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  • BY MARIFRAN KORB

5 Things I Learned from COVID-19 Pandemic

The Covid pandemic changed our society forever. We lost nearly two million people around the world in 2020 alone. The US has stopped counting, so we will never know the more recent death toll.


in line with masks on
Did COVID-19 teach you anything?

 While acknowledging the tragedy of loss of life, and businesses, there have been some changes in society that look like they will be with us for a while. There may be some bright spots in the devastation. After a disaster like a volcanic eruption or forest fire, there can be new growth. We can count on some good.  

 

While there are more things than this that I learned from the pandemic, these are the ones that stand out the most.

 

  1. Time and cost savings occurred.

Working at home, or even a hybrid schedule, saves money. More importantly it saves time. On a weekday, saving time is imperative for a woman. Whether it is a hybrid, or always-home schedule, now women can get the dishwasher started faster than a coffee break without slowing down on the work she does. If she cooks, dinner can start as soon as the work day is done, not after a long drive home. That battle to fight traffic to and from work is avoided. Bus fare, car fuel, and parking costs are dodged on work-at-home days. Meanwhile, Zoom type office meetings keep a woman up to date on co-workers. Less upkeep on office clothes is helpful, too. Twice a week at an office workplace can be quite enough.

2.  Additional convenience came to stay.

Buying groceries online and picking them up, saves time. Such efficiency was never experienced before by so many people. Millions of us are still choosing that option. It is all a boon, especially to busy mothers and career women. Frequently, while waiting in my car for my grocery pickup, I see on both sides of me, several preschool children in their car with a mother who doesn’t have to cart them through the store. Numerous others choose to have food, and other supplies, delivered to the house. The extra cost is worth it to them. Whether curbside or delivery, it appears to continue without end. Hooray for that.

3. Creativity abounded. New entrepreneurs came forth. Other entrepreneurs pivoted.

As a society, we discovered we could start new ventures, trades and industries. Those whose businesses shut down were the first to find other ways to support themselves. There are abundant, creative ways to live life. Where needed, new ideas presented themselves and startup enterprises were born. While it was sad to see some business shut down, most entrepreneurs found new ways to show up in the world. Ordinary people were doing more things for themselves. Many women learned to cut their own hair. Others learned to cook. Some people moved, while others took in a roommate. Many exes moved back in together with their former partner. There were no limits to the innovative ways of solving problems.

4. A smidgeon of recognition happened for low paid workers.

It became clear that many of those that kept us alive were the low paid workers. The workers who picked produce, and took it to market; those who stocked the grocery stores and packed food orders for pickup, were at high risk for Covid illness and death. Factory workers, restaurant workers, and hospital cleaning workers had no safety net, or work-at-home privilege. These were the front-line soldiers and the ones who died in huge numbers while working to put food on our tables. While happily we give thanks for the nurses and doctors whose lives were, and are, vulnerable, we need to remember there were/are other essential workers, too. After our society learned how valuable their services were,  most low paid workers now are paid slightly more than before, but not significantly. It’s a start. Many of those same service workers are women with children.

5. A new way to see oneself.

Hopefully everyone learned something positive about themselves when they were isolated. My introverted friends were happy, feeling content to have an excuse to stay isolated. They called often to see how this extrovert was surviving. After the first two agonizing weeks of isolation, I learned I actually could tolerate being indoors for long periods, despite being unable to go anywhere, anytime to be with friends. My museum memberships were unused. Theaters were closed. Zoom became a necessity and group meetings were my lifeblood. I comforted myself with quiet things, like writing and reading. Still, my friends were amazed that I seemed to have managed to stay sane with limited freedom of movement. Fortunately, sanity is a wobbly thing, hard to define.


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Meet the expert:

As a Relationship Rejuvenator Coach, I assist women to reconnect with their power. With compassion, I support women in gender equality, mental health, and body image. As a woman, I am keenly aware of how the pandemic affects women.


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