The Bright Side: Coronavirus Is Bringing Communities, Couples Closer Together


  • One in four British adults say the outbreak has led them to check in with neighbors they barely knew before.
  • Two in five respondents agree all this time spent stuck-in with their partner will strengthen their relationship.

LONDON — It’s hard not to feel at least a little down these days. The coronavirus is absolutely dominating the headlines and our lives, and most of the stories aren’t exactly positive. If you’re looking for a silver lining in all this, a recent survey of 2,000 residents in the United Kingdom has identified a few unexpected benefits of the COVID-19 situation.

In this modern age, it’s become increasingly common for neighbors and community members to ignore each other and almost never speak. Well, 25% of respondents agree the coronavirus outbreak has led to conversations with neighbors (at a safe distance, of course) who they hardly knew at all before a few weeks ago. Additionally, 64% believe that COVID-19 has brought their community closer together in a variety of ways.

It’s well established at this point that the elderly and immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable to the virus. So, 30% of respondents have started checking in on their older relatives and 23% are doing the same for neighbors in need. A full third of survey participants have started grocery shopping for neighbors and family members who are unable to leave the house.

Meanwhile, other people have donated to a food bank (13%), volunteered for a charity (10%), or decided to patronize a small business instead of a larger chain store (28%).

We could all use a little more support right now, so it’s very encouraging to see that over 40% of respondents’ communities or neighborhoods have set up a help group for in-need locals.

“The coronavirus crisis might be causing stress and fear but it’s also kick-started a wave of kindness around the country,” comments Siobhan Freegard from ChannelMum.com, the company that commissioned this research, in a statement. “People are putting politics and other divisions behind them to concentrate on helping each other and bringing their communities back together. By sticking together and supporting those around us, we can hopefully make the uncertain weeks and months ahead a little easier.”

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Besides broader communities, the coronavirus situation has also led to families and partners seeing a whole lot more of each other. While there is, of course, the possibility of getting on one another’s nerves, 49% of survey participants believe that self-isolating will bring them closer to their partner. In all, two-thirds say they are seeing their significant other much more than usual due to COVID-19 measures such as working from home, self-isolation, or social distancing.

Before all this started, 57% of respondents struggled to find time for their partner. Now, 74% are looking forward to more quality time with their loved ones due to quarantine measures.

Two-thirds of respondents believe there will be a big baby boom in nine months thanks to all the time spent indoors among couples, and close to 40% believe being “stuck” at home will benefit their relationship in the long run.

Just because we all can’t go out to eat or to the movies for a little while, that doesn’t mean couples can’t enjoy a date night. Nearly half (43%) of polled subjects said they are trying out “at home date nights.”

If you’re looking for some ideas to spice up your next date night at home, the top answer among participants was watching a film (57%), followed by a home-cooked meal (56%), a few alcoholic drinks (43%), conversation (41%), and cuddling on the sofa (40%). Other popular answers included sex (36%), music (26%), breaking out the old DVD box sets (24%), playing games (24%), and trying to go the whole night with no social media or gadgets (13%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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