COVID-19; A Blessing in Disguise

December 6, 2020

A new school year has started, and usually, this news makes students and parents excited and happy for the experiences to come. This year, however, hasn’t been the norm. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many states are teaching school through a distance learning model and adapting to many new safety precautions to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 has affected 38.7 million people’s health worldwide, with only 26.7 million recovering from it, while 1.09 million have died due to the virus. The Coronavirus outbreak has caused the CDC and most doctors to recommend new rules and procedures to follow, such as wearing a mask while out in public, social distancing from others by at least six feet, and staying home as much as possible. All of these new recommendations may sound miserable, but there are actually many advantages to them.

One of the benefits of staying home, social distancing, and wearing a mask is knowing that by doing these things, you are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to Jennifer Burgess, a Family Medicine Specialist at Henry Ford Hospital, “If you wear a cloth face mask, you can protect others from exposure to your droplets by 60% to 95%.” Wearing a mask is not only protecting yourself from COVID-19, but it is also helping to protect others around you.

An additional benefit that comes with following the CDC’s recommendations is the evidence of an improvement in the world’s climate.  Several studies are showing the reduction of air pollution in major cities and towns throughout the world. One study has shown a large decrease in air pollution in the United States due to fewer fossil fuels being emitted into the air as a result of less vehicle travel since people are staying home. Jesse D. Berman, an author for ScienceDirect, states, “… measured air pollution has declined across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 25.5% reduction in NO2 [nitrogen dioxide].”  Other examples of the pandemic improving our environment include the hundreds of canals that have become cleaner in Italy, and the nitrogen dioxide clouds looming over China that have begun to evaporate. 

One last benefit of social distancing and staying home is that many individuals have been given the chance to become closer to their parents, their siblings, and even their children. Parents have more time to teach their children life skills such as cooking, fixing a car, and yard work. These are all things that families may not have had time to do together before COVID-19. Siblings have also been given the opportunity to spend more time playing games, going on bike rides, and enjoying hobbies together with the rest of their family. Before COVID-19 siblings might have spent more time with their peers than with their family members.  Children are also able to rely on their parents more than usual to help with schoolwork, which has created more time for the family to be together. 

As you can see, although COVID-19 has brought a devastating pandemic to our world, it also has brought several benefits.  It has helped us show our concern for one another, there has been a reduction in pollution, and families have been given the chance to spend more time with each other.                

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