By Dr. Sidney W. Samuel
Turn on the news… and it’s the main headliner. Open the newspaper… and it hogs the front page. Call a family member…and it takes over the entire conversation. And most of what is being said is deadly, negative, and discouraging. So what is this disease?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older persons dealing with severe medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the COVID-19 illness. So, you are encouraged to keep your distance, keep your hands clean, and if all possible, ‘Stay Home!’
But when I step back and analyze my life now and where it was before this pandemic, I can actually see a ray of sunshine peeping through the clouds. Indulge with me if you would, while I share how this pandemic has brightened my well-being. Listed below are some of its positive effects:
• Family Time has increased: in my book review of Restoring the American Dream, many challenges were presented in balancing work and family time. Now that we are confined to our homes, many of those challenges have been alleviated. For once, family time might be winning the fight.
• Productivity up at home: according to USA more work is getting done based on less distractions from noisy co-workers, stress-free commuting and less meetings. Although, I miss my co-workers, I am assured of no unexpected guests. And my trips to the printer are now at arm-length.
• No Hallway conversations: most of the time when we are heading to the cafeteria, the restroom, the credit union, and even to another meeting, we are stopped or redirected by long conversation with a colleague. Thanks to Microsoft Teams, the conversations are much shorter and I get to share with the group as a whole.
• Greater appreciation for Teachers: simply sending a ‘Thank You’ to All Teachers for all of the hard work they do. Being home with two teenagers all day, gives me an inkling of what Ms. Patience, Mr. Strictness, and Principal Guidance face daily. And yet, they still miss our kids. Teachers are awesome!
• Home Depot over the Grocery Store: folk are starting/completing home projects that they once didn’t have the time to do. I was amazed the other week that the Home Depot parking lot was much more crowded than the Safeway. I actually had to wait in line just to get in. And to date, I have painted 3 rooms, aerated the lawn, put a desk together and reorganized a basement. I should have invested in Home Depot.
• Being Health Conscious: it’s hard not to keep your hands clean, when you are constantly reminding your kids to keep theirs clean. It’s hard not to exercise, when the treadmill and weights are staring at you all day. As the fatalities of this pandemic continue to rise, I am more determined to be healthier and wiser.
• Saving Money: now that I can’t go to the movies or take the family out eat, I seem to have a few extra dollars. The cleaners or the barbershop haven’t seen me either; so I keep adding to my savings account.
I conclude by leaving you with four major Life-Lessons:
Lessons from COVID-19
• Life is short.
• Death is sure.
• Jobs are temporary.
• Health is wealth!
About Dr. Sidney W. Samuel
Dr. Sidney W. Samuel is a graduate of the Dillon High School Class of 1985. He was a Scholar Athlete at Fayetteville State University and is an Alumni |Economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC. You can reach him at Samuel_S@bls.gov.