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Optimism & Health in Light of the Pandemic

Optimism & Health in Light of the Pandemic


"Oh" stands for optimism and health; it's the guiding philosophy for our architecture firm. The May EcOh presenters wanted to consider these challenging times, while practicing optimism. One way of practicing optimism is to consider the positive impacts on the environment during this time.

Global travel and tourism have sharply declined during the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits to local and global air quality were seemingly instant with the decline of daily travel. The reduction in vehicle traffic in the United States has also greatly reduced urban smog in multiple metropolises. Other effects of the decreased traffic include declines in traffic accidents as well as pedestrian deaths. Since polluted air could contribute to the spread and severity of respiratory issues; the positive effects on air quality have an immediate health benefit to people including reducing the possible spread of the virus. The reduction of boat traffic has improved water quality and the benefits of reduced water turbidity are allowing wildlife to flourish. Even seismic noise has reduced due to the drop-in travel and movement of the upper crust from human travel and transportation. This is allowing researchers to gather seismic information that they can normally only gather during periods of minimal human movement, like during the winter holidays.

While some of these benefits will only be short lived, it is inspiring to know that we can have a positive lasting impact on the planet if we continue to take action. We must continue to believe we can make a difference, advocate for our health and vote during every opportunity!


Self-care is another way to stay optimistic while focusing on your personal health. We gathered some tips on how to keep a healthy and sustainable work environment while many people are working from home for the first time.

  • Create a dedicated workspace. Use a chair that promotes good posture.
  • Locate desk with natural daylight and/or views to outside.
  • Turn off or unplug devices when you’re not working, or utilize advanced power strips that reduce vampire energy.
  • Reduce the brightness of your computer screen.
  • Adjust thermostat 2 degrees up in the summer or down in the winter. This can save approximately 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Add plants to your space. Plants can filter out VOC, absorb noise, reduce sick leave and stress, as well as provide share to reduce heat gain.
  • Practice the 20/20/20 rule. During your workday, Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, at 20-minute intervals.
  • Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Utilize a gratefulness journal, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, call or write loved ones.
  • Make a Easy Face Mask
  • Take a Detox Bath
  • Use a meditation or yoga app to relax.

Meditation & Yoga Apps

  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Insight Timer
  • Aura
  • Sattva
  • YogaGlo
  • Enso
  • Inscape
  • Yoga with Adriene
  • Buddhify
  • Smiling Mind

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