C’est la corona: the positive side of the pandemic

Going through a pandemic has changed life as we know it — but perhaps the realisations we’ve made from coronavirus haven’t been all bad? Shaakira Vania takes us for a walk on the bright side. 

It is the great irony of life that although I have forgotten my bank pin code twice over the past few months, I will remember all the words to random songs from way back when.

A few days ago, for example, I instantly sang along word-for-word with an old song that came on an Instagram video. There was no “hmm hmm hmm” when the chorus hit. There was enunciation and expression! There were spirit fingers! (Narrator: there were no spirit fingers).

But despite this impressive memory feat, I almost started crying when I couldn’t remember my four-digit pin code.

All this is to say that us humans are complex beings. But, C’est la vie! Right?

Making the most of the situation

We are complex beings who can hate something — but make the most of it at the same time. Like, maybe even these coronavirus times we find ourselves in?

Alright, alright. I am obviously as upset, sad, depressed and lonely as all of you on the worst of days. The lives the virus has taken, and the lives turned upside-down are a tragic loss of this virus.

But the reality is: this is a new reality. So, being the positive old gal that I am, I figured if I can so easily remember random lyrics, maybe I can as easily whittle off some positives about what this new life has given us. Here goes nothing!

Banana bread rules

It may no longer be the Cake of the Moment, but can we all take a second to look back and have a chuckle about the banana bread craze that shook the world?! Everyone who was anyone had a “go-to” recipe, and pictures of their baked masterpiece were proudly lorded about their Instagram page. No banana was safe; No banana was left unturned. Unprecedented but delicious times! 

Working from home is the best

I can’t speak to being a teenager, child, or university student and missing those crucial hours learning and socialising at school. I can only speak to what I currently know, and that is: working from home is the bee’s knees.

I no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to a crowded train, bus, metro, then get home after dark. The hours saved on commuting alone have enabled us to live twice the amount of life we used to live back in the day!

I also get to drink good coffee on my coffee breaks, save money whilst enjoying a gourmet lunch that is better than what I could get at the office, and sit at home in my comfy clothes whilst fielding my 100th call of the day.

I won’t go into the colleagues I miss socialising with because this is supposed to be a positive article…*blinks away tears* so let’s continue, shall we?

It’s okay to say ‘nee’ (Yes, it even rhymes)

There are so.many.memes on the internet about how the punishments we used to have as kids (namely, not being allowed to go out, being forced to stay at home), have become the things we enjoy most as adults (staying home, cancelling plans, avoiding being social).

When the intelligent lockdown was first announced, I admit that I breathed a strange sigh of relief (amongst all my anxiety). I don’t think I had had a single weekend at home, just truly doing nothing since the start of 2020.

Coronavirus forced us all to slow down a little, take stock of life and gave you the permission to just say no. No follow-ups, no racking your brains for a believable excuse, no pretending not to have seen the message, because it was finally the socially accepted thing to actually just stay at home.

Of course, it got old quite quickly but, the positives were that we were all equally bored every weekend during the lockdown. No weekend was socially superior to any other.

It was finally socially acceptable to be a germaphobe

My mom raised me to be aware of germs. Not in a crazy way ( I don’t boil my towels before I used them or something) but in the “always beware not to touch the railing on the escalator” kinda way. I was buying hand sanitiser and washing my hands way before it became the ‘in’ thing to do. So now, I can only stand back and watch with joy as we all burn our hands sanitising at every store door.

Public social distance is a total score

As a frequent moviegoer, I like to pick a prime spot in the cinema. Middle seat, middle row and as far away from any potential non-stop talkers and potential Popcorn Pete’s and Patricia’s (people who eat popcorn at max volume thus distracting from the movie experience).

A surprising benefit of coronavirus is that all the guess-work is done for me by algorithms and the lovely cinema people who make sure that everyone sits at least three seats away from each other. And all I have to do is show up, sanitise my hands and stay 1.5 metres from everyone until I reach my seat. Absolute child’s play!

Think twice before shopping

As an ex-shopaholic, it is extremely hard to wrap my head around having to queue in a line to get into a shop. The concept makes a ton of sense but it is one of the realities of corona-life that still boggles my mind. I miss the days when I unthinkingly went into a shop and had the freedom to do so without thinking. Isn’t that strange to say? Sign of the times I suppose.

The upside though, is that knowing that I might have to wait in a queue to get into my favourite shop, means  I think twice about going in the first place, which means I think twice about spending money there, which means I don’t spend as much money shopping, which means I save twice as much…er, wait, not sure if that maths makes sense anymore.  I’ll tell you what does make sense though: any sort of queuing means I go to the shops less frequently and that means I save money!

Here’s hoping that in years to come (or the next few days or weeks), these fun facts might pop into your head like lyrics to an old favourite song and you’ll look back with a small smile, a small tear and turn up the volume whilst you get your spirit fingers ready for the chorus.

Corona hasn’t been easy, but it is our new reality for now, for a bit and as the French might say C’est la Vie, C’est la Corona!

What bright side have you found to the new normal? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Micheile Henderson/Unsplash

Shaakira Vania
Shaakira Vania
20-something year old traveller, coconut lover (Seriously-anything coconut), and Libran. I recently made the cross-continent move to Amsterdam and spend my weekends exploring the country, meeting new people and telling myself I will finish a book every month (a promise I'm yet to keep). If I had to sum myself up in three words they would be: quirky, curious, and meme-lover.


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