Quarantine Silver Linings

by | Mar 23, 2020

May you live in interesting times

-A purported Chinese curse*

Few things in life are 100% good or 100% bad. With respect to social distancing and quarantine are there any silver linings? Yes!

1. Time with family

As a friend texted me a few days ago: “one nice thing – I’ve eaten 3 meals a day with my family all week. At the table. Cloth napkins. Turns out, they’re lovely people.”

I have heard of families playing board games, doing puzzles and sitting next to each other with their computers as they work remotely. This tweet sums this concept up well:


2. We’ll Appreciate Teachers More

What teachers do is really hard and they are probably under-appreciated. Anyone having to teach their kids while they are quarantined from school has to appreciate what teachers do each day.

This is nicely summed up by Israeli mom Shiri Koenigsberg Levy as part of her rant which has gone viral: “Now our kids will find out how dumb we are!” she says. “It’s only the second day. If we don’t die of the coronavirus, we’ll die of distance learning. Have a wonderful day!”

3. Appreciation of Essential Workers

I saw a tweet a few days ago that said: “I bet grocery store workers didn’t realize they could be drafted to the front lines to battle a pandemic.” What would we do without grocery store workers?

Similarly, a relative is a delivery driver for Jimmy Johns and is considered an “essential worker” in terms of the St. Louis shelter-in-place order (unlike me, who is non-essential). She delivers food every day to health care workers at hospitals and people quarantining.

We should all appreciate that our modern civilization runs due to supply chain workers, delivery drivers, clerks, cashiers, postal workers, etc. etc. etc. Hopefully, this pandemic will lead to more respect and pay for these essential people.

How about all the doctors, nurses and health workers on the front-line of this virus? Amazing, selfless people.

4. It’s Good for the Earth

The reduction in human activity due to social distancing seems to be good for the environment and might provide insight into how we might reduce pollution in the future. “Canal water in Venice has cleared up without boat traffic. Air pollution in China has plunged amid unprecedented lockdowns. In Thailand and Japan, mobs of monkeys and deer are roaming streets now devoid of tourists.” Source.

NASA’s Earth Observatory pollution satellites show “significant decreases” in air pollution over China since the coronavirus outbreak began. Source: NASA

5. Pets are Happier

I’ve heard of dogs excited to have their owners home all day. Walks and tummy rubs in the middle of the day! (I’ve not heard of any cats happier to have their owners home. LOL)

6. We Can Slow Down Life

There is more to life than increasing its speed


With so much canceled, our calendars have cleared up. It might be a good idea to embrace this temporary reduction in the pace of our lives to just “be.”

7. We Can Wear PJs All Day

Those of us working at home or not working at all can skip shaving, primping and dressing up. Here’s a popular meme :


BTW: we typically wear the same set of PJs for too long. “Men wait an average of 13 days to change their jammies, and women wait a stunning 17 days on average.” Source. We should be changing into fresh PJs every day or at least every few days.

*”May you live in interesting times” is not really Chinese — it is a 20th-century Western saying that is passed off as Chinese. Read more here.


  1. The Verizon CEO was on CNBC and mentioned that their network is seeing 800 million calls per day. He contrasted that with their normally busiest day of the year, Mother’s Day, where they get 400 million calls per day. He added that calls are 33% longer. Maybe another silver lining is that a portion of this increase could be attributed to us talking to those in our family and social orbits more?

  2. At the start of social distancing, my eight year old, said “well, the good thing is that if people stay home there will be fewer cars on the road and less pollution, so that should help our environment.” Somehow, I produced a glass-half-full person and a great human being.


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