There is a conclusion that nearly all the media is asking us to make, namely that 2020 was a bad year. They remind us every chance they can get. Yet, in all their negative chatter, the positive has been lost. I think the outcomes of this perceived Pandemic are beautiful and overwhelmingly positive. I am going to list the ones that I can come up with.
1) The least productive use of time and wasteful event of US lifestyle was reduced to all time lows since the invent of the industrial revolution. Everyone got back time in 2020 that they normally lost to the tune of 10% of all the waking hours of their lives as commuting to work all but ceased to exist for more than half of this country. This epic and rapid shift to work from home/work remotely phenomena is the stuff of science fiction, as the average American got an extra hour a day given to them. The prayer, “God, please give me more time,” was answered in a powerful manner. What a gift. When asked when commuting to the office will return to previous levels, over one quarter said, “never,” according to Forbes. Nearly 51% of those same CEOs said business travel will never return to its previous levels. All those jokes about “25 hours in a day,” were no longer jokes. They are now real.
2) The most expensive asset in nearly every American’s life is the investment they make in their home. They decorate it and make it uniquely theirs more than any other object on the earth, including their own body. Now, we have more time to enjoy our home. People joked about not knowing what day it is. Isn’t that the feeling we seek to get when we seek the coziness of home or of grandmothers’ house? Another gift.
3) Social distancing expectations showed up by closing and limiting service at restaurants and bars. Those places had a feeling to them that we all were used to, but we chose to ignore the fact that restaurants purchase food, in bulk, and it is often not healthy. The food they provide contains ingredients needed to preserve it for mass distribution that the owner of the restaurant and chef cannot pronounce. We learned to cook at home. Allrecipes.com saw more visits in April of 2020 than all of 2019. We learned to do what Grandma always wanted us to learn. Her prayers got answered. Her dreams came true. We made pies from scratch. We cooked great food without all the smoke and mirrors of restaurant eating. Another great gift.
4) In 2020, ur government threw money at us, and we had no expectations in return. The dollar amounts are too big for me to understand. If I typed them out, it would look like this. $3,400,000,000,000.00. Many of us got checks based on a metric that says, “do you exist in the eyes of the IRS? If yes, then here is $1200!” We had no obligation to receive that money. Dead people got $1200 in their checking accounts. Some of us who lost our jobs got windfall levels of unemployment insurance to sit at home. Between these two efforts, this was the greatest government windfall in our country’s history since the homesteader’s act to travel out west and build on Indian lands. The difference is that the homesteaders had to work to get to that land and labor for months to make it into their home. We did not have to work to get all these handouts. What a gift.
5) We lacked credible excuses to get fit and take care of ourselves. “I am going to get around to it one day,” was now. It could mean losing weight, getting strong, or generally taking care of yourselves. I had an accident and got injured but recovered only to come back and set some lifetime personal bests during this time. Again, this was a gift beyond words. Thank points 1 through 3 above for the time necessary to accomplish this.
6) The greatest and most powerful long-term gift we all got, no matter what side of the aisle you are on politically or spiritually was clarity regarding our media. We all now know that the media is skewered in favor of themselves, always. They are about ratings and revenue, and we are the baggage that gets them what they want. The truth is not on their agenda list, nor is helping America on their list of reasons for existence. They commanded our attention because we knew not how to break the habit. Game over. The news is a joke. No one says, “I heard that on the news,” and command credibility.
7) We have time to learn. There are skills you have always wanted to learn…. woodworking, running, cross stitch, etc., now have a place in your life unlike any other time.
Certainly, there are more than seven good points to justify that this has been a great year. Sure, I don’t have the income I used to. I do not have the professional upside, either. However, I have the time that I always dreamed about, and I have my family nearby, literally, all the time. This is a sort of Christmas for those of us who choose to see it as such. I will always remember 2020 as the year I got my book published. This will be the year I formed the best fitness habits of my life.
I hope you can, too.