The coronavirus lockdown has completely changed our lives. Things that used to be normal like hugging our friends, visiting family and driving to work were absent for over a year. With the lockdown restrictions easing up it seems like a good time to revisit the last year.
There were a lot of losses that we had to live through due to the coronavirus pandemic. Celebrations couldn’t be held, family and friends were missed and not only physical but also mental health issues were on the rise.
Although everyone couldn’t wait for the lockdown to be over, there were a few benefits of lockdown that we might not have realised. Here is a list of the seven hidden benefits of lockdown.
1. Appreciating your home
Before lockdown started most people only came home to eat and sleep. Houses were pit stops rather than homes. When the restrictions hit, people were forced to stay at home, work from home and teach from home if they had children. An unused place became a work office and a classroom. Gym enthusiasts even included a home fitness area to work out.
The new way of using our homes is something beautiful. All the living has been done in our homes and made us appreciate the time in it more.
2. Decorating inside and out
With everyone spending more time at home and having an excessive amount of free time, we feel inspired to redecorate our homes.
I remember wanting to buy three new paintbrushes to paint the fence outside last year in April. I went to every hardware shop in town without finding any brushes. On walks in my two-kilometre radius, I saw people painting their walls in front of their houses and friends sent me pictures of their freshly painted fence. It turns out, everyone thought the same and used their spare time to give their homes a do-over.
The excitement has stayed until today and we can still see people redoing their gardens and interiors. The free time we all gained due to the lockdown has given us the long wanted freedom to finally get the jobs done we normally don’t have time for.
3. New hobbies
More free time also means that we can finally start the hobbies we have put off for so long. People started playing instruments by watching YouTube videos as well as trying new food.
I think it was September/October last year when the banana bread trend came around the corner. Instagram’s stories were packed with people’s banana bread attempts and even people who didn’t like it made it.
Another thing we could see all over Instagram were people reading books. People who you would have never guessed would ever touch a book now posted pictures of themselves reading outside in the sun.
Lockdown changed people and their behaviour and that was not necessarily for the worst. Free time let us explore new hobbies which we try to keep after the lockdown is over.
4. Horseboxes and new businesses opportunities
The pandemic forced many businesses to close while allowing other, new businesses to thrive.
One of those are horsebox cafes. The little coffee cabin on wheels can be found everywhere, that is a fact. Something that used to transport animals from one location to another is now a cafe that sells coffees and cookies at the side of the road.
Additionally, almost every business has developed some kind of delivery service – including pubs delivering pints which are freshly made at the back of a van.
Besides horseboxes serving new services, there are other business opportunities that haven’t been present pre-pandemic. Online marketing services sold on Instagram as well as social media management are now online businesses that helped other businesses stand out during the pandemic.
5. Being aware of our immune system
Since March last year, we have been wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser and have learned how to wash our hands correctly. Even people who did not believe in wearing masks at the start are doing it now and almost no one walks past a hand sanitiser station anymore without using it. COVID-19 has shown us the importance of staying healthy and looking after ourselves. Colleges built-in additional sinks to ensure sanitation stations.
Big changes like these will stay even after the pandemic. We can assume that people generally will wash their hands more – something that should be done regularly with or without the pandemic. Although we might not wear gloves and face masks forever, being cautious and wanting to stay healthy are benefits of the lockdown.
6. The power of technology
Just because we had to stay at home didn’t mean that our lives were put on pause. Many people started working remotely from home and students of all ages were expected to study from home. After a few hiccups at the start of maybe not exactly knowing how things are gonna work, we have to admit that remote working has its advantages.
We can apply for jobs that are normally too far to commute to. This also means that employers can hire the best candidate for a position no matter where they live. Meetings can be held over a computer without having to travel there which makes them a lot shorter and less of an issue.
Another benefit is that remote working and studying saves us a lot of time. Instead of having to spend hours in the college between lectures, we can spend our time at home to do jobs, work on projects or relax.
Not being able to do things made us realize what we value in life. Interaction with others has become so much more important and only after not being able to do it we see how important it is. When I was first able to see my friends again I realized how much I’ve missed it.
It’s the same with work. Although some of us could continue our job remotely, it is just not the same. At the start of the lockdown, many enjoyed the break from their regular job. Little did we know that the pandemic would go on for over a year. After the first six weeks of lockdown, we were ready for our normal jobs again – we certainly are now. Being in a lockdown made us realize what we need to be happy.
Lockdown and the pandemic in general have been tough on us. Things have been difficult. But there is something to take with us from every difficult time. The lockdown has let us love our homes again, find new hobbies and showed us that we can manage with little. In fairness, it wasn’t all bad.