UNITED STATES—Locking down the way we live because of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been all bad. While we’ve lost some things, we’ve gained others, and other things have become available again in new forms. This article looks at five things that are now easier than ever to do from home.

Attend a meeting

Although technology like Skype has been around for a while, it wasn’t widely used until lockdown, and the vast majority of businesses didn’t allow for telecommuting for meetings. Although many thinkers saw the shift to online meetings as inevitable because of the economic advantages it offers and how it improves accessibility, it would probably have taken a lot longer to happen without the events of 2020; what was needed was a cultural change. Now that almost everyone knows how to handle online meeting software, the chances are that it will continue to be widely used. Less time is wasted getting to and from events run in this way, and it’s easier to share resources and have your notes right there as you work.

Access medical care

Although it used to cost a lot of money to get health professionals to visit you at home, it has become standard practice. Costs have dropped accordingly, and the types of treatment available in this way have increased. According to Ready Responders, “If you live in one of the select cities, you can actually get a COVID test done right at home by urgent care provider Ready Responders. Ready sends a medical professional to your location, same-day, in most cases, and administers a Rapid COVID Test, which will get you results in about 15 minutes. Ready also provides general urgent care services at-home in New York City, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Shreveport, Houma, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Reno, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.”

Get an education

Online courses have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Due to the way that education has been managed during the pandemic, they are now given the weight they deserve by other academic institutions and employers. Schoolchildren can study at home no matter what grade they’re in, while adults can choose between full-on college courses, specific modules that catch their interest, or easy-access courses focused on particular subjects like learning a foreign language. There’s also a wide range of vocational courses available with practical work you can do at home, and there are catch-up courses for people who, for whatever reason, missed out on acquiring specific skills as children. If you’ve struggled with reading or math and felt embarrassed about taking a catch-up course in person, this is a great way to get yourself up to speed.

Enjoy a gourmet meal

While take-out is nothing new, the number of restaurants offering delivery options has shot up due to quarantine, as it has been the only way for many to survive. The result has been a significant increase in the variety and the quality of food available to eat at home. The variety of drinks available through this route has increased as well. Some people use coordinated deliveries and meeting technology to enjoy meals together, whether for family celebrations or intimate romantic evenings. If you want to get creative with your cooking, it has also become easier to get high-quality ingredients delivered. Many experienced cooks are running free online classes so that even beginners can work out what to do, get advice if they need it, and create something special.

Go to a nightclub

One of the most frustrating things about being stuck at home, especially for younger people, has been the loss of social opportunities and ways to blow off steam. Dancing around in the living room might not be everybody’s thing, but you’d be surprised by how well many nightclubs have been doing since moving their events online. Applications like Twitch are famous for this and provide a chat function. So if you’re not into dancing or just want to sit down for a bit and enjoy the music, you can talk to people and make new friends and perhaps even have fun flirting. You can discover new music, and some clubs even host live shows by bands that have managed to work out ways of playing without breaking quarantine rules.

With vaccines now becoming available and hopes high that life will return to normal, it’s worth noting that it won’t do so for everyone. Those affected by long COVID – and people who were seriously ill or disabled beforehand – these new ways of living will remain a lifeline. They also provide a sort of insurance for all of us in case another pandemic occurs.