‘Mommy, I like coronavirus because I get to spend time with you,” a patient of mine, a lawyer, quoted her son as saying. With schools closed, social events postponed and workplaces empty, usually busy professionals find themselves at home baking cookies, playing games, watching movies and doing arts and crafts to keep their children occupied. Some are surprised to find they enjoy it.
As anxiety and fear settle over the world, there’s a silver lining to this pandemic. In a self-occupied world, the coronavirus is making people reassess their priorities and values. The U.S. is one of the hardest-working countries in the world. More than half of all workers don’t use all their vacation days, according to the U.S. Travel Association, and mandated maternity benefits are meager compared with those of other developed nations.
America’s productivity comes at a price—the emotional well-being of families and children.