2020 has been a challenging and unprecedented year because of the pandemic. Every aspect of our daily lives was impacted because we collectively had to adapt to a new way of doing just about everything. From how we work to how people get married and communicate with loved ones, 2020 was a year of great change.
Some of the changes that have come out of this crisis have been developments and shifts that our world has desperately been in need of for a while. Now that they are taking place, we’re seeing a lot of positive outcomes, some silver linings to come out of this dark cloud. It has been said that the changes brought on by the pandemic have advanced us by a decade or helped the world in huge ways. Here are some of the big positives that have come out of how the world has responded to the pandemic.
A Focus on Convenience
There’s been an increased focus on convenience for the consumer. Since people haven’t been able to leave their homes as normal, many services evolved to become home-based or easier to access so that people can still maintain their health and quality of life. Many people have increased their use of digital-based fitness programs, and using implements like fitness resistance bands to get creative about getting a workout in. In the event that people do leave their homes, we’ve found ways to reduce our time in crowded places. In light of this, physician dispensing has become more popular, and even vital for the people who need their prescriptions filled. People would rather have a one-stop-shop for medical checkups, doctor visits, getting their prescriptions and then being able to easily get the medication from the same place.
Across the globe, there’s been an uptick in the use of services like grocery deliveries. Instead of going to your local supermarket, a simple app on your phone allows you to get your groceries bought and delivered in as little as under an hour. People have always been reluctant to adopt these kinds of measures, but the quarantine orders and lockdowns have sped up adoption by years. Many businesses have also realized that having their staff working from home is actually a good thing, and have seen how it can save time, increase productivity and even improve quality of life. Even the businesses that are working from the office are more focused on keeping clean commercial premises for the good and safety of their employees.
According to the World Economic Forum, the crisis of 2020 was an opportunity to “accelerate the radical changes needed in healthcare”. One of the biggest shifts brought on by the pandemic is the fact that people have fully gotten behind telehealth. Before 2020, the idea of seeing a doctor virtually felt out of the norm and even unnecessary. When lockdown orders were put in place in March and April, many physicians and healthcare professionals started offering virtual consultations to keep the numbers on their premises low to allow for social distancing. Even as these lockdown measures eased, many people were still nervous about going to doctors and hospitals, so telehealth remained the perfect solution. It’s likely that without quarantine things would have remained the same and people wouldn’t be able to easily access quality healthcare.
Benefits to the Environment
With so many people off the roads and in their homes, many parts of our environment were given room to breathe. Polluted water in Venice became clean, smog-filled cities became clear, and the lack of traffic on roads took a lot of pressure off the amenities of cities. It gave us a chance to really examine our impact on our environment, and start having the conversations around possible solutions.
Another way the pandemic has shifted for a lot of people has been an increased focus on health and wellness. Before when people were on the go all the time, there was hardly any time to truly focus on living a healthier lifestyle. Quarantine changed that. One area in particular that has seen a lot of improvement is sleep. Sleep scientists have observed that people are sleeping better because they don’t have to wake up for a commute to work. Consistency in our sleep schedules is one of the most powerful ways to improve our health, and with more people working from home than ever, we’ve been able to create a more consistent routine around sleep and we’re healthier and happier because of it. When people improve their sleep, they change every aspect of their lives for the better.