20 Things I Appreciate about the Impact of COVID-19

In Weekly Finds by Meghan Burrows

May 15, 2020

Photo taken for Wirth Hats to support #mentalhealthawareness month. Credit: Jasmine Grant

Let’s be clear that I do not appreciate the virus itself, nor the havoc and loss that it has caused for the world. However, working in primary health care admin has given me a unique perspective on this pandemic, so I thought I would write them down I don’t forget. The first 10 things relate to the virus’s impact on my personal life and the last 10 are from the work/global impact side. 

  1. Sleep. I am currently waking with or just after the sunrise by choice, not because my 5am alarm is calling me into the gym for work. Which I love, but this time has really increased the quality of my sleep.
  2. Cooking dinner. I have become accustomed to the meal prep way of life. Leaving the house at 6am and returning around 7 or 8, sliding random leftovers into a bowl and being ok with it. However, cooking dinner has been healing, purposeful and creative over the past 12 weeks and I’m thinking about adjusting my schedule so I can keep doing it. 
  3. Reading books in one sitting. I’ve always read voraciously, but rarely allowed myself to sink into a book for more than 20 minutes before bed. Now, on a Saturday afternoon-I’m ok with going to the park and finishing a whole memoir in one go. It’s luxurious and something that I’m going to continue to do. 
  4. Playing cards with my family. Every week, for the past 6 weeks, we have connected via facetime to play a Euchre game-all six of us. This has never happened and I look forward to it every week. They all live in Ontario and these weekly 2 hour games have been one of the greatest gifts. 
  5. Walks on backyard trails. I live in a suburb that has so many trails running through it. Being able to pop out in the morning or at lunch for 20 minutes or 2 hours, just to explore and listen to a podcast has been incredibly soothing. 
  6. Hugs throughout the day. I am an extrovert and thrive on touch, so being without my usual 6-15 people interactions throughout the day has been a shock to the system. However, my partner working at home has been a great way to keep the levity and sanity through the days. 
  7. Thinking time. I’ve had more ideas and been motivated to finish tasks that I have been pushing off for “some time” aka 3 years.
  8. Fitness routine (or lack thereof). I’ve enrolled myself in some kind of fitness challenge for 8/11 weeks that the gym has been closed. I still coach 3-4 times per week virtually and am so grateful that I took the time to learn how to move my body outside of the gym over the past three years. 
  9. Friendships are stronger than they look. I am the planner, the trip organizer. My biggest fear about not seeing my friends regularly? That our friendship would be less. That shite was a lie, made up by myself. I connect with friends more on the phone while we are both walking, I feel content with virtual workouts and know that those bonds will not be broken by a bit of time apart.
  10. How much simpler I can live. I realized that I need less, so much less to be happy. A few key people, my family, food and shelter with access to trees and water. Saving money and learning how to just “be”, thanks for that one isolation. 
  11. Healthcare can get rid of red tape in a crisis.
  12. The economy is going to be an interesting place to learn and study for the next few years.
  13. Family physicians deserve more credit than they get. They stepped up to serve the most vulnerable populations at a time when many others could not. 
  14. Long hours feel like nothing, when you are in it together. 
  15. Consciously purchasing from local shops has been a joy. 
  16. Innovators and creators are coming up with systems that we should have had a long time ago. 
  17. Quality Improvement projects are going to be the joy and bane of my existence as this winds down. 
  18. Motivation to do good work doesn’t come from going to an office every day. 
  19. The air is clearer and more people say hello on the street.
  20. Animals are coming back outside, they are beginning to feel at home, in their home.