During this time-out for the commercial economy, there is a related renaissance of the non-commercial economy, a rebirth of home production accompanied by a flowering of social connections enabled by a communications web that thrives on physical distancing. People are rediscovering the skills and pleasures of working and playing at home. The theatres may be dark, but are you not laughing even harder at shared sketches of life under lock-down than you did at the performances you missed? And is your heart not warmed by all the off-the-job professionals, whether in the arts, education, business or sports, who are sharing their talents any way they can to help others?
The Covid-19 pandemic struck with unprecedented speed and power, threatening the three main pillars of support for well-being: health, employment, and social support. It started with the infection, of course, followed by drops in production and increases in physical separation flowing from health policy actions taken to flatten the curve. The timing and effectiveness of these curve-flattening attempts have varied greatly among communities and countries. Whatever their success in flattening the curve, all communities now face the need to find a plan to restart production and restore daily life without triggering a fresh escalation of infections and deaths.
Luis Gallardo is the Founder and President of the World Happiness Foundation and the World Happiness Fest and the Founder and Author of the TEOH Lab and Happytalism.
John F. Helliwell is in the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia, a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and co-editor of the World Happiness Reports.