isolated farm houseWhether we live in a big city or out in the suburbs, many of us feel like we are living in an isolated house out in the middle of nowhere. Even if we have neighbors and friends nearby, we aren’t supposed to be gathering with them. This is a very strange and uncertain time in the world, and it’s causing loneliness, fear, stress, worry, and even panic. All of those feelings are understandable, but, as with any crisis, there are Very Good–and often unexpected–gifts to be found if we look.

And we should look. Actively seeking the positive in a situation can be the catalyst for changing a negative mindset. I’m naturally an optimistic person, but I’ve struggled, too. And to force myself out of the dark cloud that would be so easy to get comfortable in, I’ve been taking note of the Very Good things that the Corona Quarantine is producing.

Mandated bonding with family is happening all over the world. This is a fantastic opportunity to really get to know one another, to break down barriers, to talk about things that have been swept under the rug, to right wrongs, and to have fun with each other.

Being confined at home isn’t good for everyone, though. And this leads me to the next Very Good thing.

There are so many opportunities to help others, to work together, and to give–and people are stepping up. Individuals, groups, and organizations are coming out of the woodwork to help. Artists are showcasing their art on social media to give what they can. During times of crisis, it’s beautiful to watch how the concept of community generally becomes a higher priority than individual.

In times dominated by a frightening or uncertain issue such as a pandemic, the issue becomes the focus. What seemed important enough to dominate the news, drive the gossip magazines, and lose friends over on social media is now suddenly irrelevant when compared to how to feed, clothe, house, and heal people. Those recently important issues don’t go away, but they do tend to lose their importance.

In times of crisis–and especially in mandated isolation–we have a limited view; we have to learn to appreciate what we have. Appreciating who and what is around us is vital for our sanity right now. For instance, in order to entertain ourselves without sports, eating out, entertainment, and social events, we have to get creative; board games, laughter, virtual book clubs/happy hours/play groups, cooking, drawing, and nature are readily available and inexpensive.

People are facing new learning curves–and most are embracing it. Millions of people are suddenly getting crash courses in Zoom, Skype, Facetime, how to work remotely, the etiquette of calendar sharing, and virtual learning… Challenging our brains is one of the healthiest moves we can make while isolation confinement can make apathy seem appealing.

Priorities change. Our society is learning that the ones who are keeping this ball rolling are our amazing and self-sacrificial healthcare workers, our first responders, our teachers, our hourly wage earners in the grocery stores, our essential workers who are picking up our garbage and delivering our mail and repairing our homes (and I’m sure I’m leaving some important people out–but you get the picture)… not our celebrities, our influencers, or our professional athletes.

Again, we don’t know what this will look like when it’s over, but my guess is that we will have developed some new, Very Good habits. My hope is that, when this is over, we will all have a newly rekindled appreciation for what we have and for what we will have learned– and we will not take it for granted.

Be safe. Be well. Stay home. ❤