Light at the End of the Tunnel

December 13, 2020

With coronavirus vaccines now being distributed in the U.K. and the U.S. (and soon to be distributed elsewhere), there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we might see pandemic measures ease substantially in, say, six months, when the combination of warmer weather and increased immunity due to vaccination will probably slow the virus’s spread dramatically.

If my analysis is correct, that means there are still six months of pain ahead of us—but also that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That makes now a good time to reflect on what you’ve learned from the pandemic.

Your life has undoubtedly been abnormal for the past nine months or so. What insights can you glean from what happened?

For example, I’ve become even more convinced that being around a variety of humans motivates me. While this isn’t a brand new insight, the pandemic has made this clearer to me than ever before.

I used to attend my in-person Toastmasters club meetings three times a month. These days, we meet on Zoom. I often left those in-person meetings in high spirits, with lots of energy. Sometimes we’d go for drinks after our meeting and someone would ask me about my work. Simply telling people what I was working on and hearing their response was, for some reason, enough to replenish my willpower reservoir. Meeting on Zoom just doesn’t give me that boost.

Another example: I’ve learned that home (with the exception of the shower) is generally not a great place to think things through. There are too many interruptions. In normal times, I’d be on the go more often, and I’d use the time on my bike or on the tram to flesh out an idea. During the pandemic, I’ve learned to make time for this, by going on walks by myself without my phone.

What have you learned?

What do you dearly miss? Which new habits will you keep?

It’s an excellent time to reflect.

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