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Beyond the specific positive outcome sought through lockdown – slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – there are a few important positive results we can attribute to this new way of life.
Below we cover 4 positive outcomes from confinement.
Decrease in global pollution levels
We are observing a decrease in certain air pollutants. Namely, nitrogen dioxide, which is a gaseous air pollutant produced as a result of road traffic and other processes.
Long term exposure to nitrogen dioxide is linked with respiratory conditions and decreased lung function.
With lockdown measures taken everywhere, satellite images are showing a global decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels.
Of course, any improvement in pollution is positive, but will the nitrogen dioxide levels go back to normal as soon as we resume normal life activity? Most likely they will. However, the results we are witnessing today are promising as they demonstrate what the air may look like as transport shifts to an electric standard.
Beyond that, I believe people’s attitudes towards global warming, the fragility of our planet and health will shift significantly, switching consumer behavior towards more responsible and eco conscious decision making.
Increase in people’s fitness activities
In London, it seems everyone has taken up running! Beyond that we can observe an increase in people’s fitness activities, with a surge in online fitness classes and apps.
Exercising can make you feel in control, you are taking care of yourself by training regularly. We cannot undermine the many benefits of exercising, it is hugely beneficial for our health but it also serves our mental wellbeing.
The endorphins released by the brain during exercise help to promote improved sleep, energy levels and mood.
If in the past, it seemed difficult to fit in the trip to the gym or find time to go for a run, with everything else in our lives taking priority, today, health is the only priority.
With new resources online enabling coached sessions, group classes, and more from the comfort of our homes we are likely to maintain the healthy fitness levels picked up during confinement over the long term.
Scientific advice now guiding our governments
Never has scientific advice been of greater demand than with the current pandemic. With this, we can observe an increase in governments working in close collaboration with scientific experts.
We witness the importance of sharing insights and best practices across different advisory systems. For example in Australia, Chief Scientist Ian Chubb recently announced that he plans to establish a new science council to advise government on policy.
Many countries have high level councils for science policies, but the importance of working closely with scientists to have evidence-based and data-driven approach to scientific policies is more crucial than ever.
A great positive from the current situation is the global solidarity, sharing and bringing together advisers, policymakers, practitioners, experts and others to share ideas and chart actionable steps for the future.
Increase in people taking charge of their health in a holistic way
With an awareness for our health’s fragility, people are taking charge of their own wellbeing, in a holistic way.
Most people are now approaching wellbeing with an understanding that the whole is more important than the sum of the individual parts. Taking the time awarded to us during confinement, we are learning to take care of ourselves with the right nutrition, exercise routines, mindfulness and proper sleep.
Confinement can be difficult and overwhelming, but there are positive outcomes that we hope are here to stay in the new normal we will experience post confinement.