There are many blessings and curses that have come with coronavirus. My children have missed out on classroom instruction, meet-ups at the playground, and sleepovers with friends. Our family had to say goodbye to long-anticipated trips, dinner parties, and social activities. Work trips and in-person interactions with colleagues have been cancelled. We feel sad, frustrated, and lost without these things that bring a sense of joy and normalcy to our lives. And we can’t help but feel heartbroken for the families that are struggling financially now or are dealing with a COVID-19 sickness or death. We realize that we could just as easily be in their shoes and cannot take it for granted that we are not.
However, over the past three months, we’ve noticed silver linings to this dire situation. We have spent more quality time together as a family playing games, cooking, and watching movies together. We discovered new trails near our house and have enjoyed many long walks in the forest. I’ve prioritized communication with my immediate and extended family, realizing we all need each other during this difficult time, even if the connection is virtual.
Nobody really knows what the long-term impact of coronavirus will be, but I hope we don’t forget the positive aspects the pandemic has brought to light, such as the relevance of science, strong research, and quality data; the importance of family time; the beauty of immersing yourself in nature; and the need to look out for everyone in our communities, even if their experience isn’t our own experience. Coronavirus has shown how interconnected we really are and how very much we need each other.