Thanksgiving is on the horizon and most of us are trying to decide how to celebrate the holiday this year. One thing we can be thankful for is that a vaccine will be available soon. With that hope in mind and an eye ahead for a brighter outlook, we thought it might be a good time to focus on some positive effects brought about by the pandemic. They say that “hindsight is 20-20”, so here’s a “Thanksgiving” view of silver linings.
One of the biggest bright spots in the pandemic for some has been the amazing increase in family and community spirit. In the beginning, everyone was required to stay home, as we attempted to control the spread of the virus. If you were a “non-essential” worker, you wound up living 24-7 with your family/household members. That was not easy. We had to get used to working from home, attending school from home, eating every meal at home – while at the same time learning how to survive in close proximity to others. Rising to the challenge as Americans do, the family unit, in many instances, has benefitted and experienced a resurgence. Many families are working together to accomplish whatever needs to be done. They are eating together, seeking entertainment together, working and schooling together and, importantly, learning more about each other!
Likewise, community spirit soared, as neighbors helped neighbors, communities helped struggling small businesses, volunteers fed the hungry and everyone helped to re-write the book on how to live, work and socialize safely in a pandemic. Healthcare workers became acknowledged heroes and communities banded together to feed them and offer moral support. With stay-at-home orders in place, neighborhoods soon discovered that they were benefiting from their comradery and cohesiveness.
Talk about lifestyle changes – better hygiene is now no longer just a good habit; it’s a skill for survival. As social beings, we are always going to connect with fellow human beings. We gained experience in maintaining a healthy environment, determining our personal responsibility for masks and social distancing and it has been valuable to all.
In healthcare, telehealth initiatives brought about easier patient interaction with providers. Improved strategies for patient care, and even preparing for future pandemics, are now major issues receiving “pro-active strategies” instead of “playing defense” reactively. The pandemic also brought a long-needed focus on conditions in extended care facilities and nursing homes, prompting vitally needed changes to better care for the disabled and elderly.
Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, we should let no crisis go to waste. The loss of lives and horrific suffering cannot be undone, but must be recognized for the hard lessons to be learned from them. We have been fighting a war and we’re also being called upon to accept the challenge to reach a new normal and move forward together!
Have a great weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving!