Benefits of Coronavirus Lockdown
I’m not being glib about what we’re all facing. However, there are some benefits of lockdown and self-isolation which are becoming apparent to me, and which are worth talking about.
Here in the UK, we’re not on total lockdown. We are allowed to:
- Go shopping for essential items (one person per household)
- Go outside for daily exercise (provided you stay two metres away from other people)
- Go to work (only if you are “key workers”)
So, most of the country is working at home (if they can), and walking, running or cycling around the park in the evening.
Here are the benefits I’ve seen so far.
1. Family time
I live with my mother and older brother, and we now have a family meal every night. These people drive me insane but I am forced to recognize that if they push my buttons, it’s because I have a button to push. We’re mirrors of each other. Good humour is developing to smooth things over. It feels like the way things should be.
Outside, kids are riding bikes and families are playing Frisbee with each other. Why did it take a life-threatening virus to make us value one another?
2. Fewer people outside
My ideal city is any city except with only one quarter of the people. That is now the reality on daily walks. It’s bliss.
The two-metre “social distancing” rule suits me just fine, because I don’t want people to be closer to me than two metres anyway. I now have personal space when walking around shops. This feels like unprecedented freedom.
3. Scenic beauty
There is a sense of awe when looking down a dual carriageway that has literally no cars on it, and having a full view of the sunset at the end of it.
The streets are quiet, allowing trees, wind, and stillness to permeate the urban sprawl. Time has effectively stopped, and the present moment hangs in the air. There is truth and beauty in the world, and all it took was for people to put their problems down for a while.
4. Community spirit
Everyone’s now saying hello to each other in the street. Why did it take a life-threatening virus to make us say hello to each other? It’s a wartime mentality. We’re all in this together.
The UK just had a “Clap for Carers” event, where everyone stood in front of their houses and applauded the NHS. This brought tears to my eyes.
When the government asked for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS, 405,000 signed up in a single day. This brought tears to my eyes.
5. An eruption in the arts
With so much free time, creativity is punching through. We have Italians singing across the streets.
A girl from work messaged me to let me know she’s started learning guitar. Another is writing, and another is looking into learning piano. We have YouTube. You can learn any skill you want. You now have no excuse not to! This may be an unprecedented time for personal expression, through actual artistic means, not just whingeing on Twitter.
I’ve started writing more, and I’ve plugged in my digital piano to start composing music again. Hell, I might even finish some of those ancients projects I’ve been meaning to complete.
I use a pea-sized amount of shampoo and it goes just as far. That would probably save me £50 a year. Why don’t I do that all the time?
I make my own salad dressing out of vinegar, olive oil, honey and mustard. It costs about 2p instead of £2.50. Why don’t I do that all the time?
7. Time for sadhana
While locked down, you can effectively create retreat conditions. There is no excuse not to meditate, or to take some steps to improve your wellbeing.
You could watch all the hours of Ajahn Brahm available on YouTube and learn how to actually meditate, actually for real. I sure am.
Maybe it took nearly being dead to learn how to be alive.
Now it’s done, would you really want to go back to your old life?
I am grateful for what coronavirus has taught us.