Usually full: California beaches are left abandoned as parking lots and beaches are forced to shut. The reopening date of beaches to the public is currently unknown.
Photo by Sophie Robson
Following the closing of schools across the nation, the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated in the past few weeks. Nations across the globe are facing lockdowns and stay at home orders as a way to fight this pandemic.
As the community moves forward in this difficult time, everyone is feeling this impact in their own unique way. Being a teen in an era such as this provides its own insights and account of what is going on.
After discussing the thoughts of many teens around me and reflecting on my own feelings, I have come to the conclusion that for us teens, this is a scary and confusing time. We are left feeling confused by the chaos around us and unknowing on what to do for our health and those around us.
To top things off, we can’t see our friends and navigate these unknown waters alongside them. Human connection and interaction is a part of human nature and the fact that it is so limited is what makes this situation so difficult.
In unprecedented times such as these, the focus, however, can not only be on the negative. In fact, this time at home has actually had a major positive impact on arguably one of society’s biggest issues.
The issue is that as a society, we stress and fill our lives full with everything we have to get done only to not appreciate any of it and not take time to care for our mental health. I think we can all agree that this time has allowed us to reflect on what is important in life and what we take for granted.
Let’s take COVID-19 as a positive in this case because we will all come back from it stronger than ever and more appreciative of what we have been given.
With not much to do in quarantine, it’s a perfect time to reflect on who we are as a society. What are some important issues? What does humanity care about? It’s almost as if this quarantine will form a blank slate for the future.
On top of mentality, staying at home has provided a fresh start in many other aspects. A major issue in the past few years has been climate change, and with this time at home, numerous positive things have occurred in the climate front.
“In a bittersweet twist, the surreal slowdown of life as we know it has presented researchers with a rare opportunity to study the modern world under some truly bizarre conditions, and they’re scrambling to collect as much data as they can,” according to an article by The Atlantic.
There is a significant decrease in air pollution, allowing the earth to heal from the daily emissions released from transportation and factories.
In India, where one of the largest lockdowns is occurring and also one of the most affected countries by pollution, “data shows that the main cities are recording much lower levels of harmful microscopic particulate matter known as PM 2.5, and of nitrogen dioxide, which is released by vehicles and power plants” according to CNN.
Furthermore, having so many people at home has allowed significant scientific advantages not possible in the normal buzz of life. Seismologists are finding it much easier to predict earthquakes around the world.
“Normally we wouldn’t pick up a 5.5 [magnitude earthquake] from the other side of the world, because it would be too noisy, but with less noise, our instrument is now able to pick up 5.5’s with much nicer signals during the day,” stated Paula Koelemeijer in an interview for The Atlantic.
This pandemic has led to new scientific advances that were never thought to be possible. With the rapid nature of the disease, scientists across the globe have been working out a vaccine for coronavirus in record time.
“An ever-growing table put together by the World Health Organization now lists 52 other vaccine candidates that could soon follow,” according to Science Mag.
Although the vaccine will not be available for a while, the innovative way in which the entire globe is researching and coming together to fight this pandemic is truly monumental for mankind.
Additionally, less traffic on the road has correlated with a decrease in traffic accidents. According to The Los Angeles Times, predictions in California estimate a “roughly 50% decline in collisions on roadways policed by California Highway Patrol.” This would mean “‘about 15,000 fewer collisions per month and 6,000 fewer injury accidents per month.”
Another area of positivity in today’s crazy world is from John Krasinski, an actor best known for his role as Jim from The Office. Krasinski recently formed a YouTube channel titled “Some Good News” in which he reports solely good news once a week based on what his fans share with him on Twitter.
In his first two episodes, he brought to light many instances of communities coming together mixed in with some heartwarming Zoom calls.
Some news he shared includes a trend around the world to applaud for the healthcare workers, the obsession with making masks to deliver to healthcare workers, the idea to give necessary goods such as toilet paper to essential workers and the many companies that are converting factories for the usage of making necessary supplies. Current and future episodes can be found on somegoodnews.com.
Even though there is so much uncertainty and negativity surrounding coronavirus, there are so many positive changes that have come about because of it as well. Scientists are making huge strides, and communities are coming together. While this time may be difficult, it’s important to recognize that it isn’t all for the worst and to realize that we are living history in so many aspects.