The last two years have been difficult dealing with a pandemic. But as gloomy as things seem, there are still reasons to be optimistic.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: So, I think it’s pretty fair to say it’s been a very weird, almost two years, right? That might actually even be an understatement. You know, we’ve been a lot through a lot as a country, through as a world, you know, and I think individually as well. a lot of us have really been struggling. Whether you’re a kid who’s had to switch to, you know, online schooling and, Zoom classes, which I can’t even imagine how horrible that would be. Or, families who maybe lost their jobs or whatever it is. I think we’ve all been going through some really dark times, possibly the darkest times any of us have ever been through. And you know, if you think about it, no other time in US history or maybe even world history, you know, we’ve been forced into our homes. Yeah. And for, with like indefinitely, we don’t even know, you know, when it was gonna end, what is it? 15 days to flatten the curve And it’s like Day 500 and something I think. Yeah. It’s been a long 15 days. it’s been a long 15 days. you know, businesses, churches have been forced to close down, you know, and I expect we’re gonna look back on the last two years and really regret how bad things got and how much power, you know, we gave the government or you know, how bad we got. Let things get. I mean, look at Australia, I don’t know if you guys have been following that, but there’s an app even in Australia to keep you in your home and report people. And you have to check in with the app and let them know where you are. And people are being quarantined in like hospitals. It’s nuts.

Emma: It is. The government’s like making people take selfies and send them in to check in on where they are and making sure they’re not hanging out with people. And they have like, it’s scary. Your jails for people who have COVID, it’s so creepy. I cannot believe that.

Brittany: It’s so creepy. But enough doom and gloom because I think we’ve had enough of that over the last, you know, 18, 19 months. So today I wanna take kind of a positive approach because, you know, there’s a lot of negativity in the world right now and there’s a lot of reason for that. We have not only COVID, we have Afghanistan, we have civil unrest, we have so many things going on that it’s really easy to start really focusing on all the things that are going wrong right now. So I thought it would be nice to take a break from that. And instead of dwelling on all the bad things, I wanna talk about some of the good things that happened over the last two years, because I promise you there have been some good things. So one thing I always look for in times of crisis is how, you know, the market responds by offering solutions even when the government tries to keep them down, right? Because a lot of laws were passed, a lot of policies were passed over the, like the pandemic where businesses really weren’t allowed to thrive. So, one thing I wanna start with, and Emma, you can chime in and we can kind of go back and forth or, so, you know, restaurants were in most places forced to shut down. You couldn’t even eat inside at all. And then they started opening to, you know, I think it was like 25% capacity and then 50%, you know, whatever it was capacity. So in the beginning, restaurants were faced with losing everything they had, you know, they didn’t have. Yeah, they didn’t. And not every business uses like Uber Eats and DoorDash in fact, and we might have to do another episode on this. there’s a lot of economics to food delivery services where it’s kind of a, like nobody really makes that much money from it. I don’t want them to shut it down cuz I use Uber Eats too much. But, so, you know, a lot of them weren’t doing that. But in my area, a lot of businesses they quickly innovated. They switched to delivery or they switched to takeout. And one particular restaurant I really live in Arlington is we have this place courthouse like plaza where it’s like outdoor areas and there’s restaurants. And since the restaurants couldn’t let people in, a lot of them like set up like a booth outside where you could get takeout, but then a lot of people were just sitting in not the restaurant’s patio but outside. So it was almost like we were still finding a way to hang out. I love that and I love that. Think that’s right. And I think there’s two really good positive things to that. And that is one that restaurants found a way to innovate. And part of restaurants isn’t just the food, right? It’s the experience of going out to eat, of sitting with people you love. You know, there’s a lot more to it than just eating food. And so not only were the restaurants able to kind of keep afloat that way, but I love that people were finding a way to still be with each other even when the government was trying to keep us, you know, in the house. So that’s one thing that I really think was positive. and you know, it really kind of brightened my heart at a time when we didn’t know it was gonna happen.

Emma: Yeah. I totally agree with you. And you mentioned the courthouse area. I used to go eat there sometimes they had like a sushi restaurant that I really liked and a pizza place. So I’m glad that found, found a way to keep up. Yeah. . But one of my favorite things that I have kind of experienced since the pandemic is it’s made it a lot easier for me to talk to my doctor Yes. And take care of doctors’ visits without having to go all the way in find parking. Cuz, sometimes parking at those places can be crazy or pay for Ubers or anything like that and pay for Ubers. So I, you know, if I needed to talk to my doctor about anything, I didn’t have to go in and take all of that time and get time off work. I could literally just, you know, click a little thing online and they, it put me right on this like zoom call kind of thing with my doctor and I could talk to them and, you know, whatever I needed to do. And it was so much easier. And a lot of doctor’s offices have actually kept this around because, you know, there are varying levels of people who are at risk for COVID or who might need to be more careful. So they’re still keeping it around. And I love that because I’m like, this is so convenient. Finally, healthcare is starting to move along with the market and get better. that’s not something that you see a ton of. No. with the industry,

Brittany: Especially healthcare. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah, exactly. The healthcare industry has so many regulations on it, it’s really hard for it to advance. But that has been one good thing. And I think in general, are our sort of regulations that were waived with COVID. Yes. That allowed for more innovation. So you talked about food delivery, there were a lot of laws that were waived for different kinds of things that you could get delivered to your house that you couldn’t before. and it opened up like whole new parts of the economy. So that I think is really cool and just sort of this general,  government acknowledging that a lot of its rules were silly and that they didn’t actually matter. And in my opinion too, you know, if you take away the rule because it’s a time of craziness or unprecedented times as everybody would say Yes. yeah. I’m so sick of hearing that. But if the rule doesn’t need to be there for unprecedented times, it probably doesn’t need to be there at all. So I think that’s another good thing is sort of people’s eyes being opened to how many stupid regulations we have and hopefully figuring out, hey, we don’t need these to come back once COVID is finally done, if it’s ever done.

Brittany: I think you’re absolutely right. And what was funny about it is a lot of the emergency orders that were passed to take away these silly laws were only supposed to be temporary. But I think so many people have found how easy it is. And like you said, I’m still using telehealth, you know, if I don’t have to go Yeah. Get like looked at by a doctor. I’ve been using telehealth like crazy because again, it’s just so much easier. so, okay, so another thing, and it’s kind of on this, this, the wavelength is drone delivery service and not of things, not like Amazon packages, but in some areas, and I can’t remember where, it wasn’t everywhere, but there were drone, services bringing prescriptions to like older people. People who had what they call comorbidities, which make you more prone to getting COVID. So that was really fun. and I’ll have to find a link for that. But there was another cool thing is when we were running out of ventilators and whether or not ventilators are actually helping is a whole other discussion. But, when they were running out of ventilators, there was like a company, and I can’t remember what it was called, but they started creating like digital ventilators. Like they, like people were innovating so quickly to help with all these things that were going on. And we didn’t pay attention to that. Right. Because you turn onto CNN, you turn on all this news, you know, ridiculous cable news stations, and everything was negative. Everything was, we’re running out of, you know, ventilators we’re running out of this. Oh yeah. But nobody was Right. The fear they thrive on fear. They, that’s, you know, Connor wrote the book feardom and exactly right. And I think that’s exactly right. So anyway, so I think what was really important, and this is why I really wanted to do this episode, is to highlight like, no, there was a lot of really good innovation happening, but it was drown out by the fear.

Emma: Yeah. You’re so right. I think that was a big thing that I saw too, was like all of these media outlets and, you know, social media and all of that, people became totally addicted to fear, to the point where they couldn’t even realize a lot of the time that things were actually getting better. Yes. And that, you know, deaths are going down even if there are some cases, like when you look at the way the numbers are, and we had a whole episode about this, the statistics one that we talked about, numbers and that kind of thing, and how they can be manipulated, but it was interesting how people would, they would start pointing to the cases when people were dying less often. And it’s just interesting how.

Brittany: They did that with Florida a lot, where Florida didn’t have people dying, but they had high cases because Florida didn’t shut down as much as other places. And it was like, yeah, but nobody’s dying.

Emma: Right. Well, that’s the thing too, is there’s a huge difference between getting something, getting any kind of virus. You could have the common cold or you could have the flu or something and dying from it. That’s a pretty massive difference. And most people who get COVID recover and, you know, they take their time, they rest up, they stay inside and then they’re fine. And that happened to me, I had COVID at one point and it wasn’t fun. I didn’t feel good, but, you know, I was a case, but I didn’t die. And there’s a huge difference there. So that’s another, you know, discussion for maybe another day. We can revisit all of that craziness. But yeah, it’s interesting to me how the media especially really wanted people to be down about things. They really wanted people to be scared and worked up. And I remember when COVID was first happening, everyone would watch those press conferences every day and Fauci would go up and do his thing and you know, you can really see what the incentive is there for them because the media, their product that they are selling is basically people tuning in and listening to what they’re doing and they can sell ads. So more people that are watching and people like to watch stuff and like to get that kind of information when they’re scared. So you can kind of see the incentive there, but that’s, that’s going down the negative rabbit hole again. We’ll talk about something positive. something positive that I have really noticed is people kind of starting to wake up to, the government and its interests. Yes. And waking up to the fact that, hey, the government is not always my best friend. The government is not always telling me the truth. They do not always care about my well-being. And, I think that’s something that’s been huge because I have a lot of friends who maybe they didn’t care a ton about politics, but you know, their governor just signed a random law and made their job illegal overnight. Yeah. They were deemed non-essential workers and lost their jobs. That’s a really tough thing to go through. And it’s the kind of thing that when it happens to you, it’s not political, it’s just your life. It’s just your ability to live your life. So I think people have started to realize that policies do have repercussions, policies have consequences, and they’re kind of realizing, hey, this isn’t just about whether or not I like the way this certain politician makes me feel, or I like the words they use or the way they present themselves to the world. But actually thinking more about the ideas and the policies, that has been something really positive that I’ve noticed.

Brittany: Absolutely. And I wanna touch on too, really quickly, one thing, and I think our listeners will really appreciate this, is the rise in homeschool, right? Oh yeah. So, you know, homeschool had a kind of a bad rep by some people who would say like, oh, the kids are socially awkward, or, you know, they shouldn’t be learning by parents who aren’t teachers. But as the school system and teachers became so ridiculous, you know, requiring masks, refusing to come back to work, forcing children, which I personally think is bordering on child abuse to sit in front of a computer screen Yeah. All day. Especially you look at like kindergartners, that’s not what kids were meant to do. You know, kids were meant to play and learn and learn through curiosity. So a lot of that led parents to start homeschooling their kids. And as we’ve talked about over and over on this, over again on this show is that’s great. Right. That shows a lot of progress. Yeah. And I know we’re kinda running outta time, but one more thing I wanna mention and then, I’ll let you add anything you want, Emma. is civil disobedience, which is a theme we’ve talked about a lot on this show and how, you know, how it forces things to change. Yeah. I was really moved by people who were refusing to comply with a lot of the government’s mandates a lot of churches. There’s one video where a church met outside, they weren’t even inside and they were singing hymns and the police were coming and arresting them. And these are not like rebel res, right. These are just like regular people. But it was nice to see people standing up to the government when they were saying like, this is ridiculous, you know? Yeah. Why is one thing allowed to open when like, a church isn’t, why are, you know, b l m protests allowed to happen with people close together and then churches can’t when people are six feet apart, even outdoors. So there was a lot of things that made me happy to see, you know, humanity standing up for what they knew was right. And I think that’s a really positive aspect that we should, you know, pay attention to.

Emma: Yeah, I completely agree with you on there. And, seeing people stand up for their super most basic rights, you know, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and even the Bill of Rights talking about being able to assemble and worship freely and gather. it’s been really cool to see people start to care about that. And I think when your freedoms like that are being threatened, it’s easier to remember why they’re so important. So I have also loved seeing civil disobedience for a good cause. it’s pretty different to stand up for your own rights and to stand up for your, you know, your most basic freedoms than it is to go steal something and or rob somebody. So there are different kinds of civil disobedience and I know that we’ve had some episodes where we’ve touched on that in the past, but it is really, really cool to see people standing up for that, Step. And I think it makes us value those things more when we know that they could be in danger. It helps us remember, hey,  we need to talk about these things. We need to care about our freedoms and stand up for what we believe in. So I, completely agree with you there. Maybe we’ll put in a link to that video so folks can watch if they’re interested. we’re gonna wrap it up here, guys. Thank you so much, Brittany, for chatting with me and we will talk to you guys all later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.