I know we all have lots to complain about since the pandemic hit.

I know it has cost some of us dearly — in more ways than one. And I know it has wrecked plans, parties, and preparations. It’s been a mess all around.

But the other day a friend brought up a good point. There are lots of positive things to come out of the quaratines and the lockdowns and the social distancing. There were some really great things that individuals and families experienced amid all the negativity.

So I asked people on social media what are some of the positive things that have come about and I wasn’t disappointed. There were so many great things I hadn’t even considered. Here are just a few of them:

Gabriela Pinto — It definitely brought us closer as a family.

Braden Keith — Having a newborn in January was perfect timing to have more time with her than I normally would have.

David Mathis — Having family leave the big cities and come home during the shut down. Some decided to stay.

Julia Thomas — Being newly married and coming home and having so much time together and not immediately be in the craziness of everyday life and hectic schedules. I also began to enjoy cooking.

Erin Ellison — Spent more time with family, saved money on gas and not eating out as much. Also, I’ve been able to wash clothes on lunch break and roll out of bed at 7:55 to start work in my home office in my pajamas.

Brice Wood — Not being able to go to the gym has led to a lot more outdoor activities, hiking, bike riding and gardening/yardwork.

JoAnna Parker — Found new hobbies to enjoy as a family. Now we go camping all the time and love every minute of it.

Cassie Camp — The positives (to come out of all the negative) is that I will hug tighter, smile bigger, high-five more and treasure time with family. I have learned to slow down, love deeper, and the things that once seemed like necessities now don’t.

Luke Chaffin — I learned that I actually enjoy working out in the yard.

Katie Kiser — It taught everyone that working from home is easy and beneficial for preventing burnout.

Erin Elrod — We were so overbooked “pre-pandemic” and didn’t even realize it. We’ve slowed down, but we’ve made our time spent with others more meaningful. And, our circle has grown tighter and stronger because of it.

Samantha Robinson — My husband built our kids a massive tree house in his many weeks that he was off work. I loved being home. I miss 2020 actually.

Kathy Proudfoot — We worked together to uplift each other and find simple ways of entertainment for our 41-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome.

Brandi Couey — Spending time exploring Rome with my kids during quarantine is a time I will forever cherish.

Steve Hunt — Altering our back porch into a stage, with drop cloth curtains so that our daughters and niece could choreograph dances and perform.

Jason Ensely — I started a business.

Kristy Larue — We’ve adopted out a lot of cats.

Russ Haney — My bar tab has decreased significantly.

Judy Williams — I reunited with someone I graduated with from high school. We didn’t really know each other in school. Now we are dating.

James Payne — My wife and I have established a morning routine of reading, Bible study and exercise.

Sarah Trammell — I learned to make cinnamon rolls.

Lenora Doss — I spent so much more time outside and picked up landscaping. Also, very intentional friendships. We couldn’t/can’t be around a lot of people, so it’s important to be around those who aren’t toxic during this time.

Tenia Shaw — Definitely saved money by cooking at home.

Bill Byington — I have read about twice as much. And Barnes and Noble’s stock value has soared.

Lisa Faircloth — We found things to do as a family — family movie nights, family game night. We have had the time to just be together without all hustle and bustle.

Connor Cantrell — I’ve gained a positive 20 pounds.

Brandon Elrod — We started a new tradition of driveway socializing with friends and neighbors. It’s something we plan keep doing in the future.

As for me, I rescued a dog last March. We had just started hearing about covid and I didn’t realize that months of quaratines and lockdowns and social distancing were on the way. Luckily for Banjo, I had a lot of time to spend with her. We’ve been hiking and running and camping since those activities don’t require large group gatherings. If you ask Banjo, covid suited her just fine.

And while we’re on the topic I’d just like to relay my experience with getting the first dose of the vaccine. I made an appointment online to get my first shot at Redmond Regional Medical Center. From the two women who checked me in, to the nurses who made sure my paperwork was correct to the nurse who actually administered the shot, they all made it an incredibly quick and comfortable experience.

I joked with the nurses that I was hoping they’d have a nasal spray vaccine because I’m not a big fan of needles. But my shot was painless and over in half a second.

I have heard from others who got their shots at Floyd Medical Center that the process was just as comfortable for them.

I only tell you that so that IF there’s anyone out there who is hesitant about the shot because of a fear of needles or a hospital environment, you shouldn’t be worried. Our local healthcare workers have been extremely kind and patient, making the process as quick and easy as possible.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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