6 Ways we are looking at the corona pandemic from a positive perspective

Majdi Habash

[3-minute read]

What's the positive side of the COVID-19 outbreak?

It’s very hard to stop everything, with no previous warning. The world feels like it’s flipped upside down. But maybe that’s also a good thing. Maybe the way things were needed to change. It’s a difficult and scary time for many. So many have lost loved ones. Many are sick. Many don’t have food or even shelter.  

We also remember many of our partner artisans who can only sustain by the selling of their crafts. Now with this closure it means that they have less of a chance to sustain their livelihoods. Nevertheless, one can decide to either live in the past or get charged with some positive thinking and look ahead. So here are 6 ways it’s been positive in my life positively:

a family working on their rooftop garden in ramallah

Family and Community

It has given many of us the chance to spend time with family or friends that we haven’t spent in years. My family and I barely sit and enjoy time together, even on holidays. And for Morgan she’s also having a great time. Although it was hard at the beginning, she and Saleh are now  using this as an opportunity to refocus and spend time gardening and growing their own food

Once again, our Palestinian community is collective, to us family comes first. So these times reminded me of when we lived for 3 straight months prohibited from going out during the 2nd intifada in 2002. These were times that I will never in my life forget. They were hard times. But I remember until today - and this quarantine helped me think about  - how family bonds grew stronger, neighbors and friends were standing shoulder to shoulder, one hand against all odds.

Whenever family is around, food must be too!

If you know me. You’ll know I’m a Falafel addict. We are cooking recipes that we haven’t in years. Last night, I opened the fridge, and, wow,  homemade falafel dough. OMG! It was like someone had given me a million dollars. Funny thing though, the recipe wasn't prepared according to tradition and we weren’t able to fry the falafel. But we cooked on the stove and it worked just fine. If you’d like a falafel recipe, check out Palestine in a Dish. So many of us stopped cooking at home. We don’t have time for it, we didn’t really learn to cook, we just don’t prioritize it. These days those of us with the privilege to access ingredients are learning to nourish ourselves and eat well again.

falafel in a bowl - falafel recipes as appeared on palestine in a dish blog

photo courtesy of palestineinadish.com

Spending more time in the kitchen? Check out these charming hand carved olive wood kitchen utensils by artisans from Bethlehem.

Farming and Security

A lot of people in my town are talking about initiatives to plant their gardens, or the rooftops of their buildings. We are experiencing food insecurity, the world around, these days and taking to hear the need to be food secure. Municipalities are sending out calls for applications asking people who have lands they can plant, to submit applications to be given facilitation for that. For me, tomorrow I’m going with friends to clean out a spot that we will plant soon. I’ve been talking about the importance of food sovereignty for 2 years now, and finally the time has come for me to act on it.

ubran farmer in back - lettuce and strawberry

photo courtesy of La Vie Cafe FB page

Heal the environment

We are reading in the news about the many positive effects tha closures due to the pandemic has had on the reduction of air pollution, biodiversity, water health and more. According to The Guardian one expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest scale experiment ever” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.

Silence your mind

I think it was about time for the world to take a break from the rat race. Am I right? Two years ago, I went to a mediation camp for 10 days, where I was in complete silence for 10 straight  days. I’ve been craving this again recently, and I guess this moment in history has given me that opportunity in a way. ِAnd I hope that everyone gets the time to get back their balance, focus, rethink what is actually important, and what is normal. I realize that this is a privilege and not all people can do this. So for those of us who can, embrace it.

Meditator on the mat with a cat beside her

In the photo also yoga mat strap by Sarab

Learn new skills

This is the perfect time to watch all of the courses that you’ve been wanting to take online. For myself, I’m taking a course in how to train my dog, vocal lessons, and I joined an online community which hosts a guest speaker every night to talk about various topics relating to business and marketing. In case you didn’t get the links, a lot of universities opened several of their courses for free for the next 45 days or so. Isn’t that amazing?

 

What about you? How are you making benefit of this time? Any other positive ways you are looking at it too? Share with us in the comments or share it with your friends on social media. 



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