The Silver Lining from the COVID-19 Cloud

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office beginning the fourth day of the isolation brought about by the COVID-19 (CoronaVirus) pandemic.

I work for a company where travel every week is the norm. Last week, as I sat in a corporate office in Chicago, we listened to our travel scenario gradually degrade from ‘travel as normal’ to ‘no meetings with over 25 people’ to ‘no travel to client offices’ to stay at home and work remotely.

As Monday came along, our highly technological company struggled with overworked meeting servers and the inability to dial in. The whole working world had moved to this model and the infrastructure was not ready.

Now, four days in, my perspective on the ‘inconvenience’ of the restrictions on travel and gathering are helping me form a different perspective on what’s happening in the world.

I know many are suffering from this virus, but I can’t help but see the potential positive effects that this event may have on the world’s population. It all started with this image that I saw on Facebook and was compelled to share:

This simple poem hit me very hard. Although I’m an introverted person who prefers to stay at home and dislikes crowds, I react negatively when I’m forced to do so. When I saw these words, however, the potential upside of this imposed isolation became apparent.

We take many things for granted in life. We have become a generation that interacts through devices and have abandoned the art of personal communication.

This forced quarantine has made us give up even the minimal contact that we have with other humans. When I’m working at home, my social life is limited to interacting with my family and attending meetings and services at church. I play piano at the Saturday afternoon mass, something I look forward to each week. Yesterday, we were told that all masses at our church our cancelled until the week before Easter, although I’m not optimistic that we will resume attending church in time for Easter Sunday.

The bottom line of this is, while you are ‘stuck’ at home with your family and children, treasure this time. You have a unique opportunity to unplug a bit. You have a chance to help your fellow humans by staying away from them. As you do this, consider the things you will do differently once you are able to have contact again. Things like:

  • Enjoying a face-to-face conversation with your cell phone put aside
  • Committing random acts of kindness on a more frequent scale
  • Appreciating your employer and your job
  • Putting aside political arguments and appreciating people for who they are and not what they believe
  • Retain the bond you will develop with your family members while you spend your time together
  • Appreciate those that helped us get through this crisis (healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery people, etc.)

This crisis may change the way we live life in this world. Let’s hope these changes are positive. We may learn to appreciate each other after a period of being deprived from interacting personally with each other.

Also, remember that the precautions we are taking are designed to protect the most vulnerable in our society, our seniors, our medically vulnerable and our children. This is an unusual and wonderful event in our youth-focused society.

I hope that you all stay well during this period of isolation. Take the time to appreciate what you have and what you are looking forward to once the crisis is over.

Your comments and discussion are welcome.

68 thoughts on “The Silver Lining from the COVID-19 Cloud

  1. A delightfful little poem. Perhaps we can become those people we really thought we were during this crisis. I’ve found that little kindnesses are more apparent., only last night I received a Facebook message from a neighbour to see if I wanted any shopping while she had to be in town this morning.That was a wonderful and much appreciated gesture.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am SO sharing this on The Write Stuff, Don! The poem is wonderful, and your thoughts on finding the positive side to a horrible situation are PERFECT!! I’m also one of those seniors who is forced to stay at home until things are safer. While I’ve been working from home for years and have become more of a hermit over time, like you, I prefer it to be my own choice. However, I am committed to doing anything I can to keep from exposing myself to this virus, and then exposing others. We’ll never contain it if we ignore what we’ve been asked to do.

    Thank you for pointing out what this break in our normal hectic lives can mean, and what we can learn from it. I do hope you are able to return to your church by Easter, but if it’s not safe, I know that you know it won’t impact your faith to worship from home in your own way. And when you are able to return to playing the piano at services, it will be even more meaningful for you.

    Thank you again for the most uplifting post I’ve read all day. I can’t wait to pass it along.

    Stay safe, Don!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Please do yourself a favor, folks, and stop by Don Massenzio’s blog to read his post today. Hands down, this is the best post I’ve seen so far about the situation we are all struggling with right now. The poem Don shared is wonderful, and his thoughts on what we can learn from this experience are perfection. After having read this, I feel better than I’ve felt for a week! I hope it will uplift and inspire you as much as it did me, and that you’ll pass it along to everyone you know! I’m even thinking of making a copy to pin on my cork board so I’ll be reminded of these things when my spirits sink. Please share, thanks, and my heartfelt thanks to Don, too, for pointing out the silver lining! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well said, Don. I work away from my home with limited social interaction. It’s nice to see the positive side of the coin. May we all be a little better because of what has happened, not worse. Last week, Mass was optional, until further notice, Mass is canceled. This is something I never expected, and I hope we will be out sooner rather than later.

    A kind word or gesture will go a long way, not only in times such as these, but in our everyday lives. May people gain more tolerance and compassion as we maintain our social distancing.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Beautiful poem and wonderful thoughts, Don. I’m also working from home and this has surely put a new perspective on things. Our church isn’t meeting “for the time being.” It feels weird to be isolated, but if we each look within ourselves, good can come from this crisis.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. The poem is lovely, Don. It’s true, humans take what we have for granted and often act like spoiled children when its stripped away.
    I pray that isolation is the worst that most of us go through. There are many grieving families out there right now- we should be grateful to stay home. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Your post was most interesting to me, Don. Partly, because I work for a similar company and we are all working from home tomorrow to test the infrastructure. The virus is not yet as bad here as in the USA. I often work from home, twice a week usually, but every day will be a new experience, especially for at last a month and probably longer. I do agree with your perspective, I just home this crisis isn’t going to result in food shortages and people starving, especially here in Southern Africa.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Robbie. We have the most bizarre shortages in the US. Went to the store yesterday and toilet paper is still ‘wiped out’ (couldn’t resist). Things like butter, rice, pasta and soup are low or gone. It tells me that, during a crisis, all of the vegans, vegetarians and non-gluten people are loading up on junk food because healthy food is fully-stocked.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have seen pictures of the shops in the USA and UK, Don. This cleaning out of stores hasn’t happened here is such a big way because a lot of people can’t afford to stockpile. Many people shop daily here.


  8. Great post, Don! A crisis brings out the best and worst in people. We do take things for granted until we are affected. The things that I miss the most so far are hugging my friends, getting together with my buddies for a beer, going to the gym, and simply interacting with others. Introverts may not be quite as affected. At the same time, I’m going to be responsible because I do not want this to become the new normal. For those who treat this like one giant vacation, please WAKE UP! As my old coach used to say, “Get your head in the game!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful posting, Don! Thank you for sharing the very deep thoughts, too. Now, we here in Germany in official isolation, too. I would prefer exchanging the virus with something like aliens i can see. 😉 Best wishes, and stay save! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A beautiful share, Don. This pandemic does give us a chance to reflect, to reevaluate, and to be grateful for the blessings of community – from the shared smiles with strangers to those noisy stadiums, to the laughter and joy spent with family. I hope that we come through this with a wiser and healthier perspective. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks Don. The poem is very insightful! I am an introvert mainly as well, so I don’t mind the isolation too much. The thing that sucks for me is I can’t see my daughter & 5 yr old granddaughter except in a video chat. I still communicate with 1 neighbor every now & again via or back porches ,& I am the “taxi” for another neighbor to & from her job as a vet tech. I am very thankful I have a backyard & deck I can get outside & enjoy the fresh air.

    Liked by 2 people

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