Hidden Benefits of COVID


As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to add restrictions on our lives, our society has had to take on a new outlook on life. This may seem difficult, as positive cases and hospitalizations cloud the news and fog our brains with the dangers of the virus. While these are serious issues, it is always important to take on a new perspective and search for the few, but very impactful, hidden positive outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the pandemic, one of the most noticeable changes to society was the way we entertain ourselves. Going to a movie theater with friends has turned into watching Netflix alone. Eating at restaurants was replaced with ordering food in or cooking for yourself. We crave social interaction and entertainment, but recently it has been much harder to find. In response to this, singers and celebrities did social media live streams in the spring and summer to maintain relevance and provide entertainment to millions of bored Americans. While this was sufficient for the time being, there is a new way many performers are dodging the restrictions and performing in front of live audiences. Drive-in concerts are making a comeback from the 1950s as a way to provide in-person entertainment instead of being at home glued to technology. Artists like Blake Shelton, Quinn XCII and Nelly have performed at drive-in concerts, and they are only gaining popularity. Spectators purchase one ticket per car and park in the corresponding parking spot. People then open the trunks of their cars or sit on the roofs and can either see and hear the performer on stage, or use a provided radio to listen if they are far away. 

Although this is much different than a traditional concert, there are actually some aspects of drive-in concerts that are more admirable. For instance, they are generally much cheaper because you only have to buy one ticket per car instead of a ticket for every individual. Most venues cap the amount at six people per car, which is a better deal than buying a ticket for yourself at a traditional concert. Besides being more expensive, the main downfall of a normal concert is the huge crowds of people, sometimes even resulting in a scary mosh pit. Because everyone is in their cars and are socially distanced from others, this is not a concern. It allows you to enjoy the music and atmosphere while interacting with less people. A drive-in concert is the perfect excuse to get out of the house and enjoy live entertainment in a safe and inexpensive way. 

A positive outcome of the virus that’s even more obvious than new ways of entertainment are the medical advancements. The pandemic has forced health care professionals to think more uniquely about their protocols, like introducing more telehealth. Prior to the coronavirus, it was normal to physically go into the doctor’s office if you were sick or had a concern, but this has drastically changed. To take some stress off of the doctors and decrease foot traffic in offices, many doctors’ offices have turned to telehealth. They use technology like webcams and computers to meet with patients remotely. It really is a concept of the future; getting diagnosed with a sickness and then prescribed medicine virtually is an advanced idea to grasp. By talking to your doctor virtually about minor sicknesses, it lessens the need to come into the office and therefore saves you time and resources. Having a virtual doctor’s appointment won’t always be an option, but it is the preferable choice to many. 

Something most people don’t connect the pandemic to is the environment. While the coronavirus has many negative effects on the planet, like littering masks, lots of animals are seeing benefits. Because tourism has decreased tremendously, humans are finally leaving animals alone. We aren’t going into animals’ habitats and disturbing them, instead we are letting them be. There have been so many exciting outcomes of this, like in Albania where pink flamingos are thriving in lagoons and have increased in numbers by a third. Advancements are being made and research is being conducted, like in Ecuador. In the Galápagos’ Marine Reserve, biologists are researching whether a decline in tourism causes shyer fish species to act bolder. If so, this could change the entire ecosystem and food chain, an outcome of the pandemic not many have predicted. While many Americans miss travelling, the decline in tourism is helping the environment and animals in ways we could have never imagined.

Instead of sitting back and focusing on the negative effects of the coronavirus, we must acquire a new perspective and appreciate the beneficial outcomes or even create new ones ourselves. It seems as if talk of the pandemic won’t ever stop, but it’s encouraging to know that the effects of it aren’t all harmful.