example of specialists that can make use of telehealth. A client seeking mental health care can now more commonly seek a therapist via the internet. This had been on the rise in recent years, but now more than ever, telehealth and therapy can go hand in hand.
I think we are yet to see the full potential of telehealth around the country to assist those who can't easily access their doctors and I look forward to seeing how to further enhance telehealth.
6. Environmental Benefits
The worldwide shutdown due to the pandemic had a near-immediate effect on the environment. Air quality has increased in major cities and in areas where industries were normally polluting the air. Water quality improved as canals and waterways cleared up due to less dumping.
Interestingly enough, with less people around, animals have come out and wandered into some towns. According to this wikipedia article, billions of trees have been planted in areas of massive deforestation.
7. Online Business
Online businesses are booming as a silver lining to the pandemic. In fact, this blog wouldn't be where it is today if not for the pandemic. My wife no longer works outside the house and because of that, she can focus more on assisting me with our online business.
We created The Dollar Blogger and Pebblebrook Apparel in the time we've been home.
Since people were unable to leave their homes for months, many online stores saw a rise in sales. I'm certain a number of blogs have appeared since the beginning of the year.
Wrapping It Up
All situations have a silver lining and even in a worldwide pandemic, we have to find ours. I try not to let the world situation get me down because I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. That said, I yearn to go out again, whenever that may be.
What silver linings have you found to this pandemic? I'd love to hear!