Everyone always talks about the big things that happen to you throughout your life that change your perspective, make you appreciate things you never saw before. Scrap that. The things that you saw but never were really grateful for. The small things in life that you don’t appreciate until they’re gone...

There has been some good things that have resulted from coronavirus, appreciation has grown for everyday things that you now look forward to and the things you miss, but never thought you would. Thanks to quarantine, we will have a generation who will always see the genius behind technology, who will never delete houseparty or tiktok duets knowing it was the only way they would see their friends, for weeks on end…even if it was on their phone. Grateful for having that two minute conversation with a friend as they go on their daily walk…even if it is out the window. It has without a doubt created a generation who all appreciate things they previously took for granted, simple things, such as hearing an alarm go off knowing what you are going to do that day, having structure. Having purpose. Motivation.

Whilst we all acknowledge that there are greater issues than the disturbances to our every day lives, it means that when we come out of this, young kids will have regained imagination due to having to entertain themselves, whilst parents work from home. Teenagers will never not take the opportunity to pop into town. Also, more people seem to be going for runs than before. Making up for the commute to work or school they normally complain about perhaps, not really appreciating the 30 minutes to clear their heads, in comparison of the loud bustle of family life, (despite not much happening!) now wanting to make the most of the things they are still allowed to do.

Whilst many have had to miss trips of a lifetime, going to weddings or celebrating birthdays, they have been counting the days down for, we are now counting down the days till another week goes by, so we can watch our favourite TV show. Beginning to envy all the other pages on the calendar that were full without being covered in zoom meetings. It’s the normal things now that make our days, smuggling the crème egg someone bought in the online shopping like any other Easter weekend. Everyone is realising all the things they miss out on when they don’t have as much free-time, be it reading, or enjoying a family meal together.

Henry Ward Beecher (abolitionist and clergyman) once said “the art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things” and arguably it is the everyday things everyone is missing now, the late night corner shop trips or students whining about teachers. It also is the everyday things that now become a highlight, whether it be a catchup with friends (even if over facetime and no one has any news!) or getting told off via email for missing a deadline. New-found appreciation for simple things such as high-fiving a friend, means that everyone should be much happier than before.

Appreciation now rooted deep for the bin men who are the only faces you have seen not on facetime and outside your family for months, or the delivery drivers who made it possible for you to have the amazon parcel you have looked forward to for the last 2 weeks, previously would have been left in a pile until its too high to ignore, is now what you look forward to when you wake up in the morning, so much so, that you forget it will also be your 8 year olds highlight, when you let them open it, because they don’t get any letters themselves, least of all now. These heroes, typically low income jobs, not held in high esteem, are being thrust into the spotlight of the world’s gratitude, as key workers standing alongside the doctors, we always seem to forget that behind one man is a hundred others, our NHS wouldn’t be able to manage this crisis without the cleaners who also classify as key workers. Both risking their and their family’s health. A newfound appreciation for roles and people typically overlooked. Instead of turning on the TV to hear the news discussing celebrities love lives, but to listen our politicians, and the daily restrictions and death toll, praying that people haven’t been stupid enough to go out. And what little hope you have had for days you can finally express out loud, because for the first time in weeks the numbers have gone down.

Grandparents compare it to the war. Except this time the enemy is invisible, and in a way they are right, aside from the growing death toll, it is the unification of people globally, and the appreciation for the simple things in everyday life that you will unconsciously connect with this time. A new regard for the stories older generations told about the excitement of their first ever orange. Covid-19 has made us look at things as though we have taken a step back, taken time to be grateful for the everyday things that can still happen.

It’s hard to convince teenagers to make plans for when this is all over, when you keep moving the finish line. It is the hope of a known end that gets you through dark times, but it is the small things that get you through each day.

By Bethan Massey, Rosebery School