We should be thankful for Covid-19

Lavonne Yew takes you through why we should, contrary to popular belief, be grateful for this pandemic.

Photo taken from rawpixel.com, Freepik.

BY
Lavonne Yew
Deputy Editor
Hype Issue #53

Published on
Aug 9, 2021

Covid-19. It’s the hot topic among everyone these days, but most conversations circle around how evil, horrible, and annoying it is. Have we stopped to think about what it has done for us, and for our world? Despite the deaths and lives ruined by the virus, let us shine some light on some of the positives that have risen from the pandemic.

More time

With all the Work From Home (WFH) restrictions, we don’t have to travel to work or school. This has brought us to the realisation that there are a lot of things, such as meetings, that can actually be done in a more efficient manner, without them having to be face-to-face.

 Pre-Covid, we were always up and about, and too busy for any other endeavours. Now that we are stuck at home, we are met with the reality of too much free time forced upon us. This has allowed us to pursue things that we previously never found the time to.

Earning money

Although Covid-19 has taken away the jobs of many, it has actually brought a lot of opportunities for earning money as well.

Sisters Ms Tang Hui Ling, 23, and Tang Hui Yi, 19, were one of the many who took advantage of the abundance of time during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker lockdown to launch their small business. They created SugarBellySG to sell homemade brownies and brookies (brownies+cookies).

xia qingling chu opera hua dan wuhan

Hui Yi (in photo) and her sister had planned to sell their bakes for a very long time, but only finally got to it thanks to the Circuit Breaker lockdown. Photo courtesy of Tang Hui Ling.

“Before Covid-19 happened, we were both very busy with our full-time work and other activities,” said Ms Tang Hui Ling. “[During the Circuit Breaker lockdown,] my sister and I had more time to discuss, plan and execute the overall business.”

sugarbelly

SugarBellySG, managed by Ms Tang Hui Ling and Hui Yi (from left), has continued to maintain its success even now. Photo courtesy of Tang Hui Ling.

The demand for food delivery riders has also surged and they could earn about $20 per hour.

Grab food

According to CNA, Deliveroo had 80 per cent more applications for delivery riders in a month. Photo by Lavonne Yew.

Not having to work outside gives us the opportunity to enjoy home-cooked meals, which can not only help to save money, but also benefit our health, as studies have shown that food from stores contain higher levels of salt, fat and calories to make their taste more appealing to the masses.

Learning new skills

Since the Circuit Breaker lockdown, many have also looked to improve themselves and learn new skills such as cooking, baking, and sewing.

Signing up for online courses was also very popular amongst people who wanted to make use of their extra time to boost their knowledge and portfolio. According to The Conversation, there was a whopping 640 per cent increase in enrolment of online courses on platform Coursera, in the span of just a month (April to March 2019).

Productivity

Without needing to commute in the morning, many have gained more hours of sleep. According to MedicalNewsToday, having sufficient sleep allows us to have better performance in the day and provides a long list of benefits for our health, which is also very necessary for us to function optimally.

Some have finally found the time to pack their cluttered rooms, which improves their mood and headspace, while others exercise to keep fit or lose weight.

Bonding with family (and pets)

Pre-Covid, our common lifestyle was to go to our workplace or school from Monday to Friday, then spend our weekends going out to catch up with our friends. WFH has forced us to find comfort in staying at home, allowing many families to spend more time with each other and bond.

Have we also considered how we have been neglecting our pets? Many pets such as dogs tend to have separation anxiety when left alone at home. Now that pet owners are at home more often than not, their pets are definitely receiving more attention.

“With periods like the Circuit Breaker or the current Heightened Alert around, my family and I can spend the whole day with my dog,” said Claresta Ee, 19, who has had Lovely since 2009. “It makes me feel [content] to be able to spend quality time with Lovely.“

bonding with pets

Covid-19 has eased Claresta’s worries about not spending enough time with her dog due to Lovely’s ripe age. Photo courtesy of Claresta Ee.

Chloe Peck, 19, also cited that she has been able to provide more care for her dog since the Circuit Breaker.

“It made me bond more with my dog and we got much closer,” said Chloe.

bonding with pets

Chloe has had Brownie for 9 years. Photo courtesy of Chloe Peck.

Environment

The positive effects of Covid-19 on our environment have also been unavoidably placed in front of our eyes.

traffic statistics

There was a stark decrease in traffic congestion from 2019 to 2020. Photo taken from TomTom.

The reduced transportation has allowed there to be less toxic gases to be released into our atmosphere. According to The Guardian, global greenhouse gas discharges have been reduced  by about seven per cent, “the sharpest annual fall ever recorded”.

 

traffic statistics

According to CNA, road vehicles contribute 72 per cent of “global transport emissions”. Photo by Lavonne Yew.

With the newfound peace and quiet, animals are starting to appear in places where they would not usually be seen. Singaporeans would probably be familiar with the heightened presence of otters all over the country: in pools, spas, canals, reservoirs, and more. This is very much to the adoration of nature-lovers here in Singapore.

Animals have also started mating after many years of attempts. Hong Kong pandas Ying Ying and Le Le have been pushing off the topic since 2010 and have finally shown signs of interest in March 2020.

These are evidence that we humans have been intruding on the natural environment and it’s time for us to take a step back.

TODAY also stated that there was 19 per cent less waste generated in 2020 as compared to 2019. With less demand for products that we would usually need when we are up and about, there is less production and this benefits the environment in terms of material wastage and toxic fumes.

Conclusion

Despite Covid-19 having snatched away opportunities from many and causing much frustration, there are always two sides to a coin. I feel that sometimes, we just need to shift our mindset and look at the greener side so that we can always find and appreciate the beauty in every situation, no matter how bad you may think it is.

As quoted by Walt Whitman: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.”

Come back to this article whenever you feel so very tired with Covid-19. Let’s push on and fight together.

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