Our Opinion: Appreciating what we have

The coronavirus has allowed us to reflect on things we may have been taking for granted.


When the coronavirus pandemic is over, when the country reopens to a new normal, we need to be ready for changes both big and small.

In the way we go to work, in the way we shop, in the way we congregate, our world will not be what it was two months ago.

It’s anybody’s guess what our new routines will look like.

However, during the course of this pandemic we all have been able to reflect on how we’ve adapted to changes so far. If nothing else, the stay-at-home order we’re all living under has made us appreciate a great many things.

Things like technology. Without it, where would we have been during social distancing and stay-at-home orders? It has allowed us to stay connected while we were physically apart through Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and many other video conferencing programs. On the flip side, we hope that when we are once again able to venture out and about, we readily put down the phones, tablets and laptops and do so. There’s a lot of nature out there waiting for us.


And teachers. Many parents who have been helping their kids stay on task through distance learning at home have garnered a new appreciation for what the hundreds of teachers in the Brainerd area do during a given day. And that’s with teachers at all levels continuing to work on new assignments every day for our kids.

The arts and entertainment this area has to offer. Historically, the Brainerd lakes area has excelled at supporting local arts -- from theater productions, to concerts, to art galleries. The void of not having them is noticeable. We are hopeful our arts and entertainment scene will come back at full strength when able to do so.

Family time and slowing down. So many families are go-go-go with kids involved in band, choir, piano lessons, sewing lessons, gymnastics, basketball, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. -- all at the same time. This has forced families to slow down and perhaps enjoy each other in a new way, including more family dinners and quality time.

Physical touch. Won't it feel great to hug our friends and extended family, shake people's hands, stand and sit close to people again? It certainly might take some getting used to at first.

Patronizing local businesses. Sadly, we often only think about them when they are gone, and there’s a good chance quite a few may be when stay-at-home orders are lifted. We’ll need to do our part to support the ones who reopen their doors.

Simply being able to go to the grocery store, gas station, gym, bar, restaurant -- anywhere -- without thinking twice about it. Those are just a few examples of many of the things we took for granted. Now we think twice about touching the gas handle to fill our car or the touchpad when paying for an item with a card or the change someone returns to us when paying with cash.

These are only a few examples. Yes, there will be changes when all is said and done. It’ll be our job to adapt to what works and hold on to the things too important to fall by the wayside.

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