Two-thirds of Americans say quarantine has made them a better person
via Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on America's health and economy. There's no way to take the loss of over 180,000 people and 20 million jobs and spin it into a positive.

However, if there are any lessons we can take from past tragedies, it's the importance of finding some rays of hope to illuminate our way through the darkness.

Earlier in the spring, there was a significant drop in pollution, giving us a glimpse into what a cleaner world might look like. For many, the lockdown was an opportunity to spend more time with their immediate families and pay more attention to what really matters.


A lot of people saved money during quarantine by avoiding huge bar tabs and expensive vacations.

Let's face it, the quarantine was also a great excuse to avoid seeing the family members and acquaintances we normally dread.

All in all, a new poll finds that two-thirds of Americans say quarantine actually made them a better person.

The poll of 2,000 Americans over age 21 looked at the positive changes we've made and lessons learned from the past few months. It found that lockdown helped a majority of people re-prioritize their lives for the better.

The poll was conducted by Coravin and OnePoll.

Some respondents say that the quarantine gave them the time and flexibility to engage in new hobbies. Thirty-five percent of respondents say they hope to continue these hobbies after quarantine is over.,

The change in professional behaviors over the past few months inspired 27% of Americans to pursue a better work-life balance coming out of quarantine.

Being apart from those we are close to also gave people a new appreciation for their friends and families. Going forward, 46% want to spend more quality time with loved ones, and 38% plan to create more meaningful relationships.

"Quarantine has given us unprecedented time to explore and try new things both personally and with our loved ones," Coravin CEO Chris Ladd said. "It's forced us to be creative in how we remain connected when we are physically distant. And it's created an environment where virtual events like wine tastings have flourished, introducing a broader audience to experiences they might not have had in person. We expect these new approaches to last well after 'normal' returns."

Being stuck in lockdown for months on end made many of us long for life's simple pleasures that we previously took for granted.

Here's a list of the top things people no longer take for granted according to the survey.

Spending quality time in person with family or friends 52.28%

Hugs 41.23%

Traveling to new destinations 32.53%

A relaxing walk in the park 31.99%

Shopping in a store 31.73%

A date night at a restaurant 31.39%

Extended family gatherings 30.86%

Attending events in person 28.92%

Stopping for a cup of coffee on my way to work 25.90%

Meeting new people 25.70%

Weekly coffee dates with friends 24.36

Post-work happy hour 23.69%

Chatting with co-workers during lunch 23.56%

Having a quiet weekend at home be out of the ordinary 22.96%

An afternoon at the beach 22.36%

Sending my children off to school in the morning 21.49%

Attending sporting events 21.22%

Wandering through a bookstore 20.68%

Watching my kids' sporting events 18.14%

Hitting the gym 17.54%

Dropping my kids off at playdates 16.06%

Unfortunately, it appears as though the United States will be on lockdown for the foreseeable future. But that gives us the opportunity to work on self-improvement and foster an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.

A great way to get started on self-improvement during lockdown is to make a list of the hobbies we'd like to get into or skills we'd like to learn. A list can also be helpful to remember the things that we've missed during lockdown so we can enjoy life when it lifts.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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All photos from Pilllsbury used with permission

Pillsbury is partnering with non profit, Operation Homefront, to provide housing for veterans

It’s the dream of many veterans: a safe and swift return to the security of home – to a place where time can be spent with family while becoming part of a community and creating new memories. With the partnership of non-profit Operation Homefront, Pillsbury is helping give military families the opportunity to do just that.

For many of our American soldiers, the dream of making a comfortable return to civilian life is often dashed by harsh realities. Pew Research Center reports that 44% of veterans who have served since Sept 11, 2001 noted having a difficult time re-adjusting. From re-entering into the workforce to finding healthcare services, returning to civilian life can be a harrowing transition. While serving in the military is incredibly stressful, it also provides routine, structure and purpose that is not easily replicated in civilian life. Couple this with a lack of helpful resources for veterans, and the hope for a brighter future can be easily derailed.


However, some companies and organizations are stepping in to show support and provide resources. Operation Homefront, an organization dedicated to helping military families transition back to civilian life, launched its Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) Program in 2018. The program places veteran families in safe, secure, rent-free single-family homes for a period of two-to-three years while providing financial coaching and training to reduce debt, increase savings, and prepare for independent home ownership. Since the THV’s inception, Operation Homefront has defrayed more than $500K in mortgage costs to military families.

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As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

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