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.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less
via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Keep Reading Show less