10 good things that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada
It’s difficult to see a potential silver lining from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic that’s been wreaking havoc around the world, and here in Canada. But amid the chaos and disaster, there have already been a few positives.
Here are some good things that have come out of COVID-19 in Canada that will hopefully stick once the pandemic is over.
The caremongering trend, which exploded over social media at the onset of the pandemic, started as a way to combat scaremongering and ended up inspiring Canadians from all over to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Thousands of Canadians started showing kindness in any way they could from giving out free toilet paper and delivering home-cooked meals to grabbing groceries for elderly neighbours. Canadian stores even joined in by adding extra opening hours exclusively for seniors to do their shopping.
For months on end during the pandemic, Canadians were taking to their balconies with pots and pans each evening to cheer on healthcare workers and show their appreciation.
Countless initiatives have also been popping up across Canada to show support and say thank you to those who are selflessly working on the frontlines during the global health crisis. Restaurants in cities across Canada have been diligently delivering free meals to hospitals and hotels have been offering free rooms to healthcare staff.
The small businesses that give Canadian cities and neighbourhoods so much of their unique character have been greatly threatened by the lockdown and many have already had to shutter their doors due to the hard economic times.
This has meant, however, that as Canadians, we are all much more aware of where we're shopping. Whether we're grabbing dinner or on the hunt for some summer attire, more of us are buying local whenever possible to keep our favourite small businesses around.
During the pandemic, many cities in Canada have been reducing traffic lanes and closing off portions of roadways for biking and walking.
Some advocates have already been calling for this to continue past the summer. Ideally, these changes, which will help to promote more Canadians to switch to active transportation and move toward a greener world, will be around for the long haul.
A time of physical distancing measures and stay-at-home orders could seemingly cause our social relationships to suffer, though it seems as if we've been able to reconnect and prioritize those closest to us despite the obstacles.
Social circle rules across Canada are prompting people to keep their groups small, encouraging us to spend more time with our closest friends and family, while Zoom work calls have shown people a much more personal side of their coworkers.
As the number of people working from home has increased, communities across Canada entered into lockdown and physical distancing became a must, getting outside — whether for a short walk, jog or sit in the park — seemed to gain in popularity. It feels like years since we've all enjoyed nature this much.
And since international travel has been out of the question for the past four months, local travel is on the rise. Instead of booking a flight overseas, we're rediscovering the beauty of our own backyard by visiting nearby provincial parks and trails.
Being stuck indoors has meant that many of us have finally been able to slow down and take some work and societal pressure off of ourselves. And things may continue to change for the better as people are calling for a four-day work week in Canada. A municipality in Nova Scotia is already giving it a shot.
Though social inequities have always existed in communities across Canada, the pandemic has been forcing people to finally pay attention as more homeless individuals are pushed into encampments to avoid shelters.
Small steps forward are being taken, Montreal is replacing benches that stigmatize homeless individuals and many other cities have also been installing temporary washroom and handwashing facilities for the homeless.
Satellite data shows that some of the most polluted cities in Canada have seen dramatic improvements in air quality since social distancing regulations were implemented back in March. This has been linked to fewer motorists commuting to work and office and factory closures.
Of course, this change in air quality could quickly reverse as cities across Canada begin to reopen and only time will tell if policies will be put in place to keep these positive changes once the pandemic is over.
Now more than ever, Canadians are recognizing the importance of public health and disease surveillance and research. The Government of Canada has been investing millions of dollars in COVID-19 research and this global health crisis will hopefully mean that more people will push for more public health funding going forward.
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