Winning in the Lockdown? Some Say “Yes.”

By Mark A. Kellner
Posted May 26, 2020

If you’re getting tired of “quarantine hair,” you’re not alone. Around the country and across the globe, millions await the opportunity of getting to a barber or hair stylist to have their “lockdown locks” trimmed, styled, and dyed.

But for many people, the shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions that are affecting an estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide, might be as much of a blessing as they have been a burden.

According to StudyFinds.org, “a recent survey of 2,000 British adults reveals that 43 [percent] of people feel they’ve ‘changed their ways for the better’ as a result of all the time inside these past few months.”


Gaining New Skills

Conducted for the United Kingdom branch of LG Electronics, the survey reported, “Nearly half of those surveyed expect to keep up these new hobbies, skills, and daily habits they’ve taken on after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Learning new computer skills, creating podcasts, participating in online fitness classes and going for long walks are some of the new activities people have turned to as a new means to occupy their time.”

“The fact that many people are forming productive and healthy new habits is testament to the nation’s ability to adjust,” LG UK’s IT product director Hanju Kim said.

Besides educational and lifestyle practices, another area that has perhaps been more significantly affected is work habits. According to the report, “Half of the people surveyed are still working during the shutdown and have transformed their homes into their offices. Most people use at least two different rooms during the workday to give themselves a change of scenery.”

In fact, the labor sector may end up with permanent changes—and not only in Britain. Facebook and Twitter are among the companies that say they’ll accommodate more “remote workers” after the quarantine ends, noting increased productivity caused by increased happiness in those who work from home.


Downside: “Quarantine 15” Weight Gain

Although those newly working from home no longer have access to company cafeterias and an abundance of snacks, they also aren’t walking through large office spaces. This lesser mobility, among other factors, is producing what the Mayo Clinic and others are calling the “Quarantine 15”—weight gain attributable to the lockdown.

“People’s habits have changed quite a bit since we’re spending more time at home,” Dr. Donald Hensrud, the Mayo Clinic's Healthy Living Program medical director, said in a news article released by the world-renowned facility. “There are a number of reasons why we might be at risk for weight gain through our habits that have changed, both in burning activity and in consuming more calories,” he added.

WBNG-TV News in Binghamton, New York, noted another side effect of the quarantine: an increase in mental health issues. “According to the American Psychiatric Association, more than one-third of Americans say the pandemic has had an impact on mental health,” the station reported. At the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAST), calls for assistance have increased by 80 percent during the lockdown, with more than 3,000 calls in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

And “drive-by” demonstrations and marches, many replete with firearms, illustrate the high tensions of citizens chafing under constantly shifting deadlines to “reopen” the country.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in his epic novel A Tale of Two Cities. Those words are ringing true around the globe.


God’s Perspective Is Hopeful

But God promises that these times will one day end.

Jeremiah 29:11 is often presented as a verse offering encouragement to those oppressed by current circumstances: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 

This promise was first given to the Hebrew exiles in ancient Babylon. The meaning of the word “peace” in Hebrew, shalom, encompasses much more than its definition in English; it means “completeness, soundness, welfare,” as Strong’s Concordance defines it.

God’s desire is not for us just to get by in life. Yes, while it is good to make the best of a bad situation, God’s plan of salvation is that there will one day never be any badness or disease, any sin in the world (Nahum 1:9). God promises to give us a life more fulfilling than any of us can imagine (Psalm 84:11; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8).

While we all, from each individual in his house to our leaders in government, are trying to figure out how to exist during this pandemic, God already has it all figured out.

Like the Hebrew exiles, we have been separated from our “heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16). But we can be assured that our Savior will return and take all those who believe in Him to our true home. That is our “future”; that is our “blessed hope”: the “glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

God’s precious counsel for the Israelites awaiting the return to their own land is the same for us today while we await His soon coming: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Are you seeking Jesus during this lockdown? It is the most valuable habit you could ever form. In a free online video, “ Be Who You Are,” Pastor Doug Batchelor walks us through a study of the apostle Peter’s second epistle, exploring the ways we are to seek Christ in our daily life in order to grow in Him and be ready for the most important journey we’ll ever take when He comes again.

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.
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