Learn English – What ‘Silver Linings’ or good things have come from COVID?

Since we are in the month of Thanksgiving here in the States, my thoughts have turned to blessings and what I am thankful for.  I love the expression, “Every cloud has its silver lining.”  In this episode I explain just what a ‘silver lining’ is and what I see as some of the good that has happened since the pandemic.

 

Hey there, it’s almost Thanksgiving time here in America. And despite COVID people are thinking about ‘silver linings’, blessings, and gratitude. What is a ‘silver lining’? We’ll talk.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

A ‘silver lining’. Those words are part of an expression that goes like this. “Every cloud has its silver lining.”

It’s a metaphor. It’s an expression. It’s a way of saying that out of difficult, painful, bad events or experiences, there are good things that emerge, that happen, that occur. It really refers to a cloud, a dark cloud, and you can see light streaming, light coming from behind the cloud light, usually means something good. The dark cloud represents something bad or difficult.

So, what are some ‘silver linings’ that have come out of COVID? What are some good things that have happened, since we have been in quarantine, with many activities canceled or changed? For one thing, one of the ‘silver linings’ is that we are more grateful for families and friends. 

Yes! Since holidays are coming, here in America, we have Thanksgiving this month in November, and then there’s Christmas for many people. And normally Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when families and friends get together. They eat good food. They talk. They play games and they enjoy each other’s company.

But, many people will just be eating, celebrating alone. There won’t be big family gatherings because of COVID. So, I think we all appreciate family and friends much more.

Something else that is a ‘silver lining’ or a blessing that has come out of COVID is Zoom. Yes. Before COVID I would talk to my mother-in-law who is 92 and who lives far away. I would talk on the phone and so would my husband. But now, because of COVID, she learned to zoom at age 92. Now, we see each other face to face when we talk during the week.  That is a big blessing, a big ‘silver lining’. Absolutely. 

And I think people attend meetings more willingly than before, because of Zoom. We live in a neighborhood and once a year, they have a neighbors’ meeting at a community center where people talk about plans for the neighborhood. I usually don’t go to those kinds of meetings. I know, I’m a bad neighbor! But this year in January, the annual meeting, the meeting that happens once a year is going to be on Zoom. That makes it easy to attend. So, we will participate from our house. What else has Zoom done?

I now give classes in English and Spanish as a second language because of Zoom. I wasn’t doing that before.  I was doing in-person classes, but I do many more now because of Zoom. It is easier. What else?

I think, because of all the technology and classes and school, especially last spring, little kids, young children have learned a lot about technology and computers. They have gotten very good at knowing exactly what to do, to get online, to receive instruction from their teachers. I think that’s a blessing, a ‘silver lining’. What else?

Well, for sure, I am healthier because I wash my hands more frequently. I have kept up exercise and with Zoom people exercise more at home because they can take classes online. That’s a good thing. Because of COVID bicycle sales increased, and people started riding around neighborhoods and on streets, on their bicycles. That’s a good thing. People did not go out to restaurants. They cooked more at home. Children and parents cooked together. That’s a good thing. That’s a ‘silver lining’.

Talking about parents at home, here’s another blessing that has happened, that has come out of COVID. Parents are home more. That is wonderful for children to see their parents at home more.

Something else that has happened is there are not as many extra activities like sports or classes that kids usually do. The pace of life, the speed of life has slowed down. That’s a good thing. People sleep more. Children don’t have to get up so early in the morning to go to school, when they do school at home.

Something else that’s a silver lining about COVID is more families are homeschooling their children and seeing the benefits, seeing the blessings of homeschool. So, there have been lots of silver linings that have come out of COVID. What else? 

Let’s talk about church and worship. Most churches went online for a few months and streamed, conducted their services and filmed them, so people at home could worship. They could still hear Bible teaching. They could still sing. There have been prayer groups that now are on Zoom. I’ve been part of a Zoom prayer group that I never was part of before, because I don’t live where the other people live. 

And something else. I’ll close this list of ‘silver linings’, talking about air travel. I’ve been on airplanes twice this fall and airports are not very busy. So, the lines to go through security are shorter. It has been easier to fly here in the States. 

Of course, there have been many bad things because of COVID. Family members have died and people feel isolated and some people have grown more unhealthy. But today I wanted to talk about ‘silver linings’, the good that comes out of bad or difficult situations.

Well, what do you see as a ‘silver lining’ that has occurred,  that has happened, that has come out of COVID? Do you have some ‘silver linings’ in your life that I have not mentioned? Leave me a comment below this video.

And if you would like the written transcript, the words for this episode, (usually about a day after I upload the video), go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. And there you’ll find the transcript to this episode and others as well. Well, this is Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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