Making the most out of social distancing in a Coronavirus world

If I had one hope that society would accomplish this year while social distancing and diligently washing our hands, is that people will use this opportunity to learn and improve.

Let’s learn from past lessons, pick up new skills, and just try to keep an open mind. Let’s push ourselves to be even smarter than we were yesterday.

At a loss for where to start? Here are a few ideas:

  • Learn basic science, biology, and engineering.
  • Learn how to cook for yourself and others.
  • Learn how to take care of a single plant.
  • Learn how to perform basic home repairs and then go replace a switch/outlet cover or tighten loose things.
  • Learn a programming language, or how to build your own website, or use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.
  • Learn that just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s automatically wrong.
  • Learn the difference between there/their/they’re, then/than, your/you’re, and its/it’s.
  • Learn how your respective governments actually work and the process of how legislation is drafted, discussed, passed/rejected, and enacted.
  • Learn how to actually read an article and understand it before sharing and proving to others that you didn’t actually read the thing you shared.
  • Learn a new language and make new friends that you previously couldn’t talk to before or relied on them to know your language.
  • Learn that there is always more than one side to a story, and then seek out that other side of the story.
  • Learn that it takes time, patience, and trial/error to start to understand a concept or theory. (The more you learn about it, the more likely you’ll agree how complicated it actually is.)
  • Learn that saying, “I can’t imagine why ____” or “I don’t understand how ____,” can mean you aren’t trying or interested in seeing things from a different perspective.
  • Learn that posting screenshots of important text without any captions or alternate text literally doesn’t help sight-impaired folk or translation services. (Really, just post a link to the actual source that has the text, or do us a solid and copy/paste the text in a comment.)
  • Learn that you don’t need to take every opportunity you can find to comment and argue with someone just because they believe in something else.
  • Learn that you can make a difference for yourself, your family, your friends, and the community around you.

There is a whole world of information, specifically from credible sources, available at your fingertips, folks. Tens of thousands of free online courses from universities and training centers can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. Take advantage of it.

And wash your hands and practice social distancing and remember to sanitize your electronic devices.