It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, but the cloud of COVID-19 that has overshadowed the world is like no other we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Even a pandemic such as this has some bright spots. Here are some things we like and dislike about social distancing.



Less Traffic

We like less traffic. Rush hour and weekend traffic has been cancelled. So if you do have anywhere to drive, it’s so pleasant because there are fewer drivers on the road.

Crazy Drivers

We dislike crazy drivers. With fewer vehicles on the road, some drivers have taken the opportunity to test drive their Formula 1 racing skills by driving like maniacs on the open highways. We’ve seen some drivers going more than 100 m.p.h.

Cooking at Home

We like cooking at home. With more time and nowhere to go, many of us have developed or rediscovered our cooking skills and have whipped up delicious dishes or tried new recipes in our own kitchens.

Missing Restaurants

We dislike missing our favorite restaurants. With no other option than to cook or resort to takeout, many of us are tired of providing three squares a day and are longing to sit down and be waited on and to devour our favorite dishes.

Crafting Our Own Cocktails

We like crafting our own cocktails, and we applaud those creative home bartenders who have concocted drinks like Quarantinis.

Shortage of Liquor

What we dislike is the shortage of liquor and how difficult it is to get spirits in our state. Outside of beer and wine, if you want liquor, you must jump through hoops to get it.

Clean Air

We love the clean air, the result of everyone staying in place.

Lack of Productivity

We dislike the lack of productivity and how many people have been unemployed or sidelined during the shutdown.

Family Time

We like the increase in family time and how heartwarming it is that we’ve found time to do puzzles, play games, and sit down for family meals together.

No Me Time

We dislike being together 24/7 and the lack of “me time” or privacy.

Quiet Time

We like how quiet it is outdoors with very few planes soaring overhead.

Nowhere to Go

We dislike all the travel plans that have been canceled and not being “free to roam about the country.”

Casual Dress

We like how easy it is to grab pajama pants and a favorite T-shirt and head to the home office.

Slob Status

We don’t like feeling like a lazy slob, not taking any pride in our appearance, and after looking in our closet coming to realize that we have nowhere to wear our clothes.

Working from Home

We like the convenience of working from home. It can be much easier to get things done once you get started.

Office Space

We dislike the lack of proper office space. Extra monitors and office equipment clutter up the house. Interrupting a conference call when walking into a room is also a major inconvenience.

Innovation & Creativity

We love the innovation and creativity that Americans are known for and how that can-do attitude has emerged in those DIY hairstylists giving haircuts at home and grooming their own dogs.


We miss professionals, those who actually know how to groom us and not hearing, “Oops! Sorry. That will grow back,” after wielding a pair of clippers.

Driveway Visits

We like keeping in touch even if it’s just by reaching out and touching someone by coming to their driveway to visit.

Social Shutdown

We dislike that all social events have come to a halt and that countless birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other celebrations have been diminished, postponed or canceled.

Zoom Conferences

We like the novelty of keeping in touch via video conferencing and looking like the Brady Bunch on computer screens.

Nothing Personal

We dislike that nothing is personal. We hate not being able to meet new grandchildren, kiss babies, shake hands, or visit our older family members and friends in person.

People Walking and Getting Exercise

We like seeing more people out and about getting exercise.


We dislike the lack of serenity when taking a walk to clear the head and get some me time, because now everyone is out.

Home School

We like home schooling in that it’s great to witness all the parents stepping in to take charge of their children’s education.

Dunce Caps

We dislike feeling we need a dunce cap because we feel so inadequate while teaching our children and the futility of trying to explain what it means to “carry the one” during math lessons.

Online Religious Services

We like religious institutions and faith groups that are trying to make the best of a bad situation by broadcasting religious services.


We dislike the distractions and interruptions and the tendency for the mind to wander while viewing services online.  We miss interaction with our clergy and other members of the flock.


We like masks and are grateful for the protection they offer us as we venture out of our homes.

Mouthing Off

We don’t like that our mouths are now off limits. It has made wearing lipstick impractical, and no one can see if you are smiling at them.

Just Like the Rest of Us

We like the fact that without their hairdressers, makeup artists, and stylists, many celebrities look just as ordinary as the rest of us.


We don’t like celebrities lecturing us that we’re all in this together from inside their palatial estates.

Finally, we do like being able to provide Pittsburghers with information and entertainment.
We don’t like not being able to interact with you, our readers and advertisers, and not being able to go out and enjoy our beautiful hometown.

By Janice Lane Palko