How might our community change once the threat of COVID-19 has passed? As closures threaten to go on for several more weeks, it’s only natural to dwell on what could be lost during this pandemic but, in an effort to stay positive, it helps to focus on all that could be gained too.

We likely all have greater appreciation for the people in our lives and the important work they do now that we’re removed from them. Undoubtedly, parents have a new respect for teachers, support staff and school administrators since kids have been home from school for the last two weeks!

At this point, many of us better understand the value of services offered to our most vulnerable citizens—children, senior citizens and those with special needs—whether that’s providing food, transportation or just companionship. Once this cloud passes, perhaps we can have more informed discussions about how those support systems can be bolstered.

Although some supplies have been limited temporarily in recent weeks, we should be more grateful than usual for the food supply in this country thanks to our productive agriculture industry, including local growers who contribute to both our cupboards and the local economy.

Hopefully, we can keep the healthier habits we’ve been encouraged to practice—whether that’s proper hand washing or regular exercise—even after the threat has passed. More citizens will likely pay attention to all of those emergency preparedness recommendations and we’ll be smart when it comes to stocking up on the essentials. Up until now, we’ve probably only thought of weather-related events causing emergencies but the pandemic is far different from a severe storm and the damage or delays it could cause.

Essentially, this moment in time should force us all to consider how our lives and what we choose to do affects the lives of people around us. This isn’t a new concept but it certainly takes on a new meaning that we can’t ignore.