The coronavirus pandemic swept the planet and effectively stopped the way in which the world has operated for so long. No one was prepared to have his or her plans, hopes, and dreams put on hold since March 2020.

We are still and will be for the foreseeable future experiencing the effects of this pandemic, and while things are slowly beginning to open up once again, the uncertainty that accompanied the early weeks of quarantine life taught me several lessons.

You should be willing to trade some of your freedom for the greater good of the public

It may look cruel to make people stay at home but if we observe it carefully we can see and feel how much it helps the general goodness of the public. It looks like everything around us is heaving a sigh of relief. Therefore, when it comes to the greater good, one should always be willing to sacrifice a little bit of that freedom. A balance between individual rights and public safety is an ever-changing thing. Trade a little bit of your freedom for the greater good of the public.

You should wash your hands, whether there’s a virus or not

This has been a part and parcel of our social mores for centuries. Somehow we had forgotten it. General hygiene is always important. Not just when there is a virus. You should know the drill by now. Wet your hands. Lather them with soap. Scrub for 20 seconds. Rinse off. Dry with a clean towel. It really is the best way to keep safe, because soap is a very effective way to kill viruses.

Working from home should be an option for many

During this time many people learned that their jobs were possible to do from home. Once the virus outbreak ends, it might be worth having a chat with your boss about working from home possibilities when necessary. Most jobs have a certain amount of work that can be done remotely. Without the virus in place, there should still be some system in place that will promote work-life balance.

Taking that sick day could save lives

If you are feeling sick, just stay home. Lots of people feel like their office environment doesn’t encourage taking sick days. Many people want to appear like martyrs to their managers. "Look, I am sick, yet I still came to work. Look at what a hard worker I am?" This mentality needs to stop. If you are sick, just stay home.

The Internet should be a basic right

According to a study done by the University of Birmingham, the right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband, should be considered a human right. People unable to get online—particularly in developing countries—lack meaningful ways to influence the global players shaping their everyday lives. Additionally, during times like these, it is especially important to be able to contact family, friends and work from home if necessary. Internet is the only way to do so.

Being bored is okay.

There are worse things in life than being bored. Just doing enough to survive is an accomplishment because we are in a pandemic. It is so easy to feel as though we are not doing enough in life. During self-isolation, many of us felt unfulfilled in the areas in our life we felt we no longer had control over or felt unprovoked pressure to start something new because we had so much time on our hands. While it is good to want better for ourselves and to be bold enough to pursue endeavors we once deemed unattainable, relaxing, recharging, and doing less is also beneficial. It helps us to learn patience and, as Abraham Lincoln once said, "Good things come to those who wait.

Everyone should know how to cook

Staying home has forced many people to learn, re-learn or re-ignite their love for cooking. Learning how to cook is one of the most important skills a person can have. You depend on yourself. It teaches you self-sustainability and you save a lot of money. These days, hundreds of people sharing social media posts of their delicious meals. They are re-discovering the wonders of eating in. Knowing exactly what is in your food and feeling that sense of reward when you completely cook a meal on your own.

The importance of talking to friends and relatives every day

Now that we can’t go out and keep busy, the best way to combat loneliness is to be in regular contact with friends and family, by chatting over the phone or video chatting (if your country laws allow it). This is the time to have long talks and deep conversations. Don’t forget human connection during these crucial times. Call your grandma!

Learn to appreciate nature

If you live near a spacious outdoor area, like the desert or an empty road lined with trees and you realize it’s the only safe, surface-less space to take a walk in, then you begin to realize the beauty of nature. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being in close contact with others. When you do leave your home, whether it is for a walk in the desert or a run on your street, make sure to wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with, avoid touching your face, and frequently wash your hands.

Learn how to be self-contented

It’s so hard for some people to just be still and do nothing. Being alone, especially for extroverts can be exhausting and lonely. Social distancing can be very difficult, but it can also teach you a lot about yourself. You learn how to keep yourself busy. Eventually, binge-watching three seasons of a TV show won’t be enough anymore and will have to try doing something else. Your body and mind are your home and you have to learn how to love it and live with it.