By Guest Blogger: Jessica Slager
There have been lots of negatives surrounding the COVID-19 experience, and for good reason; let’s take a moment to look back on the positive things that have come out of it. Bring on the lemonade!
Images released by the European Space Agency show changes in density of harmful gases in our atmosphere. This is measured by how much fossil fuel is burned or released. Nitrogen dioxide and other partial matter have shown a significant reduction. Paris, Madrid, and Milan, for example, have a viable reduction in these gases as compared to the same time last year. This is based on satellite images from the ESA, which is responsible for monitoring Earth observation satellites in conjunction with other agencies. Citizens of India are seeing the Himalayan mountain range on the horizon for the first time in some of their life times. The view has been hidden by pollution possibly for over 30 years. Locals in Venice are saying they are seeing colorful plant life, fish, small crabs, and other wildlife that they have not seen in a long time due to the reduction of boat traffic. With the reduction of boats there is less water pollution but also there is not the churning of the thick mud that is in the bottom of the canals. In Vancouver they have spotted Whales in the fjord which have not been seen in decades according to the CBC (Canadian broadcasting corporation). These are just a few of the examples of how our earth is taking this time to heal.
There have also been some positives within family units, as well. According to Psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer, it "has provided a unique opportunity to reconnect, create memories, and evaluate priorities." She also goes on to explain that other benefits may include: children feeling more secure, parents being able to support each other, and families being strengthened as a whole. Parents are also being freed up to have more time to spend with their kids, as well as have more time to help kids learn life skills. Families are getting to do things as a unit that were often overlooked. These activities include: cooking together, having picnics, playing games, cards, walking the dog together, exploring nature, kitchen science experiments, and having time to read out loud with their kids.
People have stepped up to help others in extraordinary ways! Those with sewing skills have spent countless hours making masks and giving them away for free to help bridge the gap for our essential workers. Others have also made mask holders and headbands to hold the masks in place. Ford Motor Company announced it would partner with GE health and 3M to retool machines so they can make medical supplies like masks, respirators, and ventilators, according to Jim Hackett CEO. Steelcase Global in Grand Rapids MI helped design, prototype and build new products. According to Mllive, a company known for making office furniture, they are now making isolation masks, face shields, and other items needed by Michigan hospitals. Other businesses have also stepped forward to help with the needs of communities. Several distilleries have switched over to making hand sanitizer. Green Door Distilling Company in Kalamazoo is one that has been making hand sanitizer which you will find in use in our very own KAW office upon reopening.
There have also been some unique opportunities to keep busy while we are home. Some colleges are offering free courses. Google Arts and Culture has digital tours of more than 2000 museums and art galleries from around the world. There are 12 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings now offering virtual tours. Chef Massimo Bottura is offering cooking classes named “Kitchen Quarantine” that will be live streamed on Instagram! His social media handle is @massimobotta. Chef Alton Brown is also offering classes, along with several others. Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) is offering free online art and design classes. New York Times bestselling Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton is offering free online drawing lessons on Instagram. You can also live stream from zoos and aquariums from around the world, such as the live Jellyfish cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The National Parks are also offering free virtual tours, webcams, pictures and sound recordings for you to look through. Celebrities have been offering live concerts from their homes and reading favorite children's books. A quick internet search will bring up lots of free and fun activities for almost every interest and age level.
People have become heroes and have shown up in amazing ways during this time. Doctors, nurses and all health care staff have shown up to make sure healthcare continues. Truckers have shown up to make sure our food and supplies get delivered. Grocery store staff and food bank volunteers have shown up to make sure we have access to food. Donors and volunteers have shown up at blood drives to make sure we have continual access to a much needed blood supply. Farmers have shown up knowing how important their role is. The mail still gets delivered, along with supplies, because those workers have shown up. Teachers have continued to teach, checking in with students; even with the difficulties of not physically being in the classroom. They’ve switched to online classes and they continue to show up. Our own members have continued their membership dues and we have had over two-thousand dollars donated to our therapists in the form of tips from our clients and others who have shown up! There are so many to name, and this list is far from complete. When times are uncertain people show up to look after our welfare, even when it is, at times, considered risky. They are there to show that people can and will still come together to show each other support, even in a pandemic.
Nicholas Garman, LMT NSCA-CPT
|Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness||
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