• Aidan Willner

Three Silver Linings of COVID-19

How to Remain Positive During Challenging Times

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and dominating the news cycle, it’s important to keep an eye out for any positives or silver linings in order to remain productive and relieve your mental state. One of the clearest silver linings is the benefit that the current global quarantines and shelter in place orders are having on the environment. All around the world people are documenting animals returning to former habitats, water quality improving and smog disappearing. In Venice, water quality has risen dramatically and satellite images of Europe show that there is a reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions. Emissions fell 25% at the start of the year due to quarantines in China and pollution in New York City has been reduced by 50%. These benefits can be directly attributed to the sharp cut in regular human activity and the increase in eco-positive work practices such as remote work.

The positive impact is not just limited to nature. Corporations and leaders have stepped up and committed their resources to solving the current crisis. Big names such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Bill and Melinda Gates and Oprah Winfrey have all donated large sums to help fund vaccine research or to purchase personal protective equipment for heroes on the front lines of the crisis. Entrepreneurs such as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s Mezcal Company donated 100% of a month’s worth of profits to COVID-19 related charities, joining a number of other small businesses doing the same. Similarly, Elon Musk pledged and delivered over 1,255 ventilators to the city of Los Angeles amidst their spike in cases.

Another reason for optimism comes from growing international cooperation. Across the world, countries are putting aside their differences by coming together to fight a common force. From China mass producing masks for other countries- to Cuba sending doctors across the world to help the overwhelmed Italian health care system, there is unprecedented solidarity around the globe.

These three silver linings illustrate the much-needed ability for humanity to come together in order to solve the largest problems we face. COVID-19 has provided us all an opportunity to view global issues in a new light. During this crisis, innovation has allowed society to continue functioning despite growing stress levels. There is no shortage of difficult or devastating news circulating during this time, however, I recommend taking the time to look for the good as well. Whether it is across the world or in the next town over, I believe you will be surprised to find that people from all walks of life are stepping up to support one another. If seven billion people can stay home and change their normal routines in a matter of weeks, then there is no limit to what we can all solve together.