THE coronavirus crisis has caused tragedy and created huge worries for people around the world. Here in Spain the State of Alarm restrictions have turned daily life and business on their heads, and led to what is proving to be a very difficult experience for everyone.
Yet even the very darkest of clouds have some silver linings, and now more than ever staying positive and looking for the good in what seems to be nothing but bad is vital for getting through it all.
With millions across the globe placed on lockdown, factories closed, much less traffic on the roads and flights grounded, there have been significant falls in air contamination and the emission of planet-warming gases in some areas.
With no tourists in Venice and few motorboats clogging the canals the water there is clear for the first time since pretty much anyone can remember.
Peace and quiet
The lack of traffic and the business shutdowns have also made the world a much less noisy place.
Criminals staying at home
The state of alarm restrictions plus the increased presence of the security forces on Spain’s streets is keeping criminals at home, with reports of massive drops in the number of arrests across the country.
The tremendous pressures of the Covid-19 crisis on the health service has given people in Spain and elsewhere in Europe a whole new level or respect for medical professionals. People are taking daily to their windows and balconies to applaud and cheer and express their appreciation of the tremendous work health staff are doing under dire circumstances.
Solidarity and community spirit
A crisis can bring out the very best in humanity, and the coronavirus emergency is no exception. People in villages, towns and cities across Spain are volunteering to help the elderly, the disabled and the vulnerable to ensure they get their daily necessities and medication without having to go out and risk contagion.
With national, regional and local authorities sending out the message that only by coming together and all doing our bit can we stop the spread of the coronavirus there is perhaps a new sense of putting regional divisions and political differences to one side and standing shoulder-to-shoulder to collectively win this battle against a common and invisible enemy.
An awful lot of unexpected enforced time gives space to be creative and try something like writing poetry, getting down to penning that novel you had an idea for, composing a song or having a go at sketching.
There is time too for getting stuck into the spring cleaning, sorting out cupboards and really putting the home in order.
Catching up on reading
Enforced confinement is a golden opportunity to read the complete works of Shakespeare or tackle Tolstoy’s mighty tome War and Peace.
Alternatively, there is also now the time and opportunity to buckle down and brush up on Spanish.
Hone up the cooking skills
The State of Alarm restrictions allow for stocking up at the supermarket, so there is nothing to stop people using their time indoors from getting creative in the kitchen or even actually learning how to cook something other than a microwaveable pizza.
At last the chance to binge watch the entire eight seasons of Game of Thrones!
Family quality time
Many families are having to spend a lot more time with each other than they normally would, maybe talking to each other more, sharing more feelings and building stronger relationships.
Working from home
Thanks to technology, a lot of people are able to do their jobs, or at least part of them from home. Some are saying this coronavirus experience could see businesses taking a fresh look at how they organise their staff and a different new norm, possibly allowing for greater work-personal life balance.
If we didn’t think about it before we certainly are well aware now of the importance of hygiene for all-round health.
Body and mind
If ever there was a time to focus on mental and physical well-being it is now, the lockdowns giving people a chance to pamper themselves, try working out at home or practise meditation.
Time to plan
The crisis will not last forever, and life will hopefully go back to something like normal in the not too distant future, and at least people can pause and think about what they want their futures to look like.
Not sweating the small stuff
A crisis of this magnitude most definitely puts everyday niggles into perspective.
A crisis can help us to find moments of happiness in small pleasures like sitting down with a cup of tea and the EWN crossword.
The simple things in life
When the coronavirus is finally defeated and we can come out of the confinement of our homes we are all going to appreciate in a way we never imagined the very simplest things in life. Just being able to walk in the countryside or stroll by the beach, enjoy a coffee with friends in a café or drop round to see family are going to seem like an absolute treat!