The pandemic has forced us all to stay home, more than we are accustomed to, and in doing so many are discovering new hobbies. The recent shortage of yeast and flour tells us there’s a lot of home baking going on. And when I stepped into my local fabric store to pick up some thread, I was surprised to see more people than I’d ever seen in there before. Guess there’s a new population of stitchers, knitters, and crafters in the making?

And you only need to wander through your neighbourhood to see the beautifully landscaped gardens and home improvements, again, new found hobbies, a direct result of people having more time at home with little to do. The pandemic, it seems, has forced us all to get back to basics…and that’s not a bad thing.

Technology has given us simplification, automation and convenience, and in the process it rendered us useless to perform the simple tasks we once did, but this is not new. I can remember the first time it occurred to me that technology wasn’t necessarily the best for society. I was grocery shopping with my 4 year old son (that was 27 years ago) and just after our total rang up on the cash register the power went out and what ensued as a result, was an eye-opener. I gave the cashier $20 cash and my purchases totaled $17.46 – the cashier was stumped. She looked helplessly at the register that under normal circumstances would’ve provided her with the appropriate change. She clearly didn’t know what to do.

After helping her calculate the change due we packed up our groceries and headed home and it was while driving that I realized she probably had little experience with basic math. Schools allow calculators so learning how to add, subtract, multiply and divide isn’t the priority it once was on school curriculums. In our quest to advance with technology we took a step back with respect to basic learning. (when you can’t make change from a twenty dollar bill society’s in trouble)

As I continue to navigate life during a pandemic I can’t help but wonder again, if perhaps it was necessary. Maybe we needed this wake-up call; the call to return to basics.

Never in a million years would I wish a pandemic on humanity, but it’s here, and if we can manage to get through it safely AND pick up a few lessons along the way, there is always hope. Isolation has produced some new bakers, writers, gardeners and handymen, and families are spending more time together, quality time. Sometimes maybe we do need to step back physically in order to move forward emotionally and spiritually. I’ve said it before and will say it again…….from something very bad there can bloom something very good. We just need to see where the potential lies.

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