It’s important to stress that the COVID-19 pandemic is an awful and ongoing crisis, with over 452,000 deaths in the UK alone. However, despite this, there have been some surprising silver linings from the six months since lockdown began.
For many, COVID-19 has changed us in some unexpected ways. Most surprisingly of all, some of us may have even changed for the better. New hobbies, improved relationships within families; even the way we all socialise have all be affected by the pandemic.
The initial lockdown months spent mostly inside our homes have led to many finding new ways to entertain themselves. Aside from the wasted hours spent scrolling through TikTok’s ‘For You Page’, social distancing limitations allowed for the opportunity to try something completely new. For example, being someone whose idea of hell was school sports day, I thought I would give running a go. I’m currently on week seven of the Couch-to-5K programme and, surprisingly, I’m actually quite enjoying it. That being said, I did get about halfway through knitting a scarf before that endeavor became boring, so I’m definitely not immune to abandoning new hobbies.
Likewise, many of my friends picked up baking, painting, writing and upcycling old clothes; one of my friends even started a YouTube channel. It seems that one small silver lining of the COVID-19 lockdown was that we all had a chance to take a break from our usually hectic lives and engage with our more creative sides.
Another unexpected positive to come out of lockdown was that some of us had the chance to spend considerably more time at home with our families. Initially, it was strange being home for such a long period of time, especially having been used to living away at uni and being much more independent. However, my family and I made a deliberate effort to have fun, despite the underlying situation being completely rubbish.
At home I live with my mum and brother, and for the duration of lockdown my brother’s girlfriend and the four of us decided to host the.med nights. First up was my brother’s twenty-first birthday. We all dressed up in posh clothes and had a fancy dinner. We also had an end of year party complete with beer pong for when I finished my first year assessments.
Since then we’ve had a ‘mini-Christmas’, a 70s themed night, and most recently, a musicals themed night. We all dressed up as characters from musicals (I was Veronica Sawyer from Heathers) and spent an evening listening to my extensive musicals playlist while eating food which we’d given musical pun names (my favourite being chips named ‘Look into his Angel Fries’ like the song from Mamma Mia 2).
To be honest, I never planned to celebrate the end of my first year of uni by getting drunk at home with my family, and I doubt that’s how my brother planned to spend his twenty-first, but it was fun and I would definitely recommend a themed night in if we have to go back into some form of lockdown again.
In the height of lockdown even the way that we socialised changed beyond recognition. The friends we would usually find ourselves with in Rubix became pixels on FaceTime calls, some even in different countries. Despite this, it is brilliant that we were all able to use the technology we had available to us to continue our ‘normal’ lives as closely as possible. It seems that this made us appreciate our friends more when we did get to see them.
Also, as President of LitSoc I hosted a number of virtual socials and games nights, in an attempt to keep the society running even through the pandemic, as a lot of people missed their friends and the opportunity to socialise more than ever.
Ultimately, although the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll across the country, there have been some silver linings and it has changed some of us in ways we couldn’t have imagined and has shown just how able humans are able to adapt. This being said, I’m sure most of us are still looking forward to our ‘normal’ lives resuming at some point in the future, that is if we don’t go into lockdown. Again.