This week's @eco-train question of the week asked us to reflect on some of the positive consequences of Covid-19.
I think this is quite a useful exercise to balance out the negative consequences, which are all too obvious and maybe focused on a little bit too much in the Media.
An easy starter is the decline in air pollution and improvements in air quality, estimated to have resulted in more than ten thousand fewer deaths across Europe since lockdowns were instigated back in Spring 2020, according to Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. OK this doesn't exactly compensate for Covid related deaths, but it's something!
Coronavirus has seen more people working from home, which has several benefits, mainly centring around the time and money saved on the daily commute (and the reduction in pollution).
However, I don't want to exaggerate the benefits of home working, there are mixed reports about whether it's working, and it remains to be seen how companies will adapt to this new normal - possibly new forms of surveillance may result in the boundary between work and home life being even further eroded!
This survey from the United States reveals how around two thirds of the population have used the 'down time' during the pandemic to stake stock of their lives and notes some of the following positive outcomes:
- Almost 80% people people say they value their friends and family more
- More than 50% say that have made a positive, healthy lifestyle change (presumably this means more exercising at home in at least some cases)
- 60% of people say they are cooking at home more
- Almost 60% of people say they have re-evaluated what their life goals are.
Now it's easy to be cynical about the above quite general responses, but if we take them at face value, we're looking at round about two thirds of respondents who have made positive changes to their lives because of the Pandemic.
People in the UK have become a lot more critical of the government's handling of Covid-19 -
It seems when it was all new and we had our clap for the NHS it was all lovely dovey, now people are bit more critical, no bad thing!
Finally, there has been something of an increase in the number of people engaged in 'side hustles' since the Pandemic - suggesting not only greater numbers of people looking to be self-reliant but also possible more people with eyes on Hive?!?!?