The many downsides of the coronavirus pandemic are almost too numerous to mention. People are losing their lives and their livelihoods en masse, and even those with economic stability are stuck inside, struggling to find ways to educate their children or maintain some degree of normalcy. This makes it all the more important to attempt to keep an even keel, to count our blessings and to appreciate the value of human life.

If nothing else, the nature of the current situation makes it the perfect time for reflection. We can think about how we lived life before the world was turned upside down and resolve to be more grateful for the things we value. The heartbreaking reality that friends and relatives are prevented from attending the funerals of loved ones provides a stark reminder that life is fleeting. Cherish life, both your own and that of others, and take active measures to stay safe Practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and wear a mask.

The longer that we are confined to indoors, the more alluring become the appeals of nature. Pre-COVID, how often did you drive to work or take a vacation, hardly noticing the flora and fauna of a place? Did you take stock of the air, the sunshine, the water, the food that keeps our planet alive? Lockdowns have made enjoying these elements a privilege instead of a right, which is a shame given that nature is our common inheritance as people on Earth.

The very lucky among us find themselves quarantining with family. Many, specifically young adults and the elderly, do not have that luxury. Visits from friends and family members are restricted if not outright prohibited, leading to isolation and loneliness. No matter your situation, the new status quo should put things into perspective. Stop taking for granted the company of others. Be glad to have a life full of loving friends and family, and make a concerted effort to connect with those for whom this is an especially difficult time.

Who knew there were so many aspects of daily life that we’d miss when a global crisis took them away from us? Previously commonplace occasions such as going to the movies, eating at restaurants and attending sporting events have all been absent from our lives for months now. Think about all the things that brought you comfort and joy in life and fondly reminisce about the pleasure those things brought you. If and when they are allowed to return to your life, savor each and every moment they create.

In recent years, ways of life have come to be dominated by worldly possessions. If there is to be found a silver lining in the coronavirus, it is that prohibiting certain economic activities forces us to spend more time connecting. If you are quarantining with your family, consider how nice it has been to have family dinners, family game nights and family movie nights. Let this be a lesson for all of us that we would all be well served to spend more time caring about the people we love as opposed to the things we buy.

Of all the facets of life taken away by the pandemic, perhaps the more jarring has been our freedom. Freedom to travel, freedom to own and operate a business, freedom even to step outside your house without a mask on — each of these has been proscribed to some extent. When and where we still have it, we should appreciate our liberty all the more. Nobody knows what will happen next.

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