The Positive Side of Social Distancing

Barrington Rose
3 min readMar 26, 2020

During this tumultuous pandemic, which has disrupted every American’s lifestyle, it’s difficult to find positive and encouraging news sometimes. None of us expected to be sequestered in our homes, and have our freedom of movement curtailed, however, there are some sociological and ecological benefits to our current situation.

Less Litter

As a means of outdoor activity, I started taking morning walks again, something I’ve always cherished. But, during my walks, I became more conscious of all the trash and debris that I noticed along the roads. According to statistics, Americans toss out nearly 51 billion pieces of litter every year!

Billions of cigarette butts, bottles, plastics, diapers and cans — all of it, tossed carelessly into our rivers, lakes, roads and oceans. It’s amazing to me, that so many people could be so unconscious of the impact of littering. Most people don’t toss their trash onto their floor at home, but mindlessly toss their trash onto highways.

Since most people are hunkered down in their homes, the opportunity to litter has been severely curtailed. Instead of just acknowledging the problem, I decided to begin picking up trash along my walk.

Imagine if every person in the world spent at least one hour per day, walking and picking up litter. Our planet would be exponentially cleaner!

More Family Time

As most schools have closed around the country, and many parents are forced to work from home — family time has become more essential. Our lives are so inundated with “busyness,” — soccer practice, music lessons, working out etc., we’ve become strangers to each other.

Perhaps, this is God’s way of strengthening family ties and reminding us that we all rely on each other. I recently saw a report that children’s books and games are the biggest sellers on Amazon. Parents are now more involved in their child’s educational development, and that will have tangible benefits for the both the child and the parent.

It’s really cool to see the Tik-Tok videos and all the creative and funny posts from families. This unexpected bonding will enhance relationships and bring families closer together.

Less Pollution

Most companies are currently requiring their non-essential employees to work from home, which means less traffic and pollution (it also means less road rage…) With less cars on the road, the CO2 emissions that have damaged our ozone layer and poisoned our environment for years, now has a chance to heal itself.

The most recent report from, indicates that the ozone layer above Antarctica has recovered significantly, and scientist are now less concerned about climate changes in the Southern Hemisphere.

Perhaps we had no idea, how close we were to irrevocably destroying our atmosphere — and this was the wake-up call we needed!

Less Crime

I haven’t discovered any recent reports about less crime, but it’s a no-brainer that having less people engaging with each other publicly, reduces the opportunity to be assaulted or worse. Many lives may have been saved by this unexpected disruption of our lifestyle.

Being forced to stay at home, may seem intrusive but it could literally be a life saver.

When societies experience less crime, they typically enjoy a higher sense of security and enjoyment of life.

So, be thankful for this pause in our normal activities — it could be exactly what we needed.

Barrington Rose




Barrington Rose

Just a writer of words and a lover of verbs. Author of “Confessions of a 40 (something) Year Old Bachelor” Follow @40Confessions