COVID-19, THE GLASS HALF FULL…
…but certainly not for those of us who have lost loved ones, friends, livelihoods and equilibrium. The glass is quite empty. So what could possibly be positive about this most destructive pandemic in over a century? For example, following the death of 50–100 million people from the 1918 Spanish Flu, urban sewer systems, paved streets, housing regulations and various public hygiene systems were initiated around the world.
You may be familiar with the concept of cosmic duality. It’s an ancient philosophy that the universe is composed of competing and complementary forces of dark and light, sun and moon, male and female. It is Yin and Yang. Dark is Yin. The bright, the positive is Yang. Looking through a yang lens, there are outcomes of this pandemic that will certainly benefit countless individuals, groups and society now — and in the future. Some outcomes are quite significant, others a bit more derivative, while others nest loosely in the trivial. For your consideration:
WE ARE BREATHING BETTER — The quarantine means less cars on the road which means sharp declines in pollutant emissions around the world. There is a nitrogen oxide drop of 54% in Paris, and a fall of nearly 50% in Madrid, Milan, and Rome. Meanwhile, NASA has reported a 30% decrease in air pollution over the Northeast US and up to 30% drop In China.
BUSINESS IS ZOOMING — When this is all over, companies travel expenses will plummet as more businesses realize how effective Zoom-like meetings can be. As a result…
MANUFACTURERS WILL PROFIT — Digital screens will have to be larger to accommodate larger Zoom meetings, increasing sales for those who sell them.
MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK — Companies and organizations who buy ad time on TV news shows are reaching far more people than usual. Variety reports cable news ratings are soaring during the pandemic. CNN scored an increase of 179% in viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, the demographic coveted by advertisers in news. Fox News had an increase of 83% among viewers between 25 and 54, while MSNBC’s numbers bumped up by 54%.
And speaking of TV…
COUCH POTATOS BLOOM — With nowhere to go, we root ourselves in front of TVs. The ratings agency Nielsen reports that minutes spent on streaming TV content in the U.S. was up 50% for the week of March 16 from the year earlier.
DON’T FILL ‘ER UP — We are not going out too much, which means we are not driving, which means we are saving a whole lot of gas money.
DOG AND CAT TAILS ARE WAGGING — The Los Angeles Times reports that animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide are seeing a surge in pet adoptions since everyone is forced to stay home.
WE ARE SEEING MORE — So that’s what she really looks like? For the first time, we are seeing what late-night comedians, news anchors, reporters and live chat show performers actually look like. Because of quarantine, they have no studio lighting, no professional hair stylists ad no makeup people in their book-cased homes.
HECTIC IS NOW SLOW — The hustle and bustle of a work-a-day world has slowed us down. Ours days are simpler. There is more time for reflection, for re-connecting with ourselves and the people around us. Or, as Simon and Garfunkel say: We’ve got no deeds to do, no promises to keep, we’re dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Life, I love you, all is groovy.
In point of fact, all is exceptionally un-groovy as long as this pandemic rages. Any of the above benefits that do materialize are ephemeral. When all this is all over, will we be able to adjust our ways to an increasingly interconnected and dangerous world? For now, the glass is really not half-full, is it. More like a quarter only. But it is a start.
PANDEMIC AUDIOBOOKS — In case you are not saturated with all things virus, the following fiction audiobooks are at your disposal.
The End of October by Lawrence Wright, Narrated by: Mark Bramhall Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins.
The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum & Gayle Lynds, Narrated by: Michael Pritchard, Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins.
Black WindBy by Clive Cussler & Dick Cussler, Narrated by: Scott Brick, Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins.