Mining the Gold of COVID-19


As we got started in one of our Campus community leadership webinars this week, I invited participants to share (1) an example of a silver lining provided by COVID-19 and the resulting physical distancing or (2) what they’re doing to cope with the challenge that is providing a positive impact.

While their sense of humour was clearly intact, some of their comments were also thought-provoking. While the responses were diverse, there were some common themes that make for a good read. There’s “gold in them thar community builders!”

Family Time

I discovered free zoom meetings a couple weeks ago, and every day my mom, dad, sister, and brother connect by zoom for 40 minutes. We are more connected across four cities and two provinces than we have been since we all lived together.

Basically what we’re doing to cope is trying to find a new sense of normalcy… routine immediately, same basic expectations at home for chores etc. and involving the kids in the planning of their days. Today we are trial running a “flex schedule” with a bunch of magnets where the kids can make their own schedules with different activities…we’re doing a ton of crafting… and walking! If my kids can come away with anything, I hope it’s a sense that community, connection, and family are of the utmost importance. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I’m enjoying my time home with my husband.

I’ve been connecting more with family and friends than ever before (via technology).

I think it’s giving most of us (although some people are even busier!) a much-needed rest from the race. It’s also given us good family time and family connecting.

We’ve dusted off our board games and our crossword puzzles!

Physically More Active

An inspiring thing in New Brunswick is that families are making rainbows and placing them in their window.  When children go for a walk it becomes a treasure hunt as they search for rainbows.
In Alberta some communities are adding hearts to say thank you to essential workers. Next week is smiley faces or jokes for April Fool’s day.

Our community is doing a bear hunt – no not real bears – just putting stuffed animals in the windows.

I’ve never seen so many people out walking in our neighbourhood.

Dozens of people walked past my house yesterday, enjoying the sunshine, dozens.

A Greater Sense of a Caring Community

People are more sensitive to those confined indoors than they were before COVID-19.  There’s much more reaching out to check on people and to make the phone calls they had been delaying.

This is a great opportunity to build a sense of community.

I’m going to work from home, and continue to support my community in relevant ways as we navigate this new reality!!

There is a lot of connecting through social media.

I’m a social worker and still work at the office, I call my clients so people still have someone to talk too. Most often my clients also ask me how I’m doing and if I have support.

Less Pollution

Our planet finally has a little break from pollution. Maybe this is teaching us that it is possible to care for our planet and make a positive impact. Now we will have to find ways to support our economy while being good to our planet!

I’m working from home so there’s less pollution.

Catching Up on Chores

I was out working in my yard yesterday, exercising spousal distancing 😊

I finished painting a room!

Every cupboard and drawer is getting purged and sorted. Mostly it’s because I went to find drawing materials, and found 72 pencil crayons, 2 window writers, a container of dental floss, and random cords all in one drawer… soooo it all needed to be cleaned out. It was all sittting there just staring at me. Begging for order. It needed to happen.

Changing Values

I think there might be a change of values; from consuming to different values such as family, community, simpler things in life. I sat outside yesterday looking at birds and squirrels and my neighbours talked to me through the window. I’m also seeing everyone helping each other out.

I’m amazed at how socially acceptable it is now to say no.

Finding time for a bit of music, meditation. Trying to keep positive and also enjoying nature.

A renewed appreciation for family and a slooooower life.

Posted on 03-29-20


Great article, Brenda. I am hopeful that people will come out of this kinder and more thoughtful, caring about each other and their community. I’ve noticed a bit of change even on social media, where I have seen less ” keyboard warrior attacks” and more discussion and debate. Let’s hope our world will be better for the outcome of COVID-19.

•Posted by Joyce McCoy  on  03/29/20  at  08:37 PM

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