Lockdown
🕰 Total duration
mos
I want to see
🌎 Ecological benefits
Pre-lockdown commute
I commuted...
times / week
using
a car 🚗
Commute time (one-way)
min
My car
Engine type and prod. year
petrol 2006
Ecological benefits
💭 CO₂ emissions reduction
lb

Quarantine Silver Lining Calculator

By Maria Kluziak and Wojciech Sas, PhD candidate

We live in highly unusual times - we don't think we need to tell you why. But all this social distancing and quarantining can be tough. Working or studying remotely is proving to be a challenge to many of us. But despite it all, it's important to remember that it's not all doom and gloom!

Monty Python encouraged us to "always look on the bright side of life". Here at Omni, we take these words very seriously, and so we decided to create this quarantine silver lining calculator. We hope that with its help, you will be able to find some solace in the unexpected silver linings that come with quarantine and working from home. Use it to find out how much time you save not having to commute, how much extra money stays in your pocket, and if your new office space helps the environment!

How does our calculator work?

You're probably so used to your daily commuting that you rarely wonder how much time you spend doing it on a weekly or monthly basis. The answer might surprise you! For example, did you know that the average car commute in Washington state exceeds 40 minutes? If we consider the average 22 weekdays per month, the residents of Washington state spend as many as 28 hours spent commuting monthly! And that doesn't consider the the money spent, be it on gas or tickets. Remote work and education allows you to save that time and money.

To find out what you particular savings are, you need to provide the quarantine silver lining calculator with some information about your life before and during the quarantine.

  • Start by inputting the duration of the lockdown.
  • Pick what kind of benefits you want to see. You can choose from ecological, time, and financial benefits, or view all of them.
  • Next, you need to say how many times a week you commuted, what means of transport you used, and how long it took you to travel one way.
    • If you traveled by car, you should pick its engine type and production year, input the gas price and estimate the fuel economy.
    • For public transport, you should pick the type of ticket you bought, its price and the period of time it covers.
    • If you normally walked or cycled, there is nothing more to add! Simply move on to the next part of the calculator.
  • Our calculator also takes into account money spent on food! We are basing the calculations on average meal costs in the US.
    • Input the number of times you typically ate out, ordered food and cooked at home per week before the lockdown.
    • In the next box, state how many times you order or cook weekly now, in lockdown.
    • If you're not interested in this matter, simply leave the eating habits boxes as they are.

The calculator will analyze the information you input, and show you both the time and monetary benefits of the lockdown. That's not all - it will also give you some perspective on your results with a few examples of what you can do with the extra time! For instance, if you traveled to work or school five times a week, and it took 25 minutes one way, a 1.5-month-long lockdown means that you can read 2 new books! And if you usually commuted by car, you can also see how many trees your stay at home is equivalent to.

What can you do with your spare time during the pandemic?

So, you found yourself stuck at home, with a lot of extra time on your hands, and no more TV shows left to binge. In the quarantine, even a few hours saved on commuting may sound like a lot. If you're struggling to come up with ways to use the extra time on your hands, perhaps you will find inspiration in our list of activities you can pick up during lockdown.

  • Make both yourself and your family or housemates happy with cooking.

    Even one extra hour a day is enough to do some experimenting in the kitchen! Consider cutting down on your take away and giving cooking on your own a try. This will not only save you some additional money, but also give you a fun and valuable skill that will remain handy throughout your whole life. Plus, those living with you are bound to be grateful for a home-made meal.

  • Get involved in a coronavirus-related charity.

    If you like to act in times of need and you're not in a high-risk group, why don't you use the extra time and energy to help somebody? The COVID-19 outbreak has the unexpected bright side of inspiring people to come together, with countless initiatives to help fight the virus and its effects popping up all over the world. If you're the type to raise to the occasion, look up your local volunteering opportunities.

  • Catch up on reading.

    If you're anything like us, you probably have a stack of books (or alternatively, a folder full of e-books) you've been meaning to read for months. Perhaps the time has finally come?

    Reading is a great choice for an engaging quarantine activity. With both our work and social lives having migrated online, we spend even more time looking at screens than usual, making us susceptible to eye strain, headaches and messed up sleep cycles. A book is a great alternative to staring at a screen, giving your eyes a well-deserved break from blue light, as well as taking your mind off the current troubles. Now may be a great time to embark on a journey with Geralt of Rivia, or to check what's new in the world of vampire fiction!

  • Boost your skills with the many available online courses.

    To encourage people to stay at home, countless websites are offering online courses, webinars and workshops at huge bargains, sometimes even for free. Have you thought about learning how to code, or picking up some Photoshop skills? With all the time you save on commuting, this may be a great moment to do that! Who knows, maybe even you will end the quarantine with a new certificate that you can put on your resume?

  • Find a new interesting hobby to get you going.

    Those extra few hours a week might be just enough to cultivate a new (or return to a previously neglected) hobby. From yoga, through juggling, to painting, there is a whole wide world of activities you can enjoy at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools, private instructors and even laymen hobbyists have uploaded videos and free tutorials online, eager to share their passion with others.

  • Just relax and don't do anything special. Remember that's okay too.

    Last but not least - you are under no obligation to use the extra time in any specific way. If you don't have it in you to be productive now and would rather just sleep, that's one hundred percent fine - especially in this stressful time. Because of social media, you might feel pressured into treating the quarantine as a time of increased productivity or self-improvement. Please remember that it's okay not to do that. You have the right to spend your free time however you want, and that includes not being productive.

While we're staying home, nature is taking a little break

The world-wide lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic definitely has one big silver lining that we can't ignore. With all of us staying at home, factories operating less, and all those empty roads and skies, it looks like nature is taking a little break too. While there's a ton of fake news going around the web, many of the unexpected effects on nature being reported are true.

You've probably seen the viral tweets about the Himalayas becoming visible from afar, being seen in person for the first time by many inhabitants of the Punjab province. But did you know that the planet itself has literally become quieter? Seismologists report that there is less “rumbling” noticeable in seismologic stations all around the world, including those located deep in the countryside.

The new situation affects animals as well. All around the world, people report sightings of wild boars, deer, moose and other animals using our absence outside to travel further into human dwellings. An amazing example of this phenomenon occurred in Mumbai, with flocks of flamingos turning the city pink! 🦩 We even experienced something similar in our local Kraków, with a family of wild boars visiting one of the largest parks in the metropolitan area. 🐗

Last, but not least, we'd like to share our favorite news. You've probably already heard about it, but hey - you can never know too much about pandas! 🐼 Zookeepers in the famous Ocean Park, Hong Kong, have been trying to breed two pandas for years, but to no avail. Turns out, all they needed was a little privacy. With no noisy tourists to watch them at all times, Yang Yang and Le Le finally decided to take their relationship to the next level, and Hong Kong is hoping for a new black and white resident to appear in a few months!

Quarantine silver linings calculator: the pandas are doing great!
Maria Kluziak and Wojciech Sas, PhD candidate