Op/Ed

Editorial: Silver linings of the pandemic

The weight of fear has largely lifted. The lightness of feeling more secure in the face of this pandemic is prompting introspection of the changes forced upon us and of the benefits found. What many are finding is that the hectic pace of life demanded by our social structure and mores is not ideal. That slowing down, not working so hard at multiple jobs, and spending more quiet time with family at home has great merit. 
In her Clippings column this week, Faith Gong writes of the happiness she and her family have found during the five weeks of adopted isolation. What started out as a restrictive, uneasy imposition turned into something totally unexpected — a life in which the simple moments mattered more than ever before. Watching four siblings, who without other friends able to come over, make tighter bonds with each other and skip hand-in-hand down a dirt road provided unexpected joy. Taking walks as a family, reading books together and even that extra chapter later into the night because the next day’s meetings were no longer as pressing, also provided moments of relaxation and calm togetherness that beforehand had been rare or nonexistent. 
Franci Caccavo, at Olivia’s Croutons in nearby Forest Dale, noticed something similar when she launched a fun initiative in which her company used an abundance of flour to put together little “bread kits.” The kits consisted of the ingredients to bake bread in a small bag, into which she tucked a note suggesting it was easy to bake “a loaf of bread at home and (it’s) a great project to do with your kids” and made a great math, science and home economics lesson. 
Reflecting on these unprecedented times, Caccavo said she hoped people were going “to come out of this with some new direction in our lives. This is an opportunity to see really what’s important. We were going so fast in so many directions…I’m anxious for the economy to come back, but I hope we can learn a balance between work and family and activities. I hope we can learn from this.”
It seems as if many have. The silver linings of the pandemic — while trying, stressful and challenging for many — have become the talk of the town. People are making social distancing work; they are figuring out new ways to be together, to work, to play, to enjoy life. Not that area residents want to live a life that is socially restrictive and economically challenged, but that there is value — before we rush back into business as usual — to reassessing how we define happiness and success and fun. Will we seize that moment?
Angelo Lynn

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