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.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

via Gage Skidmore/Flickr and Terry Morgan/Flickr

Senator Ted Cruz and a kangaroo.

Conservative media in the United States has painted Australia as a state on the brink of authoritarianism due to strict COVID-19 protections in some parts of the country. These news outlets appear to be using the country as an example of what can happen in America if liberal politicians go unchecked.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson ran a story on Australia earlier this month claiming the country "looks a lot like China did at the beginning of the pandemic." He ended it by saying that "what's happening in Australia might be instructive to us in the United States" and that things can "change very quickly" and become "dystopian and autocratic."

Carlson provides zero reasons why Americans should be fearful of becoming an autocratic country due to COVID-19, beyond the idea that "things can change very quickly" so his appeals sound a lot more like fear-mongering than genuine concern.

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