In Search of Silver Linings During COVID-19

April 2nd

Today marks the eighth day of remote learning for CDS students and faculty, and with each passing day we continue to gain new insights, establish new individual and shared goals, and make exciting inroads as we grow accustomed to this new way of learning and teaching.

For the past few weeks, we have all had to adjust our daily routines, some more so than others. The key word here is “routine” as that is something we can rely on to help get us through this unexpected and shared journey. Unlike ordinary times, we are truly all in this together (even when we are separated physically) – and most likely have things to learn from one another on how to make the most out of the coming days and weeks.

While the news and social media have likely become a bit of a distraction (certainly understandable, but not necessarily uplifting), years from now, when we reflect back on Spring 2020, what positive outcomes do we want to remember? What silver linings should we start looking for? How can we make lemonade out of lemons?

The expression, “It seems to have taken a pandemic for us to quiet our busy lives and force families to spend time together,” sadly rings true. As parents, how many times have we wished for our schedules to slow down so that we could collectively catch our breath, enjoy more quality family time, read a classic, or take up a new hobby?

So I ask you to look at this crazy point in our lives as us actually being given the Gift of Time – for that is what many of us have been given. Whether it is more time in the evenings and on the weekends, without our usual over-scheduled obligations – or more time during the weekdays as well. The question is, what will we do with this time? Can we make lemonade?

*What Acts of Kindness can we show to help our Senior Citizens or Healthcare Providers or sick family members and friends? Is there an opportunity to be a good Samaritan and offer assistance to someone in need?

*If you are self-isolating at home, your family time is now in abundance. What are you doing to make it count? What games are you playing? What puzzles and crafts are you doing? What old movies are you watching?

*What will we do with the additional hours in our day? In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he writes that 10,000 hours is the magic number required to become great at something. Surely, we won’t be in self-isolation for that long, but what small or big thing can we accomplish or learn?

*Mother Nature appears to already be breathing a sigh of relief. In the short amount of time since COVID-19 has become part of our vocabulary, our Earth is showing signs of healing due to fewer emissions. Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 22 – we now have time for more impromptu Earth Hours and discussions. Will we adjust our habits when we emerge from self-isolation and return to a new “normal”?

We can all learn from one another and will have a collective story to tell when we emerge and come together once again, stronger than before. What will your silver lining be?

Stay safe and be well. And make some lemonade.