Many of us were completely blindsided by the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic back in March 2020. And while it has taken some time to acclimate to a world with COVID-19, we’ve risen to the occasion beautifully and have not been afraid to embrace change. Here are just a few of the ways we’ve adapted that will shape our world for years to come.
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Our homes are more important than ever.
Dorothy Gale knew there was no place like home, but it’s taken a world health crisis to secure that ideology in the rest of us. Although stay-at-home restrictions are lifted in much of the country, many of us are still sticking close to home.
According to Forbes, we are now spending more time at our home address than anywhere else. We are working, playing, exercising, and even enjoying new hobbies under our own roofs. We have found creative ways to utilize our outdoor spaces, and, chances are, will continue to feel safer at home than anywhere else. And a bonus: Family bonds are strengthening as we learn to live in close quarters 100% of the time.
The real estate market is uncertain.
Despite the new emphasis on being at home, selling during the outbreak presents many challenges. Despite people wanting more space where they can live, love, and labor, home sales have slowed slightly, and many sellers are finding it more difficult to move single-family homes.
Fortunately, the real estate world has reacted swiftly, and virtual tours and exceptional photography have become the norm instead of the exception. Those who spent time and money sprucing up their homes during lockdown – by painting, making repairs, etc. – maybe even set themselves up for a higher selling price once things go back to normal.
We explored new careers
The pandemic has made work life difficult for many Americans, whether they’ve lost their job or have been forced to work from home. But COVID-19 has also made many workers reevaluate their careers and realize that working from home is a realistic option. Not only are people finding work through at-home opportunities, but many are choosing to improve their career prospects and boost their resumes by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree online. Enlisting career counseling services, which can be found via online freelance platforms, can also be valuable when deciding which career path to take.
We realized the need for self-care.
Spending more time at home makes it difficult to socialize and to get out and do things we love. This has caused mental health concerns for many Americans who are experiencing mental health upsets directly related to the virus. Realizing this, many Americans have finally begun to stress self-care for themselves and their families. From virtual happy hours with friends to practicing yoga to learning to say “no” as restrictions lift, we finally appreciate the value of taking care of ourselves.
Love looks like a puppy.
One surprising and very welcome side effect of the pandemic is that animal shelters are emptying. As people spend more time at home — many of them alone — dogs and cats are becoming a hot commodity. In cities across the country, animal shelter cages are empty, and more families are adding four paws to their family photos.
This makes sense as animals have always been our most faithful companions. Pedigree Foundation explains that adopting a shelter or rescue pet instead of buying from a pet store is a smart move for many reasons. A few of these include lower costs and helping a community organization. But perhaps the biggest benefit of having an animal, no matter how they were acquired, is that they provide constant companionship, unconditional love, and stress relief.
Social distancing guidelines have put us all in a weird state of mind. At the same time, we’re making the most of it. Regardless of how you have adapted on a personal level, some of the more widespread lifestyle changes, such as those above, are likely to stick around long after the pandemic becomes just another chapter in our history books.