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Seven positive outcomes of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had undeniable and horrific consequences on people’s lives and the economy. With sickness, death and unemployment rates soaring almost everywhere on our planet, it is easy to despair.

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Notwithstanding the gruesomeness of this situation, there are some outcomes that could have a long-term positive impact on the planet and humanity.

1. The Environment

The first positive aspect of COVID-19 is the effect on the environment .  Carbon emissions are down globally and with manufacturing and air travel grinding to a halt, the planet has had a chance to rejuvenate.

China recorded an 85 per cent increase in days with good air quality in 337 cities between January and March. With tourists gone from Italy, the long-polluted canals of Venice now appear clear as fish and other wildlife start returning. Elsewhere, wildlife is also reappearing in other major cities and the biodiversity is slowly starting to return in various parts of the world.

The coronavirus is also raising hopes of fewer battles and less conflict, resulting in increased levels of peace. The United Nations called to end all wars in the face of COVID-19 as the world confronts a common enemy: “It’s time to put armed conflict on lockdown,” stated Secretary-General António Guterres.

So many businesses have had to reinvent themselves with a new 'business as unusual' philosophy.

And according to the ABC, a ceasefire was declared by the Saudis fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Although there are many places in the Middle East where war persists, a stronger lockdown could lead to less violence in these countries too.

3. Connectedness

A third positive outcome is a rejuvenated sense of community and social cohesion. Self-isolation challenges us as social animals who desire relationships, contact and interaction with other humans.

However, people all around the world are finding new ways to address the need for interconnectedness.  In Italy, one of the worst-hit countries, people are joining their instruments and voices to create music from their balconies . People are leading street dance parties while maintaining social distancing.

People are using social media platforms to connect, such as the Facebook group The Kindness Pandemic , with hundreds of daily posts. There is a huge wave of formal and informal volunteering where people use their skills and abilities to help.

4. Innovation

COVID-19 is a major market disruptor that has led to unprecedent levels of innovation. Due to the lockdown, so many businesses have had to reinvent themselves with a new 'business as unusual' philosophy.

This includes cafes turning into takeaway venues (some of which also now sell milk or face masks) and gin distilleries now making hand sanitisers .

Many businesses have had to undergo rapid digitalisation and offer their services online. Some could use this wave of innovation to reimagine their business model and change or grow their market.

5. Corporate Responsibility

Coronavirus is driving a new wave of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The global pandemic has become a litmus test for how seriously companies are taking their CSR and their work with key stakeholders: the community, employees, consumers and the environment.

Home-schooling is becoming the new way of learning, exposing many parents to what their children know and do.

Companies are donating money, food and medical equipment to support people affected by the coronavirus. Others are giving to healthcare workers, including  free coffee at McDonald’s Australia and millions of masks from  Johnson & Johnson .

Many are supporting their customers, from Woolworths introducing an exclusive shopping hour for seniors and people with disabilities to Optus giving free mobile data so its subscribers can continue to connect.

6. Reimagined Education

The sixth positive outcome is massive transformation in education. True, most of it was not by choice. With schools closing down all around the world, many teachers are digitalising the classroom , offering online education, educational games and tasks and self-led learning.

Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal

Silver linings amid the suffering: Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal believes a new found sense of gratitude for freedoms we take for granted and a global trend in thanking health workers who are at the frontline are among the positives to come out of the crisis.

We are globally involved in one of the largest-scale experiments in changing education at all levels. Home-schooling is becoming the new way of learning, exposing many parents to what their children know and do.

Similarly, universities are leading remote learning and use state-of-the-art solutions to keep students engaged. Some universities are using augmented and virtual reality to provide near real-life experiences for galvanising students’ curiosity, engagement and commitment and for preparing students for the workplace.

7. Gratitude

Finally, the seventh gift that COVID-19 is giving us is a new sense of appreciation and gratefulness . It has offered us a new perspective on everything we have taken for granted for so long – our freedoms, leisure, connections, work, family and friends. We have never questioned how life as we know it could be suddenly taken away from us.

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Hopefully, when this crisis is over, we will exhibit new levels of gratitude . We have also learned to value and thank health workers who are at the frontline of this crisis, risking their lives everyday by just showing up to their vital work. This sense of gratefulness can also help us develop our resilience and overcome the crisis in the long-term.

  • Will a vaccine really solve our COVID-19 woes?
  • How Sydney has coped with pandemics in the past

All of these positive aspects come at a great price of death, sickness and a depressed global economy. As heartbreaking and frightening as this crisis is, its positive outcomes can be gifts we should not overlook. If we ignore them, all of this becomes meaningless.

It will be up to us to change ourselves and our system to continue with the positive environmental impact, peace, connectedness, innovation, corporate responsibility, reimagined education and gratitude. This crisis will end. We will meet again. We can do so as better human beings.

Debbie Haski-Leventhal is a Professor of Management at the Macquarie Business School. She is a TED speaker and the author of Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Tools and Theories for Responsible Management and The Purpose-Driven University .

Recommended Reading

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

How to Write About Coronavirus in a College Essay

Students can share how they navigated life during the coronavirus pandemic in a full-length essay or an optional supplement.

Writing About COVID-19 in College Essays

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Experts say students should be honest and not limit themselves to merely their experiences with the pandemic.

The global impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, means colleges and prospective students alike are in for an admissions cycle like no other. Both face unprecedented challenges and questions as they grapple with their respective futures amid the ongoing fallout of the pandemic.

Colleges must examine applicants without the aid of standardized test scores for many – a factor that prompted many schools to go test-optional for now . Even grades, a significant component of a college application, may be hard to interpret with some high schools adopting pass-fail classes last spring due to the pandemic. Major college admissions factors are suddenly skewed.

"I can't help but think other (admissions) factors are going to matter more," says Ethan Sawyer, founder of the College Essay Guy, a website that offers free and paid essay-writing resources.

College essays and letters of recommendation , Sawyer says, are likely to carry more weight than ever in this admissions cycle. And many essays will likely focus on how the pandemic shaped students' lives throughout an often tumultuous 2020.

But before writing a college essay focused on the coronavirus, students should explore whether it's the best topic for them.

Writing About COVID-19 for a College Application

Much of daily life has been colored by the coronavirus. Virtual learning is the norm at many colleges and high schools, many extracurriculars have vanished and social lives have stalled for students complying with measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"For some young people, the pandemic took away what they envisioned as their senior year," says Robert Alexander, dean of admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at the University of Rochester in New York. "Maybe that's a spot on a varsity athletic team or the lead role in the fall play. And it's OK for them to mourn what should have been and what they feel like they lost, but more important is how are they making the most of the opportunities they do have?"

That question, Alexander says, is what colleges want answered if students choose to address COVID-19 in their college essay.

But the question of whether a student should write about the coronavirus is tricky. The answer depends largely on the student.

"In general, I don't think students should write about COVID-19 in their main personal statement for their application," Robin Miller, master college admissions counselor at IvyWise, a college counseling company, wrote in an email.

"Certainly, there may be exceptions to this based on a student's individual experience, but since the personal essay is the main place in the application where the student can really allow their voice to be heard and share insight into who they are as an individual, there are likely many other topics they can choose to write about that are more distinctive and unique than COVID-19," Miller says.

Opinions among admissions experts vary on whether to write about the likely popular topic of the pandemic.

"If your essay communicates something positive, unique, and compelling about you in an interesting and eloquent way, go for it," Carolyn Pippen, principal college admissions counselor at IvyWise, wrote in an email. She adds that students shouldn't be dissuaded from writing about a topic merely because it's common, noting that "topics are bound to repeat, no matter how hard we try to avoid it."

Above all, she urges honesty.

"If your experience within the context of the pandemic has been truly unique, then write about that experience, and the standing out will take care of itself," Pippen says. "If your experience has been generally the same as most other students in your context, then trying to find a unique angle can easily cross the line into exploiting a tragedy, or at least appearing as though you have."

But focusing entirely on the pandemic can limit a student to a single story and narrow who they are in an application, Sawyer says. "There are so many wonderful possibilities for what you can say about yourself outside of your experience within the pandemic."

He notes that passions, strengths, career interests and personal identity are among the multitude of essay topic options available to applicants and encourages them to probe their values to help determine the topic that matters most to them – and write about it.

That doesn't mean the pandemic experience has to be ignored if applicants feel the need to write about it.

Writing About Coronavirus in Main and Supplemental Essays

Students can choose to write a full-length college essay on the coronavirus or summarize their experience in a shorter form.

To help students explain how the pandemic affected them, The Common App has added an optional section to address this topic. Applicants have 250 words to describe their pandemic experience and the personal and academic impact of COVID-19.

"That's not a trick question, and there's no right or wrong answer," Alexander says. Colleges want to know, he adds, how students navigated the pandemic, how they prioritized their time, what responsibilities they took on and what they learned along the way.

If students can distill all of the above information into 250 words, there's likely no need to write about it in a full-length college essay, experts say. And applicants whose lives were not heavily altered by the pandemic may even choose to skip the optional COVID-19 question.

"This space is best used to discuss hardship and/or significant challenges that the student and/or the student's family experienced as a result of COVID-19 and how they have responded to those difficulties," Miller notes. Using the section to acknowledge a lack of impact, she adds, "could be perceived as trite and lacking insight, despite the good intentions of the applicant."

To guard against this lack of awareness, Sawyer encourages students to tap someone they trust to review their writing , whether it's the 250-word Common App response or the full-length essay.

Experts tend to agree that the short-form approach to this as an essay topic works better, but there are exceptions. And if a student does have a coronavirus story that he or she feels must be told, Alexander encourages the writer to be authentic in the essay.

"My advice for an essay about COVID-19 is the same as my advice about an essay for any topic – and that is, don't write what you think we want to read or hear," Alexander says. "Write what really changed you and that story that now is yours and yours alone to tell."

Sawyer urges students to ask themselves, "What's the sentence that only I can write?" He also encourages students to remember that the pandemic is only a chapter of their lives and not the whole book.

Miller, who cautions against writing a full-length essay on the coronavirus, says that if students choose to do so they should have a conversation with their high school counselor about whether that's the right move. And if students choose to proceed with COVID-19 as a topic, she says they need to be clear, detailed and insightful about what they learned and how they adapted along the way.

"Approaching the essay in this manner will provide important balance while demonstrating personal growth and vulnerability," Miller says.

Pippen encourages students to remember that they are in an unprecedented time for college admissions.

"It is important to keep in mind with all of these (admission) factors that no colleges have ever had to consider them this way in the selection process, if at all," Pippen says. "They have had very little time to calibrate their evaluations of different application components within their offices, let alone across institutions. This means that colleges will all be handling the admissions process a little bit differently, and their approaches may even evolve over the course of the admissions cycle."

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The global outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly taken an overwhelming toll on everyone. People have lost their jobs, their homes, and even their lives. There is no getting past the fact that the overall impact on the world has been negative, but it is important to realize that positive aspects of the pandemic have been overshadowed by the many negative ones. In an attempt to slow the spread of the disease, many governments made the decision to implement lockdowns, forcing billions to work and take classes from home, in many cases for the first times in their lives. Not only have these lockdowns altered the way that people work and go to school, but they have altered the mental health of everyone and the environmental health of the world around us.

Connection to STS Theory

The positive impacts of technology during the pandemic stems from the Modernization Theory, posing that there is a relationship between societal and technological advancements as societies shift to become updated as opposed to traditional. Technology has brought about lots of resistance to COVID that would not have been possible without the drastic advancements in science over the years. Thanks to these advancements, relationships can stay connected, students can continue to learn, jobs can stay open, and the environment can subtly improve. Our modernized world is well enough suited to take on the troubling times that COVID-19 has brought along.

Technology with School – Relates to College Students

Remote learning has allowed each of us to learn from the comfort of our homes. Working remotely has also allowed us to work from our living rooms. The perks of both are not having to wake up early to drive to work in the mornings, not having to sit at an office desk for eight hours a day, and not having to walk to class. Working remotely and remote learning has also been a time saver for many individuals.

According to Business Insider, there are a few tips that will help students be successful while being virtual. One tip is to clean your workspace. It is important to have a space, just like you would at a desk in a classroom, to ensure that you are paying attention to the professor. It is always important to engage with your professor. It is important to contact your professor outside of the class section to ensure that you are retaining the information. Another tip that the Business Insider recommends is to connect with your classmates. It is vital to build connections with your classmates that will help everyone have a comfortable environment to ask questions.

Personal Growth

In March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak hit the United States. College students were forced to leave their beloved campuses and go home to finish their semesters online. For some, it meant their schoolwork load was lightened and they could sleep until noon. For others, it meant their plans of graduating and having a job for the summer were in jeopardy. Regardless of their situation, one thing was likely the same for all: lots of time alone. Students found things to do to pass the time. Some learned to cook, some started exercising at home, and others had more time to do what they already loved.

Ethan, a student at the University of South Carolina, used the time to start lifting weights in his home gym. In the United States, sales of home gym equipment doubled, reaching nearly $2.4 Billion in revenue. Store shelves were entirely sold out of exercise equipment. Many students like Ethan report that exercising was one of the biggest changes they made during COVID lockdown.

Other students, such as Cam, found an opportunity to get in a better place mentally. “I learned not to take things for granted. My relationship with my family has gotten better. I’m a much stronger person,” the Clemson student reported. Grayson, an athlete at Winthrop University, reported that it made him have a more positive outlook on being by himself. A student that elected to remain anonymous was just happy they could wake up later and not have to brush their teeth as much because of masks. Whether a dentist would approve of that habit or not, an improvement in mental health is a win in anyone’s book.

A select few students decided to challenge themselves in a world where all odds are stacked against them.  Dean, a freshman at the University of South Carolina, decided to start his own bracelet and T-Shirt business in a time when small businesses all over the country were facing a grave threat of going out of business. All the while, he learned to play the guitar and uploaded his songs to SoundCloud, he reported.

Whether college students decided to get a six-pack or learned how to sew, almost everyone found something constructive and positive to do with their extra free time. The college students of COVID-19 learned what it meant to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Things may have looked bleak and frightening, but they learned how to manage those feelings and make something positive out of it.

Change in Workforce

Before the pandemic, many companies did not allow employees to work from home. Also, many companies would not even allow employees to take home items, such as laptops, as a safety precaution. According to Stanford Medicine, rapid innovation and implementation of technology has allowed for the employees to navigate the challenges. It states that it is clear that technology has transformed our typical daily workflow. Technology has also made it easier to connect with the patients during the pandemic.

The Pew Research Center states “about half of new teleworkers say they have more flexibility now and that majority who are working in person worry about virus exposure.” In December 2020, 71% of the workers that were surveyed were doing their job from home all or most of the time. Of those workers, more than half said if they were given the choice that they would want to keep working from home even after the pandemic. Among those who are currently working from home, most say that it has been easy to meet deadlines and complete projects on time without interruptions.

Environmental Improvements

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, a typical day consisted of billions of people across the globe commuting to work or school, whether that be through public buses or trains, driving themselves in cars, or some other means of transportation. As all these vehicles were used, immeasurable amounts of gases and chemicals were released into the atmosphere. As infection numbers and the death toll increased, most nations began enforcing lockdown protocols, and these mandates affected almost 3 billion people (Rume & Islam, 2020). Businesses and factories shut down or people began working from home, meaning they no longer needed to drive to work. In an attempt to stunt transmission, the majority of international travel was halted, limiting tourism, which also had a great impact. Since industrialization has advanced in major cities across the globe, the amount of Greenhouse Gases that have been emitted is alarming. Cars, buses, trains, industries, factories all release harmful chemicals due to the burning of fossil fuels or other energy sources. When these pollutants enter the atmosphere, they cause a variety of issues. It decreases overall air quality and visibility, and can be dangerous to those inhali ng the m.

According to research performed by Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and a group of other scientists from India, China, and the United Kingdom, Delhi, India is one of the most polluted cities in the world (Bhat et al, 2021). The city is highly industrialized and densely populated, contributing to the elevated levels of particulate matter in the air. Particulate matter is small pollutant liquid droplets and solid particles in the air (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). When inhaled, they can burrow deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream and cause serious damage to a person, “particularly respiratory ailments” (Bhat et al, 2021). The two types of particulate matter are PM10 and PM2.5, and their numbers correspond to the size of the particles (their diameters in units of micrometers). The smaller the particle, the more harmful they are. By National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the level of particulate matter in Delhi is well above the tolerable limits. In 2016 alone, the amount of deaths caused by the poor air quality in India “was approximately 4.2 million” (Bhat et al, 2021).

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Lockdowns positively affe cted more than just the air quality around the world; additionally, water quality and beaches were a major beneficiary. Tourism for centuries has led to a significant overuse of beach resources such as fishing and leisure activities, and these in turn led to pollution of the water. If people are using jet skis and boating in lakes or oceans, the fuel and exhaust often leak into the water which can cause significant harm to the wildlife that lives in it. Restricting beach access has allowed them to recover and regain their resources, and has also decreased the pollution levels in the water. The water flowing in the Venice canals are cleaner now than they have been before (Bhat et al, 2021). pH levels, electric conductivity, dissolved oxygen levels, biochemical oxygen demand, and chemical oxygen demand have all decreased as a result of the lockdowns (Rume & Islam, 2020). These decreases all contribute to the fact that overall water quality levels have increased.

Noise pollution is an often-overlooked type of pollution that affects the world, especially in highly urbanized regions. Noise pollution is elevated levels of sound which are typically caused by human activities including transportation, machines, factories, etc. When the noise levels are elevated for extended periods of time, it negatively affects all organisms in the area. It leads to hearing loss, lack of concentration, high stress levels, interrupted sleep, and many other issues in humans. As for the wildlife, their abilities to detect and avoid predators and prey are hindered by noise pollution. It affects the invertebrates responsible for the control of many environmental processes that maintain balance in the ecosystem (Rume & Islam, 2020). When lockdowns were implemented, traveling and transportation stopped, industries shut down, flights were canceled, and people stayed home. The environment was able to recover and the people and organisms within the ecosystem enjoy a higher quality of life as a result.

Reflection Questions

  • What kinds of positive experiences have you had during the pandemic?
  • As stated in the chapter, there are many students who spent their time working out or picked up new hobbies. What new things were you able to focus on during the lockdowns?

Bhat, Shakeel Ahmad et al. “Impact of COVID-Related Lockdowns on Environmental and Climate Change Scenarios.” Environmental research 195 (2021): 110839–110839. Web.

DiDonato, S., Forgo, E., & Manella, H. (2020, June 5). Here’s how technology is helping residents during the COVID-19 pandemic . Scope Blog.

Environmental Protection Agency. (2020, October 1). Particulate Matter (PM) Basics. EPA.

Merkle, Steffen. “Positive Experiences During COVID-19.” Survey. 18 April 2021.

Parker, K., Horowitz, J. M., & Minkin, R. (2021, February 9). How Coronavirus Has Changed the Way Americans Work . Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Rume, T., & Islam, S. M. D.-U. (2020, September 17). Environmental effects of COVID-19 pandemic and potential strategies of sustainability. Heliyon.

Shaban, Hamza. “The Pandemic’s Home-Workout Revolution May Be Here to Stay.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Jan. 2021,

Thompson, K. L. (2021, February 2). I’m a college professor who’s teaching virtually during the pandemic. Here are 7 things my most successful students do on Zoom. Business Insider.

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The positive effects of COVID-19 and the social determinants of health: all in it together?

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The positive effects of covid-19

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

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We welcome Bryn Nelson’s analysis of the potentially positive effects of public and policy responses to COVID-19, particularly in providing an opportunity to reassess priorities. Nelson highlights the unanticipated benefits of recent behaviour changes – but we suggest the real revolution is a re-discovery of the health potential of state intervention. Governments worldwide have taken unprecedented steps to suppress viral spread, strengthen health systems, and prioritise public health concerns over individual and market freedoms, , with reductions in air pollution, road traffic accidents and sexually transmitted infections a direct (if temporary) result of the embrace of collective over individual liberty. Aside from an outbreak of alt-right protests, the usual accusations of ‘nanny state’ interference have been replaced by calls for centralised governance, funding and control on a scale unseen in peacetime.

While applauding this paradigm shift, it’s important to acknowledge both its partial nature and its extremely uneven impacts – positive or otherwise. As Nelson notes, negative impacts of the current pandemic (such as unemployment and hunger) are ‘unquestionably troubling’, and while governments proclaim that “we’re all in this together” it’s already clear the virus disproportionately affects the poor, ethnic minorities and other socially disadvantaged groups. , Even more troublingly, the very measures intended to suppress viral spread are themselves exacerbating underlying social inequities. , While a drop in traffic is very welcome, the edict to ‘work from home’ is disastrous for casually-employed service or retail workers; and while social distancing may have reduced viral transmission in some groups, its benefits are less evident for those who are homeless, in overcrowded housing or refugee camps. In maximising the potential for COVID-19 to have positive effects, we must understand and address why its negative effects are so starkly mediated by class, ethnicity and (dis)ability.

Back in 2008, the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health highlighted that population health and its social distribution are driven by the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and that social injustice is the biggest killer of all. This insight provokes serious questions about the unequal effects of this pandemic and its associated policy responses, both positive and negative. Like Nelson, we hope the currently crisis will produce valuable lessons – most especially in understanding the need for collective action to create a healthier and more equal society.

There are three critical issues here. First, if governments are serious about “preventing every avoidable death”, COVID response strategies need to take account of their unequal impacts. While many states have acted swiftly to support businesses and wage-earners,4 these interventions are largely blind to class, gender and race. Unemployment and food insecurity have already increased with disproportionate effects on women and low-income workers,13 and growing income inequalities are predicted. Charities report dramatic increases in domestic violence with an estimated doubling in domestic abuse killings since the start of the lockdown. While COVID-19 is already more fatal in Black and minority ethnic groups, we have yet to see the extent to which the response will exacerbate existing racial inequities in employment, income and housing. Governments must recognise – and ameliorate – inequalities in the negative effects of COVID-19.

Second, when developing strategies for transitioning out of lockdown, governments need to take account of the unequal impacts of any changes. The Scottish Government has signalled its intention to ease restrictions in ways that “promote solidarity… promote equality... [and] align with our legal duties to protect human rights”.23 Other governments should also consider how plans for lifting the lockdown can be tailored to minimize harm to already disadvantaged groups, and to ensure equal enjoyment of the associated benefits.

Finally, COVID-19 will produce a truly positive effect if the scale of the mobilisation to counter the pandemic can be matched by a sustained commitment to reducing social, economic and environmental inequalities in the longer term. Without such a commitment, we are perpetuating a situation in which many people live in a state of chronic vulnerability. This is bad for society, not only because it undermines social cohesion and trust, but because it places us all at increased risk. COVID-19 unmasks the illusion that health risk can be localised to the level of the individual, community, or even nation state.

If we’re serious about using this crisis to reassess our priorities, , we need to recognise the urgent need for change beyond individual ‘risky behaviour’. To paraphrase Rudolf Virchow, the promotion of health is a social science, and large-scale benefits come from political – not individual – change. The genuinely positive effects of COVID-19 will come when we acknowledge the centrality of wealth redistribution, public provision and social protection to a resilient, healthy and fair society.12, Only then can governments begin to claim that we’re “all in it together”.

References 1. Nelson B. The positive effects of covid-19. BMJ 2020;369;m1785 doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1785 2. Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. Oxford: Oxford University, Blavatnik School of Government. (accessed 25 March 2020) 3. Kickbush I, Leung GM, Bhutta ZA et al. Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down [editorial]. BMJ 2020; 369:m1336 doi:10.1136/bmj.m1336 4. Gostin LO, Gostin KG. A broader liberty: JS Mill, paternalism, and the public’s health. Public Health 2009; 123(3): 214-221 5. BBC News. Coronavirus lockdown protests: What’s behind the US demonstrations? BBC [online], 21 April 2020. URL 6. Calman K. Beyond the ‘nanny state’: Stewardship and public health. Public Health 2009; 123(S): e6-10 7. Economist. Building up the pillars of state [briefing]. The Economist, March 28th 2020. 8. Bell T. Sunak’s plan is economically and morally the right thing to do [opinion]. Financial Times, March 21 2020. URL 9. Office of National Statistics. Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation: deaths occurring between 1 March and 17 April 2020. Statistical bulletin. London: Office of National Statistics. 10. Van Dorn A, Cooney RE, Sabin ML. COVID-19 exacerbating inequalities in the US. Lancet 2020 395(10232): 1243-4 11. Friel S, Demio S. COVID-19: can we stop it being this generation’s Great Depression? 14 April 2020. Insightplus, Medical Journal of Australia. URL 12. Banks J, Karjalainen H, Propper C, Stoye G, Zaranko B (2020). Recessions and health: The long-term health consequences of responses to coronavirus. IFS Briefing Note BN281. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. 13. Sainato M. Lack of paid leave will leave millions of US workers vulnerable to coronavirus. Guardian [online], 9 March 2020. URL 14. Eley A. Coronavirus: The rough sleepers who can’t self-isolate. BBC [online], 22 March 2020. London: British Broadcasting Corporation. URL 15. Lancet. Redefining vulnerability in the era of COVID-19. Lancet 2020 395(10230): 1089. (20)30757-1 16. Hargreaves S, Kumar BN, McKee M, Jones L, Veizis A. Europe’s migrant containment policies threaten the response to covid-19 [editorial]. BMJ 2020; 368 doi: 17. WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Geneva: World Health Organization. 18. Joyce R, Xu X (2020). Sector shutdowns during the coronavirus crisis: which workers are most exposed? IFS Briefing Note BN278. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. 19. Scottish Government. COVID-19 – A Framework for Decision Making. April 2020 Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2020. URL 20. The Poverty Alliance. National organisations & the impact of Covid-19: Poverty Alliance briefing, 22nd April 2020. Edinburgh: The Poverty Alliance. URL 21. Crawford R, Davenport A, Joyce R, Levell P (2020). Household spending and coronavirus. IFS Briefing Note BN279. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. 22. Townsend M. Revealed: surge in domestic violence during Covid-19 crisis. The Guardian [online], 12 April 2020. URL 23. Grierson J. Domestic abuse killings ‘more than double’ amid Covid-19 lockdown. Guardian [online], 15 April 2020. URL 24. Barr C, Kommenda N, McIntyre N, Voce Antonio. Ethnic minorities dying of Covid-19 at higher rate, analysis shows. Guardian [online], 22 April 2020. URL 25. Haque Z. Coronavirus will increase race inequalities [blog]. 26 March 2020. London: Runnymede Trust. URL 26. Wilkinson R, Pickett K. The Spirit Level. Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books, 2010 27. Woodward A, Kawachi I. Why reduce health inequalities? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2000; 54(12):923-929. 28. Collin J, Lee K (2003). Globalisation and transborder health risk in the UK. London: The Nuffield Trust. 29. Mackenbach J. Politics is nothing but medicine at a larger scale: reflections on public health’s biggest idea. J Epidemiol Community Health 2009; 63(3): 181-4 doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.077032 30. Graham H. Unequal Lives. Health and Socioeconomic Inequalities. Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill, 2007.

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benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Americas Quarterly

Looking at the Bright Side: 10 Positive Effects of the Pandemic

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Long before Rahm Emmanuel, Barack Obama’s one time chief of staff, used this expression to refer to the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Winston Churchill had already made it famous in the wake of the Second World War.

In that spirit, and with Latin America now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, we can try to look ahead at what positives might ultimately come out of the human and economic tragedy the region is currently facing. The following is a collective list of 10 ways our societies might improve after the pandemic, based on a virtual dialogue with followers on social media who contributed ideas and suggestions.

First, five permanent positive consequences:

  • Financial Inclusion . The expansion of cash transfer programs such as Ingreso Solidario in Colombia and others in the region has underscored the need to broaden access to the financial system as never before. “The most notable impact (of the pandemic) has been an increase in the use of bank accounts by the poor,” said Felipe Lega, the director of the Colombian finance ministry’s Financial Regulatory Unit (URF). In Colombia, using digital tools, more than a million accounts have been opened since the start of the outbreak in order for people to receive the cash transfer. Some of these accounts are provided by non-bank intermediaries offering digital payments. But the crisis has also pushed banks to compete with free services to customers at the base of socioeconomic pyramid. In other words, financial inclusion, with the help of fintech, has increased dramatically amid the pandemic.  
  • Greater investment in hospitals. Colombia had 5,400 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) last January. Today it has 7,279, a figure that is likely to continue to increase. The number of ventilators has also increased substantially. A similar trend can be seen in other countries in the region. After the pandemic is over, there will be more hospital beds in a region that was below global standards in this area.
  • Greater use of information and communication technology (ICT) and digitalization. Companies and individuals have quickly adapted virtual tools to carry out activities that were previously face-to-face. This means greater access to information and knowledge, as well as productivity gains. However, it has also exposed the gap in access to ICTs. In Colombia, about 50% of public school students either do not have a broadband connection at home or, if they do, do not have a computer or tablet to connect. The figures are not very different in other Latin American countries. Investments in ICTs are urgently needed, as they will help revive the economy and may even contribute to the environment, by reducing transportation needs. That is why digital connectivity was highlighted among flagship COVID-19 recovery programs in a study led by Nicholas Stern and Joseph Stiglitz published by the University of Oxford.
  • More awareness about the effects of crises foretold, or white swans, such as climate change. The pandemic was foreseeable and its devastating effects are increasing our alertness to other trends that could have similar or even worse outcomes. Increased concern for our health, and that of the planet, may lead to decisions that actually combat climate change.
  • Aversion to unnecessary travel and meetings. The pandemic has highlighted the time we waste traveling, not to mention the economic costs associated with it. Video conferencing technology is now a much more acceptable and friendly substitute. We will have more efficient and cost-effective meetings with colleagues, clients and suppliers. (And we also lowered our tolerance of endless meetings with no clear purpose.)

I should add that this crisis has also been a sort of vindication of the public sector. In the past, scandals associated with corruption or government inefficiencies have generated lack of trust and a negative perception of the public sector. But amid this crisis, the state apparatus has been seen as a source of solutions to the consequences of such a large shock. The public sector has responded rapidly on a number of fronts, from public health to preservation of incomes for households, and offered a lifeline of support to businesses.

This will be a positive legacy (if it remains), because the public sector is indispensable when it comes to externalities and other market failures, and typically has a longer horizon to plan than do private agents. In the context of solutions to problems as diverse as climate change and inequality, the state is needed. Will it last? 

Which brings me to the last five, non-permanent gains the pandemic brought us:

  • A reduction of CO2 and other polluting emissions;  
  • A reduction in crime (including the homicide rate) and road accidents;
  • Less use of paper. Adobe Acrobat reported that use of PDF documents increased by 50% during the pandemic;
  • Increased punctuality. No more excuses to arrive late to a meeting, blaming the horrible traffic that plagues most Latin American cities;
  • Finally, the greatest gain: Enhanced family life, though as some who participated in the dialogue on Twitter pointed out, this is a double-edged sword. Intra-family violence has also increased.

It is still too early to determine the pandemic’s lasting effects, but the bottom line is that crises allow us to make decisions and implement policies that are difficult in normal times. The biggest mistake would be to not take advantage of this situation to resolve issues that will impact our future, such as a sharp deterioration of the fiscal scenario, the region’s lack of competitiveness and, above all, the overwhelming levels of informality.

While we are at it, we can add a touch of optimism to these complex and difficult times.

Cárdenas is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and was Colombia’s Finance Minister (2012-2018). Follow him on twitter @MauricioCard

Related Content

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Writing about COVID-19 in a college admission essay

by: Venkates Swaminathan | Updated: September 14, 2020

Print article

Writing about COVID-19 in your college admission essay

For students applying to college using the CommonApp, there are several different places where students and counselors can address the pandemic’s impact. The different sections have differing goals. You must understand how to use each section for its appropriate use.

The CommonApp COVID-19 question

First, the CommonApp this year has an additional question specifically about COVID-19 :

Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you.

This question seeks to understand the adversity that students may have had to face due to the pandemic, the move to online education, or the shelter-in-place rules. You don’t have to answer this question if the impact on you wasn’t particularly severe. Some examples of things students should discuss include:

  • The student or a family member had COVID-19 or suffered other illnesses due to confinement during the pandemic.
  • The candidate had to deal with personal or family issues, such as abusive living situations or other safety concerns
  • The student suffered from a lack of internet access and other online learning challenges.
  • Students who dealt with problems registering for or taking standardized tests and AP exams.

Jeff Schiffman of the Tulane University admissions office has a blog about this section. He recommends students ask themselves several questions as they go about answering this section:

  • Are my experiences different from others’?
  • Are there noticeable changes on my transcript?
  • Am I aware of my privilege?
  • Am I specific? Am I explaining rather than complaining?
  • Is this information being included elsewhere on my application?

If you do answer this section, be brief and to-the-point.

Counselor recommendations and school profiles

Second, counselors will, in their counselor forms and school profiles on the CommonApp, address how the school handled the pandemic and how it might have affected students, specifically as it relates to:

  • Grading scales and policies
  • Graduation requirements
  • Instructional methods
  • Schedules and course offerings
  • Testing requirements
  • Your academic calendar
  • Other extenuating circumstances

Students don’t have to mention these matters in their application unless something unusual happened.

Writing about COVID-19 in your main essay

Write about your experiences during the pandemic in your main college essay if your experience is personal, relevant, and the most important thing to discuss in your college admission essay. That you had to stay home and study online isn’t sufficient, as millions of other students faced the same situation. But sometimes, it can be appropriate and helpful to write about something related to the pandemic in your essay. For example:

  • One student developed a website for a local comic book store. The store might not have survived without the ability for people to order comic books online. The student had a long-standing relationship with the store, and it was an institution that created a community for students who otherwise felt left out.
  • One student started a YouTube channel to help other students with academic subjects he was very familiar with and began tutoring others.
  • Some students used their extra time that was the result of the stay-at-home orders to take online courses pursuing topics they are genuinely interested in or developing new interests, like a foreign language or music.

Experiences like this can be good topics for the CommonApp essay as long as they reflect something genuinely important about the student. For many students whose lives have been shaped by this pandemic, it can be a critical part of their college application.

Want more? Read 6 ways to improve a college essay , What the &%$! should I write about in my college essay , and Just how important is a college admissions essay? .

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I Thought We’d Learned Nothing From the Pandemic. I Wasn’t Seeing the Full Picture

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

M y first home had a back door that opened to a concrete patio with a giant crack down the middle. When my sister and I played, I made sure to stay on the same side of the divide as her, just in case. The 1988 film The Land Before Time was one of the first movies I ever saw, and the image of the earth splintering into pieces planted its roots in my brain. I believed that, even in my own backyard, I could easily become the tiny Triceratops separated from her family, on the other side of the chasm, as everything crumbled into chaos.

Some 30 years later, I marvel at the eerie, unexpected ways that cartoonish nightmare came to life – not just for me and my family, but for all of us. The landscape was already covered in fissures well before COVID-19 made its way across the planet, but the pandemic applied pressure, and the cracks broke wide open, separating us from each other physically and ideologically. Under the weight of the crisis, we scattered and landed on such different patches of earth we could barely see each other’s faces, even when we squinted. We disagreed viciously with each other, about how to respond, but also about what was true.

Recently, someone asked me if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, and my first thought was a flat no. Nothing. There was a time when I thought it would be the very thing to draw us together and catapult us – as a capital “S” Society – into a kinder future. It’s surreal to remember those early days when people rallied together, sewing masks for health care workers during critical shortages and gathering on balconies in cities from Dallas to New York City to clap and sing songs like “Yellow Submarine.” It felt like a giant lightning bolt shot across the sky, and for one breath, we all saw something that had been hidden in the dark – the inherent vulnerability in being human or maybe our inescapable connectedness .

More from TIME

Read More: The Family Time the Pandemic Stole

But it turns out, it was just a flash. The goodwill vanished as quickly as it appeared. A couple of years later, people feel lied to, abandoned, and all on their own. I’ve felt my own curiosity shrinking, my willingness to reach out waning , my ability to keep my hands open dwindling. I look out across the landscape and see selfishness and rage, burnt earth and so many dead bodies. Game over. We lost. And if we’ve already lost, why try?

Still, the question kept nagging me. I wondered, am I seeing the full picture? What happens when we focus not on the collective society but at one face, one story at a time? I’m not asking for a bow to minimize the suffering – a pretty flourish to put on top and make the whole thing “worth it.” Yuck. That’s not what we need. But I wondered about deep, quiet growth. The kind we feel in our bodies, relationships, homes, places of work, neighborhoods.

Like a walkie-talkie message sent to my allies on the ground, I posted a call on my Instagram. What do you see? What do you hear? What feels possible? Is there life out here? Sprouting up among the rubble? I heard human voices calling back – reports of life, personal and specific. I heard one story at a time – stories of grief and distrust, fury and disappointment. Also gratitude. Discovery. Determination.

Among the most prevalent were the stories of self-revelation. Almost as if machines were given the chance to live as humans, people described blossoming into fuller selves. They listened to their bodies’ cues, recognized their desires and comforts, tuned into their gut instincts, and honored the intuition they hadn’t realized belonged to them. Alex, a writer and fellow disabled parent, found the freedom to explore a fuller version of herself in the privacy the pandemic provided. “The way I dress, the way I love, and the way I carry myself have both shrunk and expanded,” she shared. “I don’t love myself very well with an audience.” Without the daily ritual of trying to pass as “normal” in public, Tamar, a queer mom in the Netherlands, realized she’s autistic. “I think the pandemic helped me to recognize the mask,” she wrote. “Not that unmasking is easy now. But at least I know it’s there.” In a time of widespread suffering that none of us could solve on our own, many tended to our internal wounds and misalignments, large and small, and found clarity.

Read More: A Tool for Staying Grounded in This Era of Constant Uncertainty

I wonder if this flourishing of self-awareness is at least partially responsible for the life alterations people pursued. The pandemic broke open our personal notions of work and pushed us to reevaluate things like time and money. Lucy, a disabled writer in the U.K., made the hard decision to leave her job as a journalist covering Westminster to write freelance about her beloved disability community. “This work feels important in a way nothing else has ever felt,” she wrote. “I don’t think I’d have realized this was what I should be doing without the pandemic.” And she wasn’t alone – many people changed jobs , moved, learned new skills and hobbies, became politically engaged.

Perhaps more than any other shifts, people described a significant reassessment of their relationships. They set boundaries, said no, had challenging conversations. They also reconnected, fell in love, and learned to trust. Jeanne, a quilter in Indiana, got to know relatives she wouldn’t have connected with if lockdowns hadn’t prompted weekly family Zooms. “We are all over the map as regards to our belief systems,” she emphasized, “but it is possible to love people you don’t see eye to eye with on every issue.” Anna, an anti-violence advocate in Maine, learned she could trust her new marriage: “Life was not a honeymoon. But we still chose to turn to each other with kindness and curiosity.” So many bonds forged and broken, strengthened and strained.

Instead of relying on default relationships or institutional structures, widespread recalibrations allowed for going off script and fortifying smaller communities. Mara from Idyllwild, Calif., described the tangible plan for care enacted in her town. “We started a mutual-aid group at the beginning of the pandemic,” she wrote, “and it grew so quickly before we knew it we were feeding 400 of the 4000 residents.” She didn’t pretend the conditions were ideal. In fact, she expressed immense frustration with our collective response to the pandemic. Even so, the local group rallied and continues to offer assistance to their community with help from donations and volunteers (many of whom were originally on the receiving end of support). “I’ve learned that people thrive when they feel their connection to others,” she wrote. Clare, a teacher from the U.K., voiced similar conviction as she described a giant scarf she’s woven out of ribbons, each representing a single person. The scarf is “a collection of stories, moments and wisdom we are sharing with each other,” she wrote. It now stretches well over 1,000 feet.

A few hours into reading the comments, I lay back on my bed, phone held against my chest. The room was quiet, but my internal world was lighting up with firefly flickers. What felt different? Surely part of it was receiving personal accounts of deep-rooted growth. And also, there was something to the mere act of asking and listening. Maybe it connected me to humans before battle cries. Maybe it was the chance to be in conversation with others who were also trying to understand – what is happening to us? Underneath it all, an undeniable thread remained; I saw people peering into the mess and narrating their findings onto the shared frequency. Every comment was like a flare into the sky. I’m here! And if the sky is full of flares, we aren’t alone.

I recognized my own pandemic discoveries – some minor, others massive. Like washing off thick eyeliner and mascara every night is more effort than it’s worth; I can transform the mundane into the magical with a bedsheet, a movie projector, and twinkle lights; my paralyzed body can mother an infant in ways I’d never seen modeled for me. I remembered disappointing, bewildering conversations within my own family of origin and our imperfect attempts to remain close while also seeing things so differently. I realized that every time I get the weekly invite to my virtual “Find the Mumsies” call, with a tiny group of moms living hundreds of miles apart, I’m being welcomed into a pocket of unexpected community. Even though we’ve never been in one room all together, I’ve felt an uncommon kind of solace in their now-familiar faces.

Hope is a slippery thing. I desperately want to hold onto it, but everywhere I look there are real, weighty reasons to despair. The pandemic marks a stretch on the timeline that tangles with a teetering democracy, a deteriorating planet , the loss of human rights that once felt unshakable . When the world is falling apart Land Before Time style, it can feel trite, sniffing out the beauty – useless, firing off flares to anyone looking for signs of life. But, while I’m under no delusions that if we just keep trudging forward we’ll find our own oasis of waterfalls and grassy meadows glistening in the sunshine beneath a heavenly chorus, I wonder if trivializing small acts of beauty, connection, and hope actually cuts us off from resources essential to our survival. The group of abandoned dinosaurs were keeping each other alive and making each other laugh well before they made it to their fantasy ending.

Read More: How Ice Cream Became My Own Personal Act of Resistance

After the monarch butterfly went on the endangered-species list, my friend and fellow writer Hannah Soyer sent me wildflower seeds to plant in my yard. A simple act of big hope – that I will actually plant them, that they will grow, that a monarch butterfly will receive nourishment from whatever blossoms are able to push their way through the dirt. There are so many ways that could fail. But maybe the outcome wasn’t exactly the point. Maybe hope is the dogged insistence – the stubborn defiance – to continue cultivating moments of beauty regardless. There is value in the planting apart from the harvest.

I can’t point out a single collective lesson from the pandemic. It’s hard to see any great “we.” Still, I see the faces in my moms’ group, making pancakes for their kids and popping on between strings of meetings while we try to figure out how to raise these small people in this chaotic world. I think of my friends on Instagram tending to the selves they discovered when no one was watching and the scarf of ribbons stretching the length of more than three football fields. I remember my family of three, holding hands on the way up the ramp to the library. These bits of growth and rings of support might not be loud or right on the surface, but that’s not the same thing as nothing. If we only cared about the bottom-line defeats or sweeping successes of the big picture, we’d never plant flowers at all.

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Glenn Geher Ph.D.

Animal Behavior

10 positive outcomes of the pandemic, during these trying times, we all need silver linings. here are 10..

Posted April 15, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

  • The pandemic has had adverse consequences in just about every facet of the human experience.
  • In spite of how awful the pandemic is, there have actually been lots of positives that have emerged.
  • The pandemic has taught us profound lessons about what it means to be human, and we will keep these lessons with us.

Nidan / Pixabay

As I type from my kitchen island on a Thursday in the middle of the day (working from home, pandemic-style ) I am producing what will be my 400th Psychology Today post. A lot has happened in my life and in the world since I started blogging here in 2013. Without question, the COVID pandemic stands as perhaps the most conspicuous and (for many of us) unexpected event that we have collectively encountered during this time.

The adverse consequences associated with the pandemic are obvious. Millions of people from all around the world have tragically died as a result of COVID. Entire industries have been decimated. Education around the world has been dramatically affected. Millions have lost their jobs and homes. And the whole thing has, tragically, become highly politicized, exacerbating already dramatic political fissures. And more.

People who know me well know that I generally try to keep things positive. With this in mind, here are ten outcomes of the pandemic that actually are having positive outcomes and that will, hopefully, continue to have positive outcomes into our shared future.

1. Staying connected across miles.

Humans did not evolve to be separated from kin and other loved ones by thousands of miles (see Evolutionary Psychology 101 for a discussion of this). My family, for instance, is dispersed across New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California. For members of a species that evolved to be close to kin, this is rough.

During the pandemic, people have been more encouraged than ever to reach out to family. People are having regular ZOOM meetings with family. People are texting family members regularly. People are checking on one another with seemingly increased care and compassion. And this is a good thing.

2. Harnessing technology for good.

While I have written extensively about the dark side of technology, the pandemic has shown us many bright facets that modern technology holds. It has become easier than ever to communicate with others. In many cases, technology has improved at lightning speed to make virtual meetings productive, efficient, and legitimate. And these improvements in such technologies will surely allow us, moving forward, to have more options for getting people together for all kinds of purposes.

3. Seeing life in a bigger frame.

The pandemic has definitely given all of us pause. I still get the chills when I go into a business and see all the tables and chairs pushed to the side or see all of my students socially distanced in a giant lecture hall and wearing masks. The immediate changes in our daily lives have been so deeply dramatic. And this fact has the capacity to have us see life in a bigger frame as we move toward the other side of the pandemic.

4. Learning new skills.

Many people chose to take up new skills and hobbies during the pandemic. People are learning how to paint with watercolors, write poetry, speak other languages, and more. And these skills and interests will certainly transcend the pandemic.

5. Appreciating nature.

As someone who has always been an avid hiker, the abrupt change in the appreciation of nature that so many people have experienced has been obvious. Trailheads near me that usually have one or two parked cars will, these days, often be overflowing. The trails are filled with people who are tired of being cooped up and who are ready to adventure into the mountains. Humans are naturally biophilic , having a natural inclination toward the natural world (see Wilson, 1984). For so many of us, the pandemic has unleashed this beautiful facet of the human experience.

6. Appreciating science.

The vaccines were developed to completion within about a year. Think about that. For this kind of highly technical work, one year truly is record-speed. During the pandemic, scientists across the world have raced to enhance our understanding of all facets of the virus and the nature of its spread. If ever there were a time to pause and appreciate science, that time is now.

Photo by Glenn Geher

7. Pandemic pets.

I don't know about you, but I will say that our family got a pandemic pet. He is Zuko the cat, and we just love him. So many people have adopted pets during the pandemic. And while pets are a lot of work, pet ownership famously has all kinds of positive psychological and health-related benefits (see McConnell et al., 2011). Got a Labrador pup during the pandemic? Congratulations, and enjoy.

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

8. Appreciating what we have.

The pandemic has quite literally given us pause. All 8 billion of us . Many of us, such as myself, had life-threatening bouts with COVID. Many of us have lost loved ones as a result of the pandemic. Many of us have lost jobs or have otherwise been affected fiscally in adverse ways. Often, it is the difficult times that allow us to see the bright sides of our lives. When we step back and look not at what we lost but, rather, at what we have, there is room for a lot of grace and appreciation for all the good that still exists in the world.

9. Developing resourceful solutions.

In nearly every industry across the globe, resourceful solutions to novel problems needed to be created. For me, as a professor, I needed to figure out how to deliver complex courses such as Statistics in a fully remote fashion. Kindergarten teachers needed to figure out how to, for hours on end, capture the minds and imaginations of 5-year-old kids who had never stepped foot in a classroom. People in all kinds of businesses needed to figure out how to hold meetings fully virtually. And while this has all been quite a hassle, to say the least, it goes without saying that we all developed skills that will transfer in important ways in a post-pandemic world.

10. Realizing that we are one people.

As an evolutionist, I am regularly awe -stricken by the fact that we all share a common ancestor. We are all one people . And, in fact, the entirety of life is ultimately interrelated. The pandemic has put all of us on the same footing. We are one people in so many ways. And the pandemic has underscored this fact in a way that is nothing short of profound.

Bottom Line

The pandemic has been a worldwide catastrophe, leading to millions of deaths in all corners of the globe. Adverse consequences have rippled into every single industry on the planet. In short, the pandemic is, in nearly every respect, a genuine disaster.

But you know, humans have a natural resilience and we are resourceful when we have to be. In so many ways, the pandemic has led to outcomes that will leave a positive mark on the human experience moving forward.

As we continue to work through this worldwide crisis together, let's keep our eyes looking forward, and let's not forget the silver linings.



And to my readers and my editors, please know that I am so deeply grateful for your support over these past 400 posts and eight years of blogging. It has been a truly rewarding experience and I am genuinely appreciative for this opportunity to try to spread some optimism and wisdom in a sometimes-dark world.

Geher, G. (2014). Evolutionary Psychology 101. New York: Springer.

McConnell, A. R., Brown, C. M., Shoda, T. M., Stayton, L. E., & Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1239–1252.

Wilson, Edward O. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Glenn Geher Ph.D.

Glenn Geher, Ph.D. , is professor of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He is founding director of the campus’ Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program.

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The complexity of managing COVID-19: How important is good governance?

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Alaka m. basu , amb alaka m. basu professor, department of global development - cornell university, senior fellow - united nations foundation kaushik basu , and kaushik basu nonresident senior fellow - global economy and development @kaushikcbasu jose maria u. tapia jmut jose maria u. tapia student - cornell university.

November 17, 2020

  • 13 min read

This essay is part of “ Reimagining the global economy: Building back better in a post-COVID-19 world ,” a collection of 12 essays presenting new ideas to guide policies and shape debates in a post-COVID-19 world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of public health systems worldwide, casting a shadow that we could not have imagined even a year ago. As the fog of confusion lifts and we begin to understand the rudiments of how the virus behaves, the end of the pandemic is nowhere in sight. The number of cases and the deaths continue to rise. The latter breached the 1 million mark a few weeks ago and it looks likely now that, in terms of severity, this pandemic will surpass the Asian Flu of 1957-58 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-69.

Moreover, a parallel problem may well exceed the direct death toll from the virus. We are referring to the growing economic crises globally, and the prospect that these may hit emerging economies especially hard.

The economic fall-out is not entirely the direct outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic but a result of how we have responded to it—what measures governments took and how ordinary people, workers, and firms reacted to the crisis. The government activism to contain the virus that we saw this time exceeds that in previous such crises, which may have dampened the spread of the COVID-19 but has extracted a toll from the economy.

This essay takes stock of the policies adopted by governments in emerging economies, and what effect these governance strategies may have had, and then speculates about what the future is likely to look like and what we may do here on.

Nations that build walls to keep out goods, people and talent will get out-competed by other nations in the product market.

It is becoming clear that the scramble among several emerging economies to imitate and outdo European and North American countries was a mistake. We get a glimpse of this by considering two nations continents apart, the economies of which have been among the hardest hit in the world, namely, Peru and India. During the second quarter of 2020, Peru saw an annual growth of -30.2 percent and India -23.9 percent. From the global Q2 data that have emerged thus far, Peru and India are among the four slowest growing economies in the world. Along with U.K and Tunisia these are the only nations that lost more than 20 percent of their GDP. 1

COVID-19-related mortality statistics, and, in particular, the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR), however imperfect, are the most telling indicator of the comparative scale of the pandemic in different countries. At first glance, from the end of October 2020, Peru, with 1039 COVID-19 deaths per million population looks bad by any standard and much worse than India with 88. Peru’s CMR is currently among the highest reported globally.

However, both Peru and India need to be placed in regional perspective. For reasons that are likely to do with the history of past diseases, there are striking regional differences in the lethality of the virus (Figure 11.1). South America is worse hit than any other world region, and Asia and Africa seem to have got it relatively lightly, in contrast to Europe and America. The stark regional difference cries out for more epidemiological analysis. But even as we await that, these are differences that cannot be ignored.


To understand the effect of policy interventions, it is therefore important to look at how these countries fare within their own regions, which have had similar histories of illnesses and viruses (Figure 11.2). Both Peru and India do much worse than the neighbors with whom they largely share their social, economic, ecological and demographic features. Peru’s COVID-19 mortality rate per million population, or CMR, of 1039 is ahead of the second highest, Brazil at 749, and almost twice that of Argentina at 679.


Similarly, India at 88 compares well with Europe and the U.S., as does virtually all of Asia and Africa, but is doing much worse than its neighbors, with the second worst country in the region, Afghanistan, experiencing less than half the death rate of India.

The official Indian statement that up to 78,000 deaths 2 were averted by the lockdown has been criticized 3 for its assumptions. A more reasonable exercise is to estimate the excess deaths experienced by a country that breaks away from the pattern of its regional neighbors. So, for example, if India had experienced Afghanistan’s COVID-19 mortality rate, it would by now have had 54,112 deaths. And if it had the rate reported by Bangladesh, it would have had 49,950 deaths from COVID-19 today. In other words, more than half its current toll of some 122,099 COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided if it had experienced the same virus hit as its neighbors.

What might explain this outlier experience of COVID-19 CMRs and economic downslide in India and Peru? If the regional background conditions are broadly similar, one is left to ask if it is in fact the policy response that differed markedly and might account for these relatively poor outcomes.

Peru and India have performed poorly in terms of GDP growth rate in Q2 2020 among the countries displayed in Table 2, and given that both these countries are often treated as case studies of strong governance, this draws attention to the fact that there may be a dissonance between strong governance and good governance.

The turnaround for India has been especially surprising, given that until a few years ago it was among the three fastest growing economies in the world. The slowdown began in 2016, though the sharp downturn, sharper than virtually all other countries, occurred after the lockdown.

On the COVID-19 policy front, both India and Peru have become known for what the Oxford University’s COVID Policy Tracker 4 calls the “stringency” of the government’s response to the epidemic. At 8 pm on March 24, 2020, the Indian government announced, with four hours’ notice, a complete nationwide shutdown. Virtually all movement outside the perimeter of one’s home was officially sought to be brought to a standstill. Naturally, as described in several papers, such as that of Ray and Subramanian, 5 this meant that most economic life also came to a sudden standstill, which in turn meant that hundreds of millions of workers in the informal, as well as more marginally formal sectors, lost their livelihoods.

In addition, tens of millions of these workers, being migrant workers in places far-flung from their original homes, also lost their temporary homes and their savings with these lost livelihoods, so that the only safe space that beckoned them was their place of origin in small towns and villages often hundreds of miles away from their places of work.

After a few weeks of precarious living in their migrant destinations, they set off, on foot since trains and buses had been stopped, for these towns and villages, creating a “lockdown and scatter” that spread the virus from the city to the town and the town to the village. Indeed, “lockdown” is a bit of a misnomer for what happened in India, since over 20 million people did exactly the opposite of what one does in a lockdown. Thus India had a strange combination of lockdown some and scatter the rest, like in no other country. They spilled out and scattered in ways they would otherwise not do. It is not surprising that the infection, which was marginally present in rural areas (23 percent in April), now makes up some 54 percent of all cases in India. 6

In Peru too, the lockdown was sudden, nationwide, long drawn out and stringent. 7 Jobs were lost, financial aid was difficult to disburse, migrant workers were forced to return home, and the virus has now spread to all parts of the country with death rates from it surpassing almost every other part of the world.

As an aside, to think about ways of implementing lockdowns that are less stringent and geographically as well as functionally less total, an example from yet another continent is instructive. Ethiopia, with a COVID-19 death rate of 13 per million population seems to have bettered the already relatively low African rate of 31 in Table 1. 8

We hope that human beings will emerge from this crisis more aware of the problems of sustainability.

The way forward

We next move from the immediate crisis to the medium term. Where is the world headed and how should we deal with the new world? Arguably, that two sectors that will emerge larger and stronger in the post-pandemic world are: digital technology and outsourcing, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

The last 9 months of the pandemic have been a huge training ground for people in the use of digital technology—Zoom, WebEx, digital finance, and many others. This learning-by-doing exercise is likely to give a big boost to outsourcing, which has the potential to help countries like India, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Globalization may see a short-run retreat but, we believe, it will come back with a vengeance. Nations that build walls to keep out goods, people and talent will get out-competed by other nations in the product market. This realization will make most countries reverse their knee-jerk anti-globalization; and the ones that do not will cease to be important global players. Either way, globalization will be back on track and with a much greater amount of outsourcing.

To return, more critically this time, to our earlier aside on Ethiopia, its historical and contemporary record on tampering with internet connectivity 9 in an attempt to muzzle inter-ethnic tensions and political dissent will not serve it well in such a post-pandemic scenario. This is a useful reminder for all emerging market economies.

We hope that human beings will emerge from this crisis more aware of the problems of sustainability. This could divert some demand from luxury goods to better health, and what is best described as “creative consumption”: art, music, and culture. 10 The former will mean much larger healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

But to take advantage of these new opportunities, nations will need to navigate the current predicament so that they have a viable economy once the pandemic passes. Thus it is important to be able to control the pandemic while keeping the economy open. There is some emerging literature 11 on this, but much more is needed. This is a governance challenge of a kind rarely faced, because the pandemic has disrupted normal markets and there is need, at least in the short run, for governments to step in to fill the caveat.

Emerging economies will have to devise novel governance strategies for doing this double duty of tamping down on new infections without strident controls on economic behavior and without blindly imitating Europe and America.

Here is an example. One interesting opportunity amidst this chaos is to tap into the “resource” of those who have already had COVID-19 and are immune, even if only in the short-term—we still have no definitive evidence on the length of acquired immunity. These people can be offered a high salary to work in sectors that require physical interaction with others. This will help keep supply chains unbroken. Normally, the market would have on its own caused such a salary increase but in this case, the main benefit of marshaling this labor force is on the aggregate economy and GDP and therefore is a classic case of positive externality, which the free market does not adequately reward. It is more a challenge of governance. As with most economic policy, this will need careful research and design before being implemented. We have to be aware that a policy like this will come with its risk of bribery and corruption. There is also the moral hazard challenge of poor people choosing to get COVID-19 in order to qualify for these special jobs. Safeguards will be needed against these risks. But we believe that any government that succeeds in implementing an intelligently-designed intervention to draw on this huge, under-utilized resource can have a big, positive impact on the economy 12 .

This is just one idea. We must innovate in different ways to survive the crisis and then have the ability to navigate the new world that will emerge, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Related Content

Emiliana Vegas, Rebecca Winthrop

Homi Kharas, John W. McArthur

Anthony F. Pipa, Max Bouchet

Note: We are grateful for financial support from Cornell University’s Hatfield Fund for the research associated with this paper. We also wish to express our gratitude to Homi Kharas for many suggestions and David Batcheck for generous editorial help.

  • “GDP Annual Growth Rate – Forecast 2020-2022,” Trading Economics,
  • “Government Cites Various Statistical Models, Says Averted Between 1.4 Million-2.9 Million Cases Due To Lockdown,” Business World, May 23, 2020,
  • Suvrat Raju, “Did the Indian lockdown avert deaths?” medRxiv , July 5, 2020,
  • “COVID Policy Tracker,” Oxford University, t.
  • Debraj Ray and S. Subramanian, “India’s Lockdown: An Interim Report,” NBER Working Paper, May 2020,
  • Gopika Gopakumar and Shayan Ghosh, “Rural recovery could slow down as cases rise, says Ghosh,” Mint, August 19, 2020,
  • Pierina Pighi Bel and Jake Horton, “Coronavirus: What’s happening in Peru?,” BBC, July 9, 2020,
  • “No lockdown, few ventilators, but Ethiopia is beating Covid-19,” Financial Times, May 27, 2020,
  • Cara Anna, “Ethiopia enters 3rd week of internet shutdown after unrest,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020,
  • Patrick Kabanda, The Creative Wealth of Nations: Can the Arts Advance Development? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
  • Guanlin Li et al, “Disease-dependent interaction policies to support health and economic outcomes during the COVID-19 epidemic,” medRxiv, August 2020,
  • For helpful discussion concerning this idea, we are grateful to Turab Hussain, Daksh Walia and Mehr-un-Nisa, during a seminar of South Asian Economics Students’ Meet (SAESM).

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Persuasive Essay Guide

Persuasive Essay About Covid19

Caleb S.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid19 | Examples & Tips

11 min read

Persuasive Essay About Covid19

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Are you looking to write a persuasive essay about the Covid-19 pandemic?

Writing a compelling and informative essay about this global crisis can be challenging. It requires researching the latest information, understanding the facts, and presenting your argument persuasively.

But don’t worry! with some guidance from experts, you’ll be able to write an effective and persuasive essay about Covid-19.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the basics of writing a persuasive essay . We’ll provide clear examples, helpful tips, and essential information for crafting your own persuasive piece on Covid-19.

Read on to get started on your essay.

Arrow Down

  • 1. Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19
  • 2. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid19
  • 3. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Vaccine
  • 4. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Integration
  • 5. Examples of Argumentative Essay About Covid 19
  • 6. Examples of Persuasive Speeches About Covid-19
  • 7. Tips to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19
  • 8. Common Topics for a Persuasive Essay on COVID-19 

Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Here are the steps to help you write a persuasive essay on this topic, along with an example essay:

Step 1: Choose a Specific Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should clearly state your position on a specific aspect of COVID-19. It should be debatable and clear. For example:

Step 2: Research and Gather Information

Collect reliable and up-to-date information from reputable sources to support your thesis statement. This may include statistics, expert opinions, and scientific studies. For instance:

  • COVID-19 vaccination effectiveness data
  • Information on vaccine mandates in different countries
  • Expert statements from health organizations like the WHO or CDC

Step 3: Outline Your Essay

Create a clear and organized outline to structure your essay. A persuasive essay typically follows this structure:

  • Introduction
  • Background Information
  • Body Paragraphs (with supporting evidence)
  • Counterarguments (addressing opposing views)

Step 4: Write the Introduction

In the introduction, grab your reader's attention and present your thesis statement. For example:

Step 5: Provide Background Information

Offer context and background information to help your readers understand the issue better. For instance:

Step 6: Develop Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should present a single point or piece of evidence that supports your thesis statement. Use clear topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. Here's an example:

Step 7: Address Counterarguments

Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and refute them with strong counterarguments. This demonstrates that you've considered different perspectives. For example:

Step 8: Write the Conclusion

Summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement in the conclusion. End with a strong call to action or thought-provoking statement. For instance:

Step 9: Revise and Proofread

Edit your essay for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling errors. Ensure that your argument flows logically.

Step 10: Cite Your Sources

Include proper citations and a bibliography page to give credit to your sources.

Remember to adjust your approach and arguments based on your target audience and the specific angle you want to take in your persuasive essay about COVID-19.

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Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid19

When writing a persuasive essay about the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important to consider how you want to present your argument. To help you get started, here are some example essays for you to read:

Check out some more PDF examples below:

Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Pandemic

Sample Of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 In The Philippines - Example

If you're in search of a compelling persuasive essay on business, don't miss out on our “ persuasive essay about business ” blog!

Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Vaccine

Covid19 vaccines are one of the ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but they have been a source of controversy. Different sides argue about the benefits or dangers of the new vaccines. Whatever your point of view is, writing a persuasive essay about it is a good way of organizing your thoughts and persuading others.

A persuasive essay about the Covid-19 vaccine could consider the benefits of getting vaccinated as well as the potential side effects.

Below are some examples of persuasive essays on getting vaccinated for Covid-19.

Covid19 Vaccine Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay on Covid Vaccines

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Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Integration

Covid19 has drastically changed the way people interact in schools, markets, and workplaces. In short, it has affected all aspects of life. However, people have started to learn to live with Covid19.

Writing a persuasive essay about it shouldn't be stressful. Read the sample essay below to get idea for your own essay about Covid19 integration.

Persuasive Essay About Working From Home During Covid19

Searching for the topic of Online Education? Our persuasive essay about online education is a must-read.

Examples of Argumentative Essay About Covid 19

Covid-19 has been an ever-evolving issue, with new developments and discoveries being made on a daily basis.

Writing an argumentative essay about such an issue is both interesting and challenging. It allows you to evaluate different aspects of the pandemic, as well as consider potential solutions.

Here are some examples of argumentative essays on Covid19.

Argumentative Essay About Covid19 Sample

Argumentative Essay About Covid19 With Introduction Body and Conclusion

Looking for a persuasive take on the topic of smoking? You'll find it all related arguments in out Persuasive Essay About Smoking blog!

Examples of Persuasive Speeches About Covid-19

Do you need to prepare a speech about Covid19 and need examples? We have them for you!

Persuasive speeches about Covid-19 can provide the audience with valuable insights on how to best handle the pandemic. They can be used to advocate for specific changes in policies or simply raise awareness about the virus.

Check out some examples of persuasive speeches on Covid-19:

Persuasive Speech About Covid-19 Example

Persuasive Speech About Vaccine For Covid-19

You can also read persuasive essay examples on other topics to master your persuasive techniques!

Tips to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Writing a persuasive essay about COVID-19 requires a thoughtful approach to present your arguments effectively. 

Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling persuasive essay on this topic:

Choose a Specific Angle

Start by narrowing down your focus. COVID-19 is a broad topic, so selecting a specific aspect or issue related to it will make your essay more persuasive and manageable. For example, you could focus on vaccination, public health measures, the economic impact, or misinformation.

Provide Credible Sources 

Support your arguments with credible sources such as scientific studies, government reports, and reputable news outlets. Reliable sources enhance the credibility of your essay.

Use Persuasive Language

Employ persuasive techniques, such as ethos (establishing credibility), pathos (appealing to emotions), and logos (using logic and evidence). Use vivid examples and anecdotes to make your points relatable.

Organize Your Essay

Structure your essay involves creating a persuasive essay outline and establishing a logical flow from one point to the next. Each paragraph should focus on a single point, and transitions between paragraphs should be smooth and logical.

Emphasize Benefits

Highlight the benefits of your proposed actions or viewpoints. Explain how your suggestions can improve public health, safety, or well-being. Make it clear why your audience should support your position.

Use Visuals -H3

Incorporate graphs, charts, and statistics when applicable. Visual aids can reinforce your arguments and make complex data more accessible to your readers.

Call to Action

End your essay with a strong call to action. Encourage your readers to take a specific step or consider your viewpoint. Make it clear what you want them to do or think after reading your essay.

Revise and Edit

Proofread your essay for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Make sure your arguments are well-structured and that your writing flows smoothly.

Seek Feedback 

Have someone else read your essay to get feedback. They may offer valuable insights and help you identify areas where your persuasive techniques can be improved.

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Common Topics for a Persuasive Essay on COVID-19 

Here are some persuasive essay topics on COVID-19:

  • The Importance of Vaccination Mandates for COVID-19 Control
  • Balancing Public Health and Personal Freedom During a Pandemic
  • The Economic Impact of Lockdowns vs. Public Health Benefits
  • The Role of Misinformation in Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Remote Learning vs. In-Person Education: What's Best for Students?
  • The Ethics of Vaccine Distribution: Prioritizing Vulnerable Populations
  • The Mental Health Crisis Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 on Healthcare Systems
  • Global Cooperation vs. Vaccine Nationalism in Fighting the Pandemic
  • The Future of Telemedicine: Expanding Healthcare Access Post-COVID-19

In search of more inspiring topics for your next persuasive essay? Our persuasive essay topics blog has plenty of ideas!

To sum it up,

You have read good sample essays and got some helpful tips. You now have the tools you needed to write a persuasive essay about Covid-19. So don't let the doubts stop you, start writing!

If you need professional writing help, don't worry! We've got that for you as well. is a professional persuasive essay writing service that can help you craft an excellent persuasive essay on Covid-19. Our experienced essay writer will create a well-structured, insightful paper in no time!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any ethical considerations when writing a persuasive essay about covid-19.

FAQ Icon

Yes, there are ethical considerations when writing a persuasive essay about COVID-19. It's essential to ensure the information is accurate, not contribute to misinformation, and be sensitive to the pandemic's impact on individuals and communities. Additionally, respecting diverse viewpoints and emphasizing public health benefits can promote ethical communication.

What impact does COVID-19 have on society?

The impact of COVID-19 on society is far-reaching. It has led to job and economic losses, an increase in stress and mental health disorders, and changes in education systems. It has also had a negative effect on social interactions, as people have been asked to limit their contact with others.

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Read these 12 moving essays about life during coronavirus

Artists, novelists, critics, and essayists are writing the first draft of history.

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benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

The world is grappling with an invisible, deadly enemy, trying to understand how to live with the threat posed by a virus . For some writers, the only way forward is to put pen to paper, trying to conceptualize and document what it feels like to continue living as countries are under lockdown and regular life seems to have ground to a halt.

So as the coronavirus pandemic has stretched around the world, it’s sparked a crop of diary entries and essays that describe how life has changed. Novelists, critics, artists, and journalists have put words to the feelings many are experiencing. The result is a first draft of how we’ll someday remember this time, filled with uncertainty and pain and fear as well as small moments of hope and humanity.

At the New York Review of Books, Ali Bhutto writes that in Karachi, Pakistan, the government-imposed curfew due to the virus is “eerily reminiscent of past military clampdowns”:

Beneath the quiet calm lies a sense that society has been unhinged and that the usual rules no longer apply. Small groups of pedestrians look on from the shadows, like an audience watching a spectacle slowly unfolding. People pause on street corners and in the shade of trees, under the watchful gaze of the paramilitary forces and the police.

His essay concludes with the sobering note that “in the minds of many, Covid-19 is just another life-threatening hazard in a city that stumbles from one crisis to another.”

Writing from Chattanooga, novelist Jamie Quatro documents the mixed ways her neighbors have been responding to the threat, and the frustration of conflicting direction, or no direction at all, from local, state, and federal leaders:

Whiplash, trying to keep up with who’s ordering what. We’re already experiencing enough chaos without this back-and-forth. Why didn’t the federal government issue a nationwide shelter-in-place at the get-go, the way other countries did? What happens when one state’s shelter-in-place ends, while others continue? Do states still under quarantine close their borders? We are still one nation, not fifty individual countries. Right?

Award-winning photojournalist Alessio Mamo, quarantined with his partner Marta in Sicily after she tested positive for the virus, accompanies his photographs in the Guardian of their confinement with a reflection on being confined :

The doctors asked me to take a second test, but again I tested negative. Perhaps I’m immune? The days dragged on in my apartment, in black and white, like my photos. Sometimes we tried to smile, imagining that I was asymptomatic, because I was the virus. Our smiles seemed to bring good news. My mother left hospital, but I won’t be able to see her for weeks. Marta started breathing well again, and so did I. I would have liked to photograph my country in the midst of this emergency, the battles that the doctors wage on the frontline, the hospitals pushed to their limits, Italy on its knees fighting an invisible enemy. That enemy, a day in March, knocked on my door instead.

In the New York Times Magazine, deputy editor Jessica Lustig writes with devastating clarity about her family’s life in Brooklyn while her husband battled the virus, weeks before most people began taking the threat seriously:

At the door of the clinic, we stand looking out at two older women chatting outside the doorway, oblivious. Do I wave them away? Call out that they should get far away, go home, wash their hands, stay inside? Instead we just stand there, awkwardly, until they move on. Only then do we step outside to begin the long three-block walk home. I point out the early magnolia, the forsythia. T says he is cold. The untrimmed hairs on his neck, under his beard, are white. The few people walking past us on the sidewalk don’t know that we are visitors from the future. A vision, a premonition, a walking visitation. This will be them: Either T, in the mask, or — if they’re lucky — me, tending to him.

Essayist Leslie Jamison writes in the New York Review of Books about being shut away alone in her New York City apartment with her 2-year-old daughter since she became sick:

The virus. Its sinewy, intimate name. What does it feel like in my body today? Shivering under blankets. A hot itch behind the eyes. Three sweatshirts in the middle of the day. My daughter trying to pull another blanket over my body with her tiny arms. An ache in the muscles that somehow makes it hard to lie still. This loss of taste has become a kind of sensory quarantine. It’s as if the quarantine keeps inching closer and closer to my insides. First I lost the touch of other bodies; then I lost the air; now I’ve lost the taste of bananas. Nothing about any of these losses is particularly unique. I’ve made a schedule so I won’t go insane with the toddler. Five days ago, I wrote Walk/Adventure! on it, next to a cut-out illustration of a tiger—as if we’d see tigers on our walks. It was good to keep possibility alive.

At Literary Hub, novelist Heidi Pitlor writes about the elastic nature of time during her family’s quarantine in Massachusetts:

During a shutdown, the things that mark our days—commuting to work, sending our kids to school, having a drink with friends—vanish and time takes on a flat, seamless quality. Without some self-imposed structure, it’s easy to feel a little untethered. A friend recently posted on Facebook: “For those who have lost track, today is Blursday the fortyteenth of Maprilay.” ... Giving shape to time is especially important now, when the future is so shapeless. We do not know whether the virus will continue to rage for weeks or months or, lord help us, on and off for years. We do not know when we will feel safe again. And so many of us, minus those who are gifted at compartmentalization or denial, remain largely captive to fear. We may stay this way if we do not create at least the illusion of movement in our lives, our long days spent with ourselves or partners or families.

Novelist Lauren Groff writes at the New York Review of Books about trying to escape the prison of her fears while sequestered at home in Gainesville, Florida:

Some people have imaginations sparked only by what they can see; I blame this blinkered empiricism for the parks overwhelmed with people, the bars, until a few nights ago, thickly thronged. My imagination is the opposite. I fear everything invisible to me. From the enclosure of my house, I am afraid of the suffering that isn’t present before me, the people running out of money and food or drowning in the fluid in their lungs, the deaths of health-care workers now growing ill while performing their duties. I fear the federal government, which the right wing has so—intentionally—weakened that not only is it insufficient to help its people, it is actively standing in help’s way. I fear we won’t sufficiently punish the right. I fear leaving the house and spreading the disease. I fear what this time of fear is doing to my children, their imaginations, and their souls.

At ArtForum , Berlin-based critic and writer Kristian Vistrup Madsen reflects on martinis, melancholia, and Finnish artist Jaakko Pallasvuo’s 2018 graphic novel Retreat , in which three young people exile themselves in the woods:

In melancholia, the shape of what is ending, and its temporality, is sprawling and incomprehensible. The ambivalence makes it hard to bear. The world of Retreat is rendered in lush pink and purple watercolors, which dissolve into wild and messy abstractions. In apocalypse, the divisions established in genesis bleed back out. My own Corona-retreat is similarly soft, color-field like, each day a blurred succession of quarantinis, YouTube–yoga, and televized press conferences. As restrictions mount, so does abstraction. For now, I’m still rooting for love to save the world.

At the Paris Review , Matt Levin writes about reading Virginia Woolf’s novel The Waves during quarantine:

A retreat, a quarantine, a sickness—they simultaneously distort and clarify, curtail and expand. It is an ideal state in which to read literature with a reputation for difficulty and inaccessibility, those hermetic books shorn of the handholds of conventional plot or characterization or description. A novel like Virginia Woolf’s The Waves is perfect for the state of interiority induced by quarantine—a story of three men and three women, meeting after the death of a mutual friend, told entirely in the overlapping internal monologues of the six, interspersed only with sections of pure, achingly beautiful descriptions of the natural world, a day’s procession and recession of light and waves. The novel is, in my mind’s eye, a perfectly spherical object. It is translucent and shimmering and infinitely fragile, prone to shatter at the slightest disturbance. It is not a book that can be read in snatches on the subway—it demands total absorption. Though it revels in a stark emotional nakedness, the book remains aloof, remote in its own deep self-absorption.

In an essay for the Financial Times, novelist Arundhati Roy writes with anger about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anemic response to the threat, but also offers a glimmer of hope for the future:

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

From Boston, Nora Caplan-Bricker writes in The Point about the strange contraction of space under quarantine, in which a friend in Beirut is as close as the one around the corner in the same city:

It’s a nice illusion—nice to feel like we’re in it together, even if my real world has shrunk to one person, my husband, who sits with his laptop in the other room. It’s nice in the same way as reading those essays that reframe social distancing as solidarity. “We must begin to see the negative space as clearly as the positive, to know what we don’t do is also brilliant and full of love,” the poet Anne Boyer wrote on March 10th, the day that Massachusetts declared a state of emergency. If you squint, you could almost make sense of this quarantine as an effort to flatten, along with the curve, the distinctions we make between our bonds with others. Right now, I care for my neighbor in the same way I demonstrate love for my mother: in all instances, I stay away. And in moments this month, I have loved strangers with an intensity that is new to me. On March 14th, the Saturday night after the end of life as we knew it, I went out with my dog and found the street silent: no lines for restaurants, no children on bicycles, no couples strolling with little cups of ice cream. It had taken the combined will of thousands of people to deliver such a sudden and complete emptiness. I felt so grateful, and so bereft.

And on his own website, musician and artist David Byrne writes about rediscovering the value of working for collective good , saying that “what is happening now is an opportunity to learn how to change our behavior”:

In emergencies, citizens can suddenly cooperate and collaborate. Change can happen. We’re going to need to work together as the effects of climate change ramp up. In order for capitalism to survive in any form, we will have to be a little more socialist. Here is an opportunity for us to see things differently — to see that we really are all connected — and adjust our behavior accordingly. Are we willing to do this? Is this moment an opportunity to see how truly interdependent we all are? To live in a world that is different and better than the one we live in now? We might be too far down the road to test every asymptomatic person, but a change in our mindsets, in how we view our neighbors, could lay the groundwork for the collective action we’ll need to deal with other global crises. The time to see how connected we all are is now.

The portrait these writers paint of a world under quarantine is multifaceted. Our worlds have contracted to the confines of our homes, and yet in some ways we’re more connected than ever to one another. We feel fear and boredom, anger and gratitude, frustration and strange peace. Uncertainty drives us to find metaphors and images that will let us wrap our minds around what is happening.

Yet there’s no single “what” that is happening. Everyone is contending with the pandemic and its effects from different places and in different ways. Reading others’ experiences — even the most frightening ones — can help alleviate the loneliness and dread, a little, and remind us that what we’re going through is both unique and shared by all.

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Benefits of Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine

There are many benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Prevents serious illness: COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States  are safe and effective  at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying.
  • A safer way to build protection: Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19.
  • Offers added protection: COVID-19 vaccines can  offer added protection to people who had COVID-19, including protection against being hospitalized from a new infection.

How to be best protected: As with vaccines for other diseases, people are  best protected when they  stay up to date .

COVID-19 Vaccines Protect Your Health

COVID 19-vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. Vaccination remains the safest strategy for avoiding hospitalizations, long-term health outcomes, and death.

What You Can Do Now to Prevent Severe Illness, Hospitalization, and Death

Use  – to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

CDC recommends everyone aged 5 years and older get 1 updated COVID-19 vaccine . Children aged 6 months – 4 years may need more than 1 dose of updated COVID-19 to stay up to date . People aged 65 years and older who received 1 dose of any updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax) should receive 1 additional dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the previous updated dose. For more Novavax information, click or tap here .

Severe Illness

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing the most severe outcomes from a COVID-19 infection.

Myocarditis is a condition where the heart becomes inflamed in response to an infection or some other trigger. Myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination is rare. This study shows that patients with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk for myocarditis compared with patients who did not have COVID-19 .


COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent you from becoming hospitalized if you do get infected with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent you from dying if you do get infected with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination is a Safer, More Reliable Way to Build Protection

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people by creating an immune response without the potentially severe illness or post-COVID conditions that can be associated with COVID-19 infection.

  • Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, even in children, but it is not possible to determine who will experience mild or severe illness from COVID-19 infection.
  • People may have long-term health issues after having COVID-19. Even people who do not have symptoms when they are first infected with COVID-19 can experience long-term health problems, also known as long COVID or post-COVID conditions .
  • Complications can appear after mild or severe COVID-19, or after multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) .

While people can get some protection from having COVID-19, the level and length of that protection varies, especially as  COVID-19 variants continue to emerge .

  • Immunity (protection) from infection can vary depending on how mild or severe someone’s illness was and their age.
  • Immunity from infection decreases over time.

Importantly, there is no antibody test  available that can reliably determine if a person is protected from further infection.

After vaccination, continue to follow all current prevention measures recommended by CDC based on latest COVID-19 hospital admission levels. Learn more about protecting your family from COVID-19.

  • Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
  • COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby

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Covid 19 Essay in English

Essay on Covid -19: In a very short amount of time, coronavirus has spread globally. It has had an enormous impact on people's lives, economy, and societies all around the world, affecting every country. Governments have had to take severe measures to try and contain the pandemic. The virus has altered our way of life in many ways, including its effects on our health and our economy. Here are a few sample essays on ‘CoronaVirus’.

100 Words Essay on Covid 19

200 words essay on covid 19, 500 words essay on covid 19.

Covid 19 Essay in English

COVID-19 or Corona Virus is a novel coronavirus that was first identified in 2019. It is similar to other coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but it is more contagious and has caused more severe respiratory illness in people who have been infected. The novel coronavirus became a global pandemic in a very short period of time. It has affected lives, economies and societies across the world, leaving no country untouched. The virus has caused governments to take drastic measures to try and contain it. From health implications to economic and social ramifications, COVID-19 impacted every part of our lives. It has been more than 2 years since the pandemic hit and the world is still recovering from its effects.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the world has been impacted in a number of ways. For one, the global economy has taken a hit as businesses have been forced to close their doors. This has led to widespread job losses and an increase in poverty levels around the world. Additionally, countries have had to impose strict travel restrictions in an attempt to contain the virus, which has resulted in a decrease in tourism and international trade. Furthermore, the pandemic has put immense pressure on healthcare systems globally, as hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients suffering from the virus. Lastly, the outbreak has led to a general feeling of anxiety and uncertainty, as people are fearful of contracting the disease.

My Experience of COVID-19

I still remember how abruptly colleges and schools shut down in March 2020. I was a college student at that time and I was under the impression that everything would go back to normal in a few weeks. I could not have been more wrong. The situation only got worse every week and the government had to impose a lockdown. There were so many restrictions in place. For example, we had to wear face masks whenever we left the house, and we could only go out for essential errands. Restaurants and shops were only allowed to operate at take-out capacity, and many businesses were shut down.

In the current scenario, coronavirus is dominating all aspects of our lives. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc upon people’s lives, altering the way we live and work in a very short amount of time. It has revolutionised how we think about health care, education, and even social interaction. This virus has had long-term implications on our society, including its impact on mental health, economic stability, and global politics. But we as individuals can help to mitigate these effects by taking personal responsibility to protect themselves and those around them from infection.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Education

The outbreak of coronavirus has had a significant impact on education systems around the world. In China, where the virus originated, all schools and universities were closed for several weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. Many other countries have followed suit, either closing schools altogether or suspending classes for a period of time.

This has resulted in a major disruption to the education of millions of students. Some have been able to continue their studies online, but many have not had access to the internet or have not been able to afford the costs associated with it. This has led to a widening of the digital divide between those who can afford to continue their education online and those who cannot.

The closure of schools has also had a negative impact on the mental health of many students. With no face-to-face contact with friends and teachers, some students have felt isolated and anxious. This has been compounded by the worry and uncertainty surrounding the virus itself.

The situation with coronavirus has improved and schools have been reopened but students are still catching up with the gap of 2 years that the pandemic created. In the meantime, governments and educational institutions are working together to find ways to support students and ensure that they are able to continue their education despite these difficult circumstances.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Economy

The outbreak of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on the global economy. The virus, which originated in China, has spread to over two hundred countries, resulting in widespread panic and a decrease in global trade. As a result of the outbreak, many businesses have been forced to close their doors, leading to a rise in unemployment. In addition, the stock market has taken a severe hit.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Health

The effects that coronavirus has on one's health are still being studied and researched as the virus continues to spread throughout the world. However, some of the potential effects on health that have been observed thus far include respiratory problems, fever, and coughing. In severe cases, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death can occur. It is important for people who think they may have been exposed to the virus to seek medical attention immediately so that they can be treated properly and avoid any serious complications. There is no specific cure or treatment for coronavirus at this time, but there are ways to help ease symptoms and prevent the virus from spreading.

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Importance of preventive health care during COVID-19 pandemic

Jason Howland

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Preventive health care helps you maintain your health. Screenings are important to avoid future health problems or catch them early when they are easier to treat. But the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in preventive screenings because some patients have been hesitant to see their health care provider.

"People are driven to seek medical care by pain. Pain is a strong driver to get relief. And since prevention is when you are without symptoms, people tend to put that on the back burner or they may feel unsafe to come in because of the uncertainty about COVID-19," says Dr. Cindy Kermott , a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine physician. "We know enough now about COVID-19, and we have personal protective equipment. We also have vaccines that have been available for health care workers now, and essentially all have been offered it. And it is safe to come in to get these preventive screens and vaccines done."

Watch: Dr. Cindy Kermott discusses the importance of preventive health care.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Kermott are available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: "Cindy Kermott, M.D./Preventive Medicine/Mayo Clinic."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends many evidence-based preventive screenings. The most common for older men are prostate cancer and abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings. Women should schedule Pap smears to check for cervical cancer and mammograms to detect breast cancer.

Other important preventive health measures for every adult include:

  • Vaccinations
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Checking cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Testing blood glucose levels for diabetes

The timing and frequency of these screenings depend on your age and risk factors, and most are covered by your insurance.

"A screen is just a tool to detect the disease earlier," says Dr. Kermott. "It could be a lab. It could be vital signs. It could be questions — a survey instrument for depression, for example. It could be taking a family history and finding clues for genetics because some genetic testing is covered as a screen. And sometimes we do imaging, such as bone density or colonoscopy and endoscopy to detect things."

Whether you're nervous about COVID-19 safety or simply putting off your next trip for care, don't delay in talking to your health care provider about scheduling your preventive health screenings.

"If we pick it up too late, then we don't have as good of a leg up on the situation. And we're hoping to intervene so that you can live longer and have more quality life years as a result of these screens," says Dr. Kermott.


For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the  Mayo Clinic News Network  and .

Learn more about  tracking COVID-19 and COVID-19 trends .

March 18, 2021- Mayo Clinic COVID-19 trending map using red color tones for hot spots

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  • COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on social relationships and health
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  • Emily Long 1 ,
  • Susan Patterson 1 ,
  • Karen Maxwell 1 ,
  • Carolyn Blake 1 ,
  • Raquel Bosó Pérez 1 ,
  • Ruth Lewis 1 ,
  • Mark McCann 1 ,
  • Julie Riddell 1 ,
  • Kathryn Skivington 1 ,
  • Rachel Wilson-Lowe 1 ,
  • Kirstin R Mitchell 2
  • 1 MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit , University of Glasgow , Glasgow , UK
  • 2 MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Institute of Health & Wellbeing , University of Glasgow , Glasgow , UK
  • Correspondence to Dr Emily Long, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G3 7HR, UK; emily.long{at}

This essay examines key aspects of social relationships that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses explicitly on relational mechanisms of health and brings together theory and emerging evidence on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to make recommendations for future public health policy and recovery. We first provide an overview of the pandemic in the UK context, outlining the nature of the public health response. We then introduce four distinct domains of social relationships: social networks, social support, social interaction and intimacy, highlighting the mechanisms through which the pandemic and associated public health response drastically altered social interactions in each domain. Throughout the essay, the lens of health inequalities, and perspective of relationships as interconnecting elements in a broader system, is used to explore the varying impact of these disruptions. The essay concludes by providing recommendations for longer term recovery ensuring that the social relational cost of COVID-19 is adequately considered in efforts to rebuild.

  • inequalities

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated and/or analysed for this study. Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated or analysed for this essay.

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Infectious disease pandemics, including SARS and COVID-19, demand intrapersonal behaviour change and present highly complex challenges for public health. 1 A pandemic of an airborne infection, spread easily through social contact, assails human relationships by drastically altering the ways through which humans interact. In this essay, we draw on theories of social relationships to examine specific ways in which relational mechanisms key to health and well-being were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Relational mechanisms refer to the processes between people that lead to change in health outcomes.

At the time of writing, the future surrounding COVID-19 was uncertain. Vaccine programmes were being rolled out in countries that could afford them, but new and more contagious variants of the virus were also being discovered. The recovery journey looked long, with continued disruption to social relationships. The social cost of COVID-19 was only just beginning to emerge, but the mental health impact was already considerable, 2 3 and the inequality of the health burden stark. 4 Knowledge of the epidemiology of COVID-19 accrued rapidly, but evidence of the most effective policy responses remained uncertain.

The initial response to COVID-19 in the UK was reactive and aimed at reducing mortality, with little time to consider the social implications, including for interpersonal and community relationships. The terminology of ‘social distancing’ quickly became entrenched both in public and policy discourse. This equation of physical distance with social distance was regrettable, since only physical proximity causes viral transmission, whereas many forms of social proximity (eg, conversations while walking outdoors) are minimal risk, and are crucial to maintaining relationships supportive of health and well-being.

The aim of this essay is to explore four key relational mechanisms that were impacted by the pandemic and associated restrictions: social networks, social support, social interaction and intimacy. We use relational theories and emerging research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic response to make three key recommendations: one regarding public health responses; and two regarding social recovery. Our understanding of these mechanisms stems from a ‘systems’ perspective which casts social relationships as interdependent elements within a connected whole. 5

Social networks

Social networks characterise the individuals and social connections that compose a system (such as a workplace, community or society). Social relationships range from spouses and partners, to coworkers, friends and acquaintances. They vary across many dimensions, including, for example, frequency of contact and emotional closeness. Social networks can be understood both in terms of the individuals and relationships that compose the network, as well as the overall network structure (eg, how many of your friends know each other).

Social networks show a tendency towards homophily, or a phenomenon of associating with individuals who are similar to self. 6 This is particularly true for ‘core’ network ties (eg, close friends), while more distant, sometimes called ‘weak’ ties tend to show more diversity. During the height of COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face interactions were often reduced to core network members, such as partners, family members or, potentially, live-in roommates; some ‘weak’ ties were lost, and interactions became more limited to those closest. Given that peripheral, weaker social ties provide a diversity of resources, opinions and support, 7 COVID-19 likely resulted in networks that were smaller and more homogenous.

Such changes were not inevitable nor necessarily enduring, since social networks are also adaptive and responsive to change, in that a disruption to usual ways of interacting can be replaced by new ways of engaging (eg, Zoom). Yet, important inequalities exist, wherein networks and individual relationships within networks are not equally able to adapt to such changes. For example, individuals with a large number of newly established relationships (eg, university students) may have struggled to transfer these relationships online, resulting in lost contacts and a heightened risk of social isolation. This is consistent with research suggesting that young adults were the most likely to report a worsening of relationships during COVID-19, whereas older adults were the least likely to report a change. 8

Lastly, social connections give rise to emergent properties of social systems, 9 where a community-level phenomenon develops that cannot be attributed to any one member or portion of the network. For example, local area-based networks emerged due to geographic restrictions (eg, stay-at-home orders), resulting in increases in neighbourly support and local volunteering. 10 In fact, research suggests that relationships with neighbours displayed the largest net gain in ratings of relationship quality compared with a range of relationship types (eg, partner, colleague, friend). 8 Much of this was built from spontaneous individual interactions within local communities, which together contributed to the ‘community spirit’ that many experienced. 11 COVID-19 restrictions thus impacted the personal social networks and the structure of the larger networks within the society.

Social support

Social support, referring to the psychological and material resources provided through social interaction, is a critical mechanism through which social relationships benefit health. In fact, social support has been shown to be one of the most important resilience factors in the aftermath of stressful events. 12 In the context of COVID-19, the usual ways in which individuals interact and obtain social support have been severely disrupted.

One such disruption has been to opportunities for spontaneous social interactions. For example, conversations with colleagues in a break room offer an opportunity for socialising beyond one’s core social network, and these peripheral conversations can provide a form of social support. 13 14 A chance conversation may lead to advice helpful to coping with situations or seeking formal help. Thus, the absence of these spontaneous interactions may mean the reduction of indirect support-seeking opportunities. While direct support-seeking behaviour is more effective at eliciting support, it also requires significantly more effort and may be perceived as forceful and burdensome. 15 The shift to homeworking and closure of community venues reduced the number of opportunities for these spontaneous interactions to occur, and has, second, focused them locally. Consequently, individuals whose core networks are located elsewhere, or who live in communities where spontaneous interaction is less likely, have less opportunity to benefit from spontaneous in-person supportive interactions.

However, alongside this disruption, new opportunities to interact and obtain social support have arisen. The surge in community social support during the initial lockdown mirrored that often seen in response to adverse events (eg, natural disasters 16 ). COVID-19 restrictions that confined individuals to their local area also compelled them to focus their in-person efforts locally. Commentators on the initial lockdown in the UK remarked on extraordinary acts of generosity between individuals who belonged to the same community but were unknown to each other. However, research on adverse events also tells us that such community support is not necessarily maintained in the longer term. 16

Meanwhile, online forms of social support are not bound by geography, thus enabling interactions and social support to be received from a wider network of people. Formal online social support spaces (eg, support groups) existed well before COVID-19, but have vastly increased since. While online interactions can increase perceived social support, it is unclear whether remote communication technologies provide an effective substitute from in-person interaction during periods of social distancing. 17 18 It makes intuitive sense that the usefulness of online social support will vary by the type of support offered, degree of social interaction and ‘online communication skills’ of those taking part. Youth workers, for instance, have struggled to keep vulnerable youth engaged in online youth clubs, 19 despite others finding a positive association between amount of digital technology used by individuals during lockdown and perceived social support. 20 Other research has found that more frequent face-to-face contact and phone/video contact both related to lower levels of depression during the time period of March to August 2020, but the negative effect of a lack of contact was greater for those with higher levels of usual sociability. 21 Relatedly, important inequalities in social support exist, such that individuals who occupy more socially disadvantaged positions in society (eg, low socioeconomic status, older people) tend to have less access to social support, 22 potentially exacerbated by COVID-19.

Social and interactional norms

Interactional norms are key relational mechanisms which build trust, belonging and identity within and across groups in a system. Individuals in groups and societies apply meaning by ‘approving, arranging and redefining’ symbols of interaction. 23 A handshake, for instance, is a powerful symbol of trust and equality. Depending on context, not shaking hands may symbolise a failure to extend friendship, or a failure to reach agreement. The norms governing these symbols represent shared values and identity; and mutual understanding of these symbols enables individuals to achieve orderly interactions, establish supportive relationship accountability and connect socially. 24 25

Physical distancing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 radically altered these norms of interaction, particularly those used to convey trust, affinity, empathy and respect (eg, hugging, physical comforting). 26 As epidemic waves rose and fell, the work to negotiate these norms required intense cognitive effort; previously taken-for-granted interactions were re-examined, factoring in current restriction levels, own and (assumed) others’ vulnerability and tolerance of risk. This created awkwardness, and uncertainty, for example, around how to bring closure to an in-person interaction or convey warmth. The instability in scripted ways of interacting created particular strain for individuals who already struggled to encode and decode interactions with others (eg, those who are deaf or have autism spectrum disorder); difficulties often intensified by mask wearing. 27

Large social gatherings—for example, weddings, school assemblies, sporting events—also present key opportunities for affirming and assimilating interactional norms, building cohesion and shared identity and facilitating cooperation across social groups. 28 Online ‘equivalents’ do not easily support ‘social-bonding’ activities such as singing and dancing, and rarely enable chance/spontaneous one-on-one conversations with peripheral/weaker network ties (see the Social networks section) which can help strengthen bonds across a larger network. The loss of large gatherings to celebrate rites of passage (eg, bar mitzvah, weddings) has additional relational costs since these events are performed by and for communities to reinforce belonging, and to assist in transitioning to new phases of life. 29 The loss of interaction with diverse others via community and large group gatherings also reduces intergroup contact, which may then tend towards more prejudiced outgroup attitudes. While online interaction can go some way to mimicking these interaction norms, there are key differences. A sense of anonymity, and lack of in-person emotional cues, tends to support norms of polarisation and aggression in expressing differences of opinion online. And while online platforms have potential to provide intergroup contact, the tendency of much social media to form homogeneous ‘echo chambers’ can serve to further reduce intergroup contact. 30 31

Intimacy relates to the feeling of emotional connection and closeness with other human beings. Emotional connection, through romantic, friendship or familial relationships, fulfils a basic human need 32 and strongly benefits health, including reduced stress levels, improved mental health, lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. 32 33 Intimacy can be fostered through familiarity, feeling understood and feeling accepted by close others. 34

Intimacy via companionship and closeness is fundamental to mental well-being. Positively, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered opportunities for individuals to (re)connect and (re)strengthen close relationships within their household via quality time together, following closure of many usual external social activities. Research suggests that the first full UK lockdown period led to a net gain in the quality of steady relationships at a population level, 35 but amplified existing inequalities in relationship quality. 35 36 For some in single-person households, the absence of a companion became more conspicuous, leading to feelings of loneliness and lower mental well-being. 37 38 Additional pandemic-related relational strain 39 40 resulted, for some, in the initiation or intensification of domestic abuse. 41 42

Physical touch is another key aspect of intimacy, a fundamental human need crucial in maintaining and developing intimacy within close relationships. 34 Restrictions on social interactions severely restricted the number and range of people with whom physical affection was possible. The reduction in opportunity to give and receive affectionate physical touch was not experienced equally. Many of those living alone found themselves completely without physical contact for extended periods. The deprivation of physical touch is evidenced to take a heavy emotional toll. 43 Even in future, once physical expressions of affection can resume, new levels of anxiety over germs may introduce hesitancy into previously fluent blending of physical and verbal intimate social connections. 44

The pandemic also led to shifts in practices and norms around sexual relationship building and maintenance, as individuals adapted and sought alternative ways of enacting sexual intimacy. This too is important, given that intimate sexual activity has known benefits for health. 45 46 Given that social restrictions hinged on reducing household mixing, possibilities for partnered sexual activity were primarily guided by living arrangements. While those in cohabiting relationships could potentially continue as before, those who were single or in non-cohabiting relationships generally had restricted opportunities to maintain their sexual relationships. Pornography consumption and digital partners were reported to increase since lockdown. 47 However, online interactions are qualitatively different from in-person interactions and do not provide the same opportunities for physical intimacy.

Recommendations and conclusions

In the sections above we have outlined the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted social relationships, showing how relational mechanisms key to health have been undermined. While some of the damage might well self-repair after the pandemic, there are opportunities inherent in deliberative efforts to build back in ways that facilitate greater resilience in social and community relationships. We conclude by making three recommendations: one regarding public health responses to the pandemic; and two regarding social recovery.

Recommendation 1: explicitly count the relational cost of public health policies to control the pandemic

Effective handling of a pandemic recognises that social, economic and health concerns are intricately interwoven. It is clear that future research and policy attention must focus on the social consequences. As described above, policies which restrict physical mixing across households carry heavy and unequal relational costs. These include for individuals (eg, loss of intimate touch), dyads (eg, loss of warmth, comfort), networks (eg, restricted access to support) and communities (eg, loss of cohesion and identity). Such costs—and their unequal impact—should not be ignored in short-term efforts to control an epidemic. Some public health responses—restrictions on international holiday travel and highly efficient test and trace systems—have relatively small relational costs and should be prioritised. At a national level, an earlier move to proportionate restrictions, and investment in effective test and trace systems, may help prevent escalation of spread to the point where a national lockdown or tight restrictions became an inevitability. Where policies with relational costs are unavoidable, close attention should be paid to the unequal relational impact for those whose personal circumstances differ from normative assumptions of two adult families. This includes consideration of whether expectations are fair (eg, for those who live alone), whether restrictions on social events are equitable across age group, religious/ethnic groupings and social class, and also to ensure that the language promoted by such policies (eg, households; families) is not exclusionary. 48 49 Forethought to unequal impacts on social relationships should thus be integral to the work of epidemic preparedness teams.

Recommendation 2: intelligently balance online and offline ways of relating

A key ingredient for well-being is ‘getting together’ in a physical sense. This is fundamental to a human need for intimate touch, physical comfort, reinforcing interactional norms and providing practical support. Emerging evidence suggests that online ways of relating cannot simply replace physical interactions. But online interaction has many benefits and for some it offers connections that did not exist previously. In particular, online platforms provide new forms of support for those unable to access offline services because of mobility issues (eg, older people) or because they are geographically isolated from their support community (eg, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth). Ultimately, multiple forms of online and offline social interactions are required to meet the needs of varying groups of people (eg, LGBTQ, older people). Future research and practice should aim to establish ways of using offline and online support in complementary and even synergistic ways, rather than veering between them as social restrictions expand and contract. Intelligent balancing of online and offline ways of relating also pertains to future policies on home and flexible working. A decision to switch to wholesale or obligatory homeworking should consider the risk to relational ‘group properties’ of the workplace community and their impact on employees’ well-being, focusing in particular on unequal impacts (eg, new vs established employees). Intelligent blending of online and in-person working is required to achieve flexibility while also nurturing supportive networks at work. Intelligent balance also implies strategies to build digital literacy and minimise digital exclusion, as well as coproducing solutions with intended beneficiaries.

Recommendation 3: build stronger and sustainable localised communities

In balancing offline and online ways of interacting, there is opportunity to capitalise on the potential for more localised, coherent communities due to scaled-down travel, homeworking and local focus that will ideally continue after restrictions end. There are potential economic benefits after the pandemic, such as increased trade as home workers use local resources (eg, coffee shops), but also relational benefits from stronger relationships around the orbit of the home and neighbourhood. Experience from previous crises shows that community volunteer efforts generated early on will wane over time in the absence of deliberate work to maintain them. Adequately funded partnerships between local government, third sector and community groups are required to sustain community assets that began as a direct response to the pandemic. Such partnerships could work to secure green spaces and indoor (non-commercial) meeting spaces that promote community interaction. Green spaces in particular provide a triple benefit in encouraging physical activity and mental health, as well as facilitating social bonding. 50 In building local communities, small community networks—that allow for diversity and break down ingroup/outgroup views—may be more helpful than the concept of ‘support bubbles’, which are exclusionary and less sustainable in the longer term. Rigorously designed intervention and evaluation—taking a systems approach—will be crucial in ensuring scale-up and sustainability.

The dramatic change to social interaction necessitated by efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 created stark challenges but also opportunities. Our essay highlights opportunities for learning, both to ensure the equity and humanity of physical restrictions, and to sustain the salutogenic effects of social relationships going forward. The starting point for capitalising on this learning is recognition of the disruption to relational mechanisms as a key part of the socioeconomic and health impact of the pandemic. In recovery planning, a general rule is that what is good for decreasing health inequalities (such as expanding social protection and public services and pursuing green inclusive growth strategies) 4 will also benefit relationships and safeguard relational mechanisms for future generations. Putting this into action will require political will.

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Twitter @karenmaxSPHSU, @Mark_McCann, @Rwilsonlowe, @KMitchinGlasgow

Contributors EL and KM led on the manuscript conceptualisation, review and editing. SP, KM, CB, RBP, RL, MM, JR, KS and RW-L contributed to drafting and revising the article. All authors assisted in revising the final draft.

Funding The research reported in this publication was supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00022/1, MC_UU_00022/3) and the Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU11, SPHSU14). EL is also supported by MRC Skills Development Fellowship Award (MR/S015078/1). KS and MM are also supported by a Medical Research Council Strategic Award (MC_PC_13027).

Competing interests None declared.

Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how 

Anais, a student at the International Bilingual School (EIB), attends her online lessons in her bedroom in Paris as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in France, March 20, 2020. Picture taken on March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes - RC2SPF9G7MJ9

With schools shut across the world, millions of children have had to adapt to new types of learning. Image:  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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Farah lalani.

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

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Stay up to date:, education, gender and work.

  • The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom.
  • As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
  • Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused might be here to stay.

While countries are at different points in their COVID-19 infection rates, worldwide there are currently more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures due to the pandemic. In Denmark, children up to the age of 11 are returning to nurseries and schools after initially closing on 12 March , but in South Korea students are responding to roll calls from their teachers online .

With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market.

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025 . Whether it is language apps , virtual tutoring , video conferencing tools, or online learning software , there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.

How is the education sector responding to COVID-19?

In response to significant demand, many online learning platforms are offering free access to their services, including platforms like BYJU’S , a Bangalore-based educational technology and online tutoring firm founded in 2011, which is now the world’s most highly valued edtech company . Since announcing free live classes on its Think and Learn app, BYJU’s has seen a 200% increase in the number of new students using its product, according to Mrinal Mohit, the company's Chief Operating Officer.

Tencent classroom, meanwhile, has been used extensively since mid-February after the Chinese government instructed a quarter of a billion full-time students to resume their studies through online platforms. This resulted in the largest “online movement” in the history of education with approximately 730,000 , or 81% of K-12 students, attending classes via the Tencent K-12 Online School in Wuhan.

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Other companies are bolstering capabilities to provide a one-stop shop for teachers and students. For example, Lark, a Singapore-based collaboration suite initially developed by ByteDance as an internal tool to meet its own exponential growth, began offering teachers and students unlimited video conferencing time, auto-translation capabilities, real-time co-editing of project work, and smart calendar scheduling, amongst other features. To do so quickly and in a time of crisis, Lark ramped up its global server infrastructure and engineering capabilities to ensure reliable connectivity.

Alibaba’s distance learning solution, DingTalk, had to prepare for a similar influx: “To support large-scale remote work, the platform tapped Alibaba Cloud to deploy more than 100,000 new cloud servers in just two hours last month – setting a new record for rapid capacity expansion,” according to DingTalk CEO, Chen Hang.

Some school districts are forming unique partnerships, like the one between The Los Angeles Unified School District and PBS SoCal/KCET to offer local educational broadcasts, with separate channels focused on different ages, and a range of digital options. Media organizations such as the BBC are also powering virtual learning; Bitesize Daily , launched on 20 April, is offering 14 weeks of curriculum-based learning for kids across the UK with celebrities like Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero teaching some of the content.

covid impact on education

What does this mean for the future of learning?

While some believe that the unplanned and rapid move to online learning – with no training, insufficient bandwidth, and little preparation – will result in a poor user experience that is unconducive to sustained growth, others believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits. “I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education,“ says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

There have already been successful transitions amongst many universities. For example, Zhejiang University managed to get more than 5,000 courses online just two weeks into the transition using “DingTalk ZJU”. The Imperial College London started offering a course on the science of coronavirus, which is now the most enrolled class launched in 2020 on Coursera .

Many are already touting the benefits: Dr Amjad, a Professor at The University of Jordan who has been using Lark to teach his students says, “It has changed the way of teaching. It enables me to reach out to my students more efficiently and effectively through chat groups, video meetings, voting and also document sharing, especially during this pandemic. My students also find it is easier to communicate on Lark. I will stick to Lark even after coronavirus, I believe traditional offline learning and e-learning can go hand by hand."

These 3 charts show the global growth in online learning

The challenges of online learning.

There are, however, challenges to overcome. Some students without reliable internet access and/or technology struggle to participate in digital learning; this gap is seen across countries and between income brackets within countries. For example, whilst 95% of students in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have a computer to use for their schoolwork, only 34% in Indonesia do, according to OECD data .

In the US, there is a significant gap between those from privileged and disadvantaged backgrounds: whilst virtually all 15-year-olds from a privileged background said they had a computer to work on, nearly 25% of those from disadvantaged backgrounds did not. While some schools and governments have been providing digital equipment to students in need, such as in New South Wales , Australia, many are still concerned that the pandemic will widenthe digital divide .

Is learning online as effective?

For those who do have access to the right technology, there is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose.

Nevertheless, the effectiveness of online learning varies amongst age groups. The general consensus on children, especially younger ones, is that a structured environment is required , because kids are more easily distracted. To get the full benefit of online learning, there needs to be a concerted effort to provide this structure and go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities, instead, using a range of collaboration tools and engagement methods that promote “inclusion, personalization and intelligence”, according to Dowson Tong, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of its Cloud and Smart Industries Group.

Since studies have shown that children extensively use their senses to learn, making learning fun and effective through use of technology is crucial, according to BYJU's Mrinal Mohit. “Over a period, we have observed that clever integration of games has demonstrated higher engagement and increased motivation towards learning especially among younger students, making them truly fall in love with learning”, he says.

A changing education imperative

It is clear that this pandemic has utterly disrupted an education system that many assert was already losing its relevance . In his book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century , scholar Yuval Noah Harari outlines how schools continue to focus on traditional academic skills and rote learning , rather than on skills such as critical thinking and adaptability, which will be more important for success in the future. Could the move to online learning be the catalyst to create a new, more effective method of educating students? While some worry that the hasty nature of the transition online may have hindered this goal, others plan to make e-learning part of their ‘new normal’ after experiencing the benefits first-hand.

The importance of disseminating knowledge is highlighted through COVID-19

Major world events are often an inflection point for rapid innovation – a clear example is the rise of e-commerce post-SARS . While we have yet to see whether this will apply to e-learning post-COVID-19, it is one of the few sectors where investment has not dried up . What has been made clear through this pandemic is the importance of disseminating knowledge across borders, companies, and all parts of society. If online learning technology can play a role here, it is incumbent upon all of us to explore its full potential.

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Essay on COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, daily life has been negatively affected, impacting the worldwide economy. Thousands of individuals have been sickened or died as a result of the outbreak of this disease. When you have the flu or a viral infection, the most common symptoms include fever, cold, coughing up bone fragments, and difficulty breathing, which may progress to pneumonia. It’s important to take major steps like keeping a strict cleaning routine, keeping social distance, and wearing masks, among other things. This virus’s geographic spread is accelerating (Daniel Pg 93). Governments restricted public meetings during the start of the pandemic to prevent the disease from spreading and breaking the exponential distribution curve. In order to avoid the damage caused by this extremely contagious disease, several countries quarantined their citizens. However, this scenario had drastically altered with the discovery of the vaccinations. The research aims to investigate the effect of the Covid-19 epidemic and its impact on the population’s well-being.

There is growing interest in the relationship between social determinants of health and health outcomes. Still, many health care providers and academics have been hesitant to recognize racism as a contributing factor to racial health disparities. Only a few research have examined the health effects of institutional racism, with the majority focusing on interpersonal racial and ethnic prejudice Ciotti et al., Pg 370. The latter comprises historically and culturally connected institutions that are interconnected. Prejudice is being practiced in a variety of contexts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In some ways, the outbreak has exposed pre-existing bias and inequity.

Thousands of businesses are in danger of failure. Around 2.3 billion of the world’s 3.3 billion employees are out of work. These workers are especially susceptible since they lack access to social security and adequate health care, and they’ve also given up ownership of productive assets, which makes them highly vulnerable. Many individuals lose their employment as a result of lockdowns, leaving them unable to support their families. People strapped for cash are often forced to reduce their caloric intake while also eating less nutritiously (Fraser et al, Pg 3). The epidemic has had an impact on the whole food chain, revealing vulnerabilities that were previously hidden. Border closures, trade restrictions, and confinement measures have limited farmer access to markets, while agricultural workers have not gathered crops. As a result, the local and global food supply chain has been disrupted, and people now have less access to healthy foods. As a consequence of the epidemic, many individuals have lost their employment, and millions more are now in danger. When breadwinners lose their jobs, become sick, or die, the food and nutrition of millions of people are endangered. Particularly severely hit are the world’s poorest small farmers and indigenous peoples.

Infectious illness outbreaks and epidemics have become worldwide threats due to globalization, urbanization, and environmental change. In developed countries like Europe and North America, surveillance and health systems monitor and manage the spread of infectious illnesses in real-time. Both low- and high-income countries need to improve their public health capacities (Omer et al., Pg 1767). These improvements should be financed using a mix of national and foreign donor money. In order to speed up research and reaction for new illnesses with pandemic potential, a global collaborative effort including governments and commercial companies has been proposed. When working on a vaccine-like COVID-19, cooperation is critical.

The epidemic has had an impact on the whole food chain, revealing vulnerabilities that were previously hidden. Border closures, trade restrictions, and confinement measures have limited farmer access to markets, while agricultural workers have been unable to gather crops. As a result, the local and global food supply chain has been disrupted, and people now have less access to healthy foods (Daniel et al.,Pg 95) . As a consequence of the epidemic, many individuals have lost their employment, and millions more are now in danger. When breadwinners lose their jobs, the food and nutrition of millions of people are endangered. Particularly severely hit are the world’s poorest small farmers and indigenous peoples.

While helping to feed the world’s population, millions of paid and unpaid agricultural laborers suffer from high levels of poverty, hunger, and bad health, as well as a lack of safety and labor safeguards, as well as other kinds of abuse at work. Poor people, who have no recourse to social assistance, must work longer and harder, sometimes in hazardous occupations, endangering their families in the process (Daniel Pg 96). When faced with a lack of income, people may turn to hazardous financial activities, including asset liquidation, predatory lending, or child labor, to make ends meet. Because of the dangers they encounter while traveling, working, and living abroad; migrant agricultural laborers are especially vulnerable. They also have a difficult time taking advantage of government assistance programs.

The pandemic also has a significant impact on education. Although many educational institutions across the globe have already made the switch to online learning, the extent to which technology is utilized to improve the quality of distance or online learning varies. This level is dependent on several variables, including the different parties engaged in the execution of this learning format and the incorporation of technology into educational institutions before the time of school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many years, researchers from all around the globe have worked to determine what variables contribute to effective technology integration in the classroom Ciotti et al., Pg 371. The amount of technology usage and the quality of learning when moving from a classroom to a distant or online format are presumed to be influenced by the same set of variables. Findings from previous research, which sought to determine what affects educational systems ability to integrate technology into teaching, suggest understanding how teachers, students, and technology interact positively in order to achieve positive results in the integration of teaching technology (Honey et al., 2000). Teachers’ views on teaching may affect the chances of successfully incorporating technology into the classroom and making it a part of the learning process.

In conclusion, indeed, Covid 19 pandemic have affected the well being of the people in a significant manner. The economy operation across the globe have been destabilized as most of the people have been rendered jobless while the job operation has been stopped. As most of the people have been rendered jobless the living conditions of the people have also been significantly affected. Besides, the education sector has also been affected as most of the learning institutions prefer the use of online learning which is not effective as compared to the traditional method. With the invention of the vaccines, most of the developed countries have been noted to stabilize slowly, while the developing countries have not been able to vaccinate most of its citizens. However, despite the challenge caused by the pandemic, organizations have been able to adapt the new mode of online trading to be promoted.

Ciotti, Marco, et al. “The COVID-19 pandemic.”  Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences  57.6 (2020): 365-388.

Daniel, John. “Education and the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Prospects  49.1 (2020): 91-96.

Fraser, Nicholas, et al. “Preprinting the COVID-19 pandemic.”  BioRxiv  (2021): 2020-05.

Omer, Saad B., Preeti Malani, and Carlos Del Rio. “The COVID-19 pandemic in the US: a clinical update.”  Jama  323.18 (2020): 1767-1768.

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Unmet Mental Health Needs Among California Workers Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)

Unmet Mental Health Needs Among California Workers Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)

Summary: Authors sought to identify worker groups with high prevalence of unmet mental health needs to inform employer benefits programs and outreach to increase access to care. They conducted a repeated cross-sectional study to understand unmet mental health needs among workers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic using California Health Interview Survey data from 2013–2021. Findings: In 2021, 23.4% reported unmet mental health needs, an absolute increase of 3.9% from 2019. Relative increases were highest among workers in the information industries and older workers. Increases in needing help were not met with comparable increases in seeking care. Unmet mental health needs increased for California workers during the pandemic. Employers should dedicate resources and implement strategies to increase access to care and promote worker well-being. Read the Publication:

  • Journal Article: Unmet Mental Health Needs Among California Workers Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Ventilation and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

An important approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants including any viruses that may be in the air is to increase ventilation – the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Ensuring proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors.  Proper ventilation also reduces surface contamination by removing some virus particles before they can fall out of the air and land on surfaces.  However, by itself, increasing ventilation is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others, increasing ventilation can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.

In general, the greater the number of people in an indoor environment, the greater the need for ventilation with outdoor air. In other words, the ventilation rate should be based on the number of people that occupy an indoor space ( and a few other factors ). In fact, CDC has stated that “Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.” Give special consideration to increased ventilation when occupancy is high. Also, make sure high-traffic areas have additional ventilation. In addition to helping reduce risk from airborne transmission of viruses, improving ventilation also benefits indoor air quality by reducing exposure to products used for cleaning and disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces. 

Even when community levels of infection are low or no infected person is present, improving ventilation benefits indoor air quality  by reducing exposure to indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) . Improving ventilation will also help control other airborne infectious diseases.

Read CDC's guidance on ventilation in buildings . In addition to ventilation with outdoor air, this guidance addresses other possible interventions.

Ventilation in Homes

When there are known or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the household, additional precautions are recommended. Refer to CDC and ASHRAE guidance on isolating COVID-19 patients and protecting people at high risk. 

  • Information  about COVID 19 on the CDC Website 
  • ASHRAE general guidance

Opening windows and doors (when the weather permits), operating window or attic fans, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate in a home. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to children or other family members (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms). Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust air outdoors and remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located also increase the outdoor air ventilation rate. 

  • Learn more about Indoor Air in Homes and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Learn how to decrease levels of virus particles during and after a guest visits a home. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Interactive Ventilation Tool)

Ventilation in Schools, Offices, and Commercial Buildings

Most schools, offices, and commercial buildings have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with filters on them. Typically, these systems are maintained by building or HVAC professionals. Professionals who operate school, office, and commercial buildings should consult guidance by ASHRAE (formerly known as American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), and other professional and government organizations for information on ventilation and air filtration to help reduce risks from the virus that causes COVID-19. In general, increasing ventilation and filtration is usually appropriate; however, due to the complexity and diversity of building types, sizes, construction styles, HVAC system components, and other building features, a professional should interpret ASHRAE guidelines for their specific building and circumstances.

Increasing ventilation with all or mostly outside air may not always be possible or practical. In such cases, the effective rate of ventilation per person can also be increased by limiting the number of people present in the building in general, or in specific rooms. Administrative practices that encourage remote participation and reduce room occupancy can help reduce risks from SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. See ASHRAE for more information on ventilation rates for different types of buildings and other important engineering controls to manage ventilation, moisture, and temperature in a building .

  • Schools and universities (pdf) (1.93 MB)
  • Commercial buildings (pdf) (1.32 MB)
  • Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure (pdf) (152.72 KB) 

Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is a national call to action that highlights a range of recommendations and resources available to assist with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other indoor contaminants. Create your indoor air action plan today.

Ventilation when cleaning and disinfecting

When cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19, ventilation is important. Choose products based on the need for cleaning vs. disinfection. If disinfecting, using EPA-registered cleaning and disinfecting products according to their label instructions is the best way to ensure that any indoor air pollution risks are reduced while still maintaining the effectiveness of the disinfecting product.  In particular, follow any label precautions that recommend wearing personal protective equipment, like gloves or eye protection, designed to protect the user from the product. As a general precaution, do not mix cleaning or disinfecting products.

In general, increasing ventilation during and after cleaning, for example by opening windows or doors, is helpful in reducing exposure to cleaning and disinfection products and byproducts. Increasing ventilation can also reduce risks from particles resuspended during cleaning, including those potentially carrying SARS-CoV-2 (or other contaminants). Sensitive individuals should avoid cleaning, if possible, and consider leaving the room during cleaning. Sensitive individuals may include pregnant women and people with asthma. Also, sensitive individuals should not be present when disinfectants are being used. Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets. Avoid ventilation with outdoor air when outdoor air pollution is high or when it makes your home too cold, hot, or humid.  Check AirNow for information about outdoor air pollution near you.

  • EPA maintains a list of disinfecting products that meet the agency criteria for use against COVID-19.  View this list as well as other COVID-19 frequent questions.
  • Learn how to reduce your exposure to asthma triggers. 
  • Learn about the use of chemical disinfectants and sterilants by pregnant workers.

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Why some people receiving federal benefits don’t consider themselves poor − even though poverty rates have increased since the COVID-19  pandemic

benefits of covid 19 pandemic essay

Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Wake Forest University

Disclosure statement

Sherri Lawson Clark has received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (1999), The Center for Rural Pennsylvania (2005), The Center for Housing Policy (2008), the Strong@Home Partnership (NC) (2016-19). She is affiliated with Financial Pathways of the Piedmont (NC).

Wake Forest University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

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For the past 25 years, my research as a cultural anthropologist has taken me into the homes and neighborhoods of people living in poverty in cities and rural communities throughout the U.S.

To better understand their day-to-day lives, I also have spent time in grocery stores, churches, nightclubs, parks and health clinics.

I’ve asked countless questions, ranging from how many times they had moved to the types of social services they received.

But of all the answers, none has perplexed me more than the one I receive when I ask, “Are you poor?”

Not one has ever answered yes.

One mother was almost indignant. “My kids have food in their bellies, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs, so, no, I’m not poor,” she told me.

A decent standard of living

Who, then, decides who is poor in America?

The answer is the federal government, which has spent nearly the past 60 years trying to define and measure poverty and, ultimately, allocate money to provide families with a financial safety net.

Though many of the people I’ve interviewed over the years did not consider themselves poor, their incomes made them eligible to receive government subsidies such as cash assistance, Medicaid or public housing, thus placing them in categories the government considers poor.

Poverty in the U.S. is based on a person’s ability to purchase the things they need to achieve a certain standard of living. According to 2022 U.S. Census Bureau data – the most recent available – poverty for a family of four was an annual income of at or below US$29,960. For a single person, the poverty threshold was $14,891.

To put those numbers in perspective, the median U.S. household income in 2022 was $74,580 – more than two times the poverty threshold. About 38 million Americans – nearly 12% – live at or below the poverty line. And 16.1 of children under the age of 6 live in poverty.

Measuring US poverty

In the early 1960s, Mollie Orshansky , a government statistician, developed the official poverty measure that is still in use today.

In her earlier statistical work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Orshansky had calculated that people spend roughly a third of their incomes on food. Known as the bread basket method, the income level used to define poverty was calculated based on the cost of feeding a family.

Since the 1960s, the rate of people living in poverty has held steady between 11% and 15%.

But the measurement has a few shortcomings.

Take the regional differences in costs for the same products. In early 2024, for instance, a loaf of bread in Los Angeles, California, was $4.73, while in Louisville, Kentucky, the same loaf was $2.46.

Another flaw is the definition of what constitutes a family of four members.

The costs of feeding a family of four can be vastly different for a single mother with three school-age children than a married couple with two infant children.

The politics of poverty

Starting in 2011, the second metric that the Census Bureau officials use is the supplemental poverty rate .

Unlike the official poverty rate, the supplemental rate takes into account various types of government aid such as food, housing and energy assistance, as well as tax credits and stimulus payments. The measurement also calculates regional differences in the cost of living, medical care and housing.

An image showing two white middle-aged men dressed in business suits debating each other.

Though distinct, these two measurements are often used by politicians to score points over their political rivals.

Such was the case in September 2023 when the Census Bureau found that the supplemental rate had spiked from 7.8% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022, the largest increase since 2010.

The same measurement for the share of children living in poverty also hit 12.4%, more than doubling from 5.2% in 2021.

When the numbers were released by the Census Bureau in September 2023, former President Donald Trump immediately attacked President Joe Biden and compared the decline in poverty during his presidency with an increase in poverty during Biden’s term.

But Trump left out key facts.

The supplemental rates did decline from 14% in 2016, before Trump took office in 2017, to 9.2% in his last full year as president in 2020 . But the drop was due in large part to coronavirus relief payments that were made available to qualifying people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relief payments also helped lower the number of people in poverty under the Biden administration.

But those COVID-19 era payments expired in 2021. Without that same aid – and help from Biden’s American Rescue Plan – the share of people considered poor went up in 2022 under Biden. The sharp increase that year came on the heels of the previous year when the percentage of people in poverty was at its lowest level on record.

Temporary relief?

Starting after the Great Depression, U.S. presidents have made reducing poverty a priority in their administrations. Most notably, Franklin D. Roosevelt had the New Deal and Lyndon Johnson had the Great Society .

A middle-aged Black woman fills up her shopping cart with free food.

But thus far during the 2024 presidential campaign, the issue of reducing poverty has been overshadowed by Trump’s legal troubles and Biden’s inability to force an end to the Israel-Hamas war.

In the world’s richest nation, more than 23 million people – a little more than 1 in 10 adults – live in households where there was not enough food to eat, according to the Census Bureau’s March 2024 Household Pulse Survey . And many of these people have jobs.

Despite trillions of U.S. dollars spent on lifting people out of poverty – $1.9 trillion in 2022 alone – it appears the federal government’s ability to provide a safety net for all those in need has fallen short.

As economist Bob Pfeiffer once said: “Our welfare system is designed to make lives more comfortable, not to solve poverty.”

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    This essay serves as the introduction to TVNM's special issue on "Pandemic TV," an analysis of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected principally anglophone television and television-watching in 2020 to 2021 (including television's response to corresponding events such as the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter uprisings and the fall 2020 U.S. presidential election).

  27. Why some people receiving federal benefits don't consider ...

    Why some people receiving federal benefits don't consider themselves poor − even though poverty rates have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic By Sherri Lawson Clark , Wake Forest University ...

  28. Why some people receiving federal benefits don't consider themselves

    But those COVID-19 era payments expired in 2021. Without that same aid - and help from Biden's American Rescue Plan - the share of people considered poor went up in 2022 under Biden.