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:

  1. Go shopping for essential items (one person per household)
  2. Go outside for daily exercise (provided you stay two metres away from other people)
  3. 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.

6. Rationing

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.

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10 Responses

  1. Pretheesh says:

    After the lock down period, I would like to get into a routine where I could wake up very early(undisturbed sacred mornings🙂), and sit for some minutes for body to free from the tensions without forcing (21 days at home means no excuse to force body and mess up hopefully) have some coding routing, code, make fiction writing a daily habit.

    So that by 9am/10am I can take a nap and proceed with reading, or anything else interesting and then evening stuffs.🙂

  2. Ciul says:

    I was staying at home all the time(except for work when employed) even before virus so nothing really changed for me.

  3. Hesychasmos says:

    1- ”If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.’ ‘ (ram dass)
    2- Aso the best pretext for UK to finally send milions imigrants back to eastern europe.
    3-I bet it feels nice over there with empty streets because they came here in my country with corona and all…
    4- I see fights evrywhere starting because someone coughs or doesn’t keep the safe distance. I can’t even imagine how the world would act if there will be food shortages.
    5 – How bout finishing that fascia guide first 🙂
    6 – As a joke, be careful not to become a minimalist, it’s just a drop in testosterone side effect. Abundance is better .
    7- do you consider Ajahn Brahm as enlightened? For me it looks just gay, in both meanings. Why are his methods superior to others like Shinzen or Sadhguru or Thich Nhat Hanh?

    Don’t you have the feeling that this virus can’t be contained and everyone will be infected? Check out the rate of spreading in europe and have in mind that UK is considered to be next largest hotspot after USA. It’s common sense to predict that already the undiagnosed cases are hundred of times more than gouverment numbers. The rate of positives is doubling every 4 days.
    My prediction… Total shutdown, world gouverment, micro chips in the head.

    • James says:

      Try Ajahn Brahms method yourself, if it works you’ll see why, if it doesn’t you’ll catch the gay and it will sort out your love life.

    • Illuminatus says:

      2- Aso the best pretext for UK to finally send milions imigrants back to eastern europe.

      That will never happen.

      3-I bet it feels nice over there with empty streets because they came here in my country with corona and all…

      Not sure who “they” are…

      6 – As a joke, be careful not to become a minimalist, it’s just a drop in testosterone side effect. Abundance is better .

      Bro science at its finest.

      7- do you consider Ajahn Brahm as enlightened? For me it looks just gay, in both meanings.

      If he took a big fat cock every night, that would not affect my view of whether he’s enlightened or not.

      God, you sound juvenile.

      I do not find him gay at all, except in the original meaning of the word, “light-hearted and carefree”. He is totally jovial and at peace in this world.

      Why are his methods superior to others like Shinzen or Sadhguru or Thich Nhat Hanh?

      I never said he was superior; do not load questions or put words in my mouth like that.

      I am studying Ajahn Brahm because he has the strictest criteria for what constitutes jhana, and these criteria match the refined descriptions in Visuddhimagga. I have had his jhana fully just once, and it is the same one reported by Vern Lovic. It is nondual, there is no “doer”, one cannot give orders, and there is no time perception. It renders most contemporary authors (Daniel Ingram, Leigh Brasington, Kenneth Folk, and myself, almost every time I’ve mentioned “jhana” on this site) as basically talking shit.

      I have also “touched into” Brahm’s jhana a few times, without crossing the threshold. Even touching into, or just working with the first showing of the nimittas in his style, is more powerful and mind-blowing than anything in those other authors’ methods. E.g. just seeing the light strongly even for a moment once rendered me unable to lie (so, Right Speech arose from the practice). I suspect Buddhist principles flow from the jhana rather than the other way around.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Don’t you have the feeling that this virus can’t be contained and everyone will be infected? Check out the rate of spreading in europe and have in mind that UK is considered to be next largest hotspot after USA. It’s common sense to predict that already the undiagnosed cases are hundred of times more than gouverment numbers. The rate of positives is doubling every 4 days.
      My prediction… Total shutdown, world gouverment, micro chips in the head.

      My personal opinion is that coronavirus is FAR more contagious than anyone ever gave it credit for. I think EVERYONE already has it, or has had it and have cured themselves. I think I had it last week (dry tickly cough for a couple of days).

      I also think it is FAR more benign for the majority of cases than what is being reported. I.e. most people will barely notice it, and it will pass uneventfully.

      I think the overwhelming number of hospital admissions and deaths is because EVERYONE basically got it in the first few weeks, so everyone who’s going to die, died in those first few weeks. If this is right, we will see hospital admissions tail off rapidly, now. In a couple of weeks we will wonder what we were so worried about.

      Edit: I am talking about the UK, here. It has been here since January.

      • Pretheesh says:

        Saw a video on coronavirus by Sadhguru. He says just like human beings destroy the place they survive on, the virus also does the same, but it is intelligent enough to recognize it and will hence have some mutations which finally allows it to survive on the host without messing up the host. This virus have been living happily within animals without causing any trouble to animals, but it had just entered human beings for the first time, probably because in some areas in China, people eat all sorts of animals.

      • James says:

        that’s how I see it too, I think most everyone has it. I think the media hysteria has caused most the problems, also I see a lot of new articles pop up about it involving someone dying and then saying they were never actually tested for it.

        A lot of deaths are being attributed to it wrongly.

        Also, the flue kills 10-40x the number of people this has and not once have we quarantine the population due to the flue.

      • Fellababa says:

        I don’t think that’s true since people in different countries are being tested in the thousands and its not like they all test positive for covid-19, only a minority does, so we can’t possible conclude that everyone has had covid

        • James says:

          If you think about China where it “started” (although I’ve hear Iran is where the first case actually is, who knows?).

          With as easy as it seems so spread, the fact china lied about it, and how long its taken for any type of measures to be taken against it.

          look at hongkong, international business hub – flights go from their to newyork, california, atlanta, etc… how long has someone who doesn’t have symptoms and no one even knows the thing exsists been flying around from airpor to airport on business? Its impossible to tell but my guess is covid-19 has already been in every single major airport.

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