What were the 10 positives of the COVID-19 pandemic?

 Emmeline | Marketing Emmeline | Keeping you informed                                              🕑 7 min read

Join me in as I take a journey to recognise how much this coronavirus pandemic has helped us all.

#1 Growth in Technology (or use of)

Who knew it was going to take a worldwide pandemic to force the older generation into technology? And they're not the only ones that struggled!

When we landed in lockdown at 8pm on the 23rd of March 2020, we knew we weren't going to be seeing our friends, family, colleagues, classmates and neighbours as often as we had been seeing them, but we didn't really know what that would mean for us.

Internationally, people turned to Zoom and the sayings "You're still muted", "Can you hear me?", "If I press the ..., will it help?" and "Sorry, my connection's a bit jumpy" all became 'The sayings of Lockdown' very quickly.

But, all that aside, it's been great! We've all had a crash-course in technology that we never thought we'd need so frequently, and look how much it's helped.


#2 Advance in Medicine

With the announcement of the coronavirus came the start of the vaccine race. A lot of different vaccines have been made, tested, trialled and some rolled out across the UK. Now, with 65.4% of the UK population fully vaccinated, the advances in medicine are soaring.

We can definately say that this pandemic has given us an insight into the NHS and made us, as UK citizens, more appreciative of all they unselfishly do.


#3 Bringing Communities Together

Back in the World Wars, people came together to share what they had to survive. We saw something similar here in lockdown in neighbours doing shopping for their isolating/shielding neighbours, having sing-alongs in the street…

Who would've thought a ‘face-to-face’ conversation with people from the other side of the globe could be so easy? I mean, apart from someone being awake in the middle of the night, all it takes is a trip from one seat to another, set up a Zoom and Voila!

Clapping for the NHS - All up and down the country, Thursday night at 8pm, people came out of their houses to stand in their driveways/pavement, to clap in appreciation for all the work the NHS was doing to fight the COVID battle. Their tireless work is appreciated, thank you!

With the isolation of lockdown, there were many challenges and fundraisers set up for anyone to take part in to help fight the war against COVID. Also, people did what they could with others, like putting on shows in their driveways for their neighbours to see, or listen to, and enjoy.

Together     Together

#4 Education Goes Online

With the rest of the world digitalised, it had always been a mystery why schools had always claimed to be preparing students for the future, when only a tiny percentage of their work was completed using any kind of technology. It seemed as though they were preparing them more for the past. Today and tomorrow technology will keep developing. 

So, for education providers who, before lockdown, had no set-up for online learning. This was a whole new ball game. Some could do it; some didn’t even try. I’m going to share some pros and cons of online learning as having been a student who experienced online learning on campus and in lockdown.

Pros Cons
More sleep  Probably the best part! Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before you need to be in registration had never been better. It also helped us to focus better; there wasn’t really any reason to fall asleep in lessons anymore.

Distractions  Whether in your home or camera, or in someone else's camera, distractions have come in many forms. But, where in class it would just happen, on Zoom it gets recorded, so it can be played back later.
Less travel  When your usual journey is 1 hour of sitting in a school bus of 12 students, mostly under the age of 12, having your travel time changed to ‘how fast can you run down the stairs?’ was a welcome change.

No Wi-Fi, no learning  When your in one of the few schools that actually has online learning, you can't really complain. But this issue did cause us to be randomly missing out on learning time and having a 1 or 2 day holiday because you can't do anything else was an interesting experience.
Everything is in one place; Online textbooks, resources, our work, contact to teachers, the list is almost endless.

Control, or lack of
  Unfortunately for teachers, their level of control dwindled majorly. They couldn't confiscate anything via Zoom. They only have the options of muting you or asking you to unmute, asking you to turn on your camera or kick you out of the Zoom session altogether. The most common punishment, the detention, went extinct. And contacting the parent, when the parent is the distraction can't be easy either.

Less books to carry around  Where the average scholar is carrying around 4-5 x 1-2 inch textbooks, the change of being able to leave them on the coffee table in the lounge was very welcome.

Just Being at Home among your family allows you to relax and actually take more in, making your education time more worthwhile.

Less hassle for teachers  This one can definately be argued with. My point is that they are not required to crack the code of their students' handwriting as much as before and they have more time for preparing and behind-the-scenes work as there is no travel time.  

#5 Creating a Flexible Nation

COVID has taught us that we can live in a lockdown and out of one, and, as a bonus, we can switch between the two and still survive! Whichever level/tier of lockdown we are put in, we just adjust.

Who would have thought 2 years ago that as a whole nation, we would just stay at home for 102 days in a row and that would become normal?

Who would have guessed that overnight, travel would just stop?
.......that office buildings would remain closed and deserted?
.......that schools, colleges, universities, etc. would shut down?
.......that the hospitality and leisure industry would stay shut for such a long time?
.......that you wouldn't be able to go to the barber/hairdresser for an even longer time?
.......that non-essential shops would only be available online?
.........................and that they wouldn't be able to open up again until the Prime Minister said they can??

Yes, I don't think any of us guessed that was coming. And yet, these days it's not really a big deal. It's just the 'new normal'. Proof that we really are a flexible nation.


 #6 Building Genuine Relationships

In lockdown, you don't see people outside of the ones you live with (that's the fundamental point of it). Because of this, you can only be judged on your other forms of communication with others. We found that while some businesses worked to the end of their tether to keep their clients and suppliers happy, some just sat back as if to say "There's a pandemic on, we can't help you." It meant we looked at what relationships really meant to us and what it takes to make them last.

On another note, relationships at home had never been better. COVID comes along, locks us all inside with them and watches to see how we survive. I think most of us found COVID a great opportunity to re-establish our family links and create memories that we can treasure for the rest of our lives.


#7 Prioritising What Really Matters

You can't really talk about lockdown without mentioning furlough! A dream at first for many - for 80% of your usual pay, you get to sit at home doing absolutely nothing work related. But as time wore off, people actually began to miss working (even if only the social side of it), many wishing to go back, or at least have something structural to fill their time. It became a huge eye-opener for what really matters most to us - People.

With many people having more time on their hands, many Brits took to walking and cycling around their local area (anywhere that you could get to without using a vehicle). Where excersize was always an 'if we've got time' thing, it became more 'a part of everyday life'. Maybe we're fitter now than before coronavirus...

Who remembers the supermarket Toilet Roll shortage?? That was interesting. It was a casfe of "we're definately going to need this if we won't be going out the house for 6 months" situation. One way of prioritising...


#8 Everybody has better Self-Hygiene

Thanks to Boris Johnson, our guidance at the beginning of our first lockdown was simple ‘Stay at Home’. There’s nothing to be misunderstood there! And that’s all we had to do to slow down the spread of the rampant virus. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

As it slowly began to ease, you were allowed one trip off your premises, once a day with up to one other person, from your household, for necessary trips only (slightly less simple). Later, we were allowed out just for exercise, but the rule of 2 still applied.

When lockdown eased in 2020, the guidance was still simple ‘hands, face, space’.

And throughout this whole pandemic, it’s been made clear that it’s our responsibility to sing happy birthday to nobody twice when washing our hands, cough into our elbow (not hands) and clean our hands after touching anything anybody else may have touched. Touch points all are being sanitised periodically throughout the day and, in general, we’re not getting the usual colds and coughs, because we take more time to care about our hygiene and how our neglect of it can affect those around us.


#9 More Innovation

We no longer needed Dragon’s Den to inspire us to get creative. We all just needed a break from the mundane.

In our attampt not to get bored, we may have; learnt an instrument, or a language, writen a song, or a novel, painted a picture, or taken 10 pictures a day, created a restaurant for squirrels, explored the local area, made wacky treats for our families, decluttered your room, learnt first aid, commentated on everyday life or done Zooms with as many different people as you can before lockdown ends.

Now that we’ve mentioned Zoom, that in itself proved to get quite innovative. Whether it was trying to all sing together, doing a forage for random things around the house, charades or just trying out the quirky virtual backgrounds and filters, I think we can all think back to a Zoom session where 'different' comes to mind.


#10 Remote Working is no longer a strange phenomenon

This is something that many have been waiting for for a long time. Those with elderly parents to look after, can be of service throughout the day to help them in between taking calls, or whatever their usual work day would consist of.

Even if working from home for you does mean waking up 2 mins before you’re meant to be starting work, remote working has become the norm since COVID. Of course, the change wasn’t smooth, or welcome, at first, but many now claim that they no longer want to go back to the office. It’s become the ‘new normal’.