The Silver Lining of Coronavirus
Before I say anything, let me be clear about one thing. The outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is a global tragedy. Thousands of people are dying and it’s just the beginning. Billions of dollars of value has been ripped out of the capital markets. People all over the world are scared for their health, their safety, their jobs and their loved ones. I am worried about my parents, extended family, and friends who are old enough to fear for their lives if infected. For some people though, there is a silver lining.
The Effects of Coronavirus on Our Family Thus Far
The outbreak caused an unprecedented chain reaction of events around the world for people of all ages. Living in France, we have experienced this first-hand:
- First, my business trips started to get cancelled.
- Second, Luka & Taj’s schools were cancelled.
- Third, given that it’s not really appropriate to move any sales discussions forward given what’s going on, work is a bit slower than usual.
In summary, I have much more time to spend with my girls, they are home from school, and I don’t have to travel. This is incredible! Last week I logged into a French website called Superprof and found an Art teacher to come to the house to work with Luka. She is the most artistically inclined out of all of us and truly enjoys drawing and painting. Unfortunately our normal weekly routine doesn’t allow time for her to explore it. Meanwhile, I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar and Taj recently has also expressed interest. So this Thursday, she and I have our first joint guitar lesson.
Yesterday we took the dogs for a walk through the woods behind our house, for the first time ever. Later that afternoon, I attempted my first Tofu Tikka Masala. It ended up in the garbage and the house smelled of Indian food all day but it was fun trying. Meanwhile, we wake up in the morning, eat breakfast together (without the rush of having to run out the door), we sit at the dining table and work together. I have some coffeehouse music on in the background, courtesy of Spotify, and I have to ask myself… isn’t this how life SHOULD be?
Nature is Sending us a Message
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the way I see it, nature is sending us several messages:
- Slow Down – Maybe this is what it took to get us all to stop running to the airport to catch our next flight and to put down our phones to see what the last email was regarding, and to talk to our kids more instead.
- Saving the Planet Really isn’t that hard – Have you seen the satellite images of the air quality over China before and after the outbreak of Coronavirus? It is absolutely stunning. It CAN be done.
- Life is Fragile – The symptoms of this virus are similar to a flu or cold for those who are not in a high risk category. It could have just as easily been something much more deadly that affected a much wider population. Live every day like it’s your last and be the best person you can be.
- Take Better Care of Yourself – For those who eat a lot of junk food or who smoke regularly, this should be a wake up call. It DOES matter and the risk to your life is real. Use this down-time to start better eating habits and a regular exercise routine.
Take Advantage of This Opportunity
Today is March 16, 2020. As of now I think the outbreak of this virus has been very positive for our family. Again, I do not want to diminish the fact that millions of people’s lives are at risk. Many businesses are shut down and many people are concerned about being able to pay their bills. As an eternal optimist I would like to think that this virus will be contained within the next month or two given all of the precautions in place.
In the meantime, I am going to thoroughly enjoy the time this situation has given me to spend time with my girls and to enrich our lives with fitness, music and cooking. I recognize, however, how privileged I am to have this luxury, at least for now. When things return to normal, I hope we have learned a few things about how to have a healthier balance between work and family. Our dining table should continue to be our communal family workspace where we each retreat to our respective rooms or offices for video conference calls.
Lastly, I would like to thank those of you that told me that you really enjoy reading this blog and that you have missed it. It is inspiring to know that anyone cares what I think and have to say. You know who you are. Having the time to write this post is just another benefit of having a little extra time right now. Please be safe and let’s all get through this in the most positive way possible!