Talk about seeing the world through new eyes. Not long ago, we celebrated the beginning of a new decade. To many, it felt like the dawning of a new era. And suddenly, here we are. Sitting inside our homes for 21 days.

I’m not about to ignore the seriousness of the situation, or put a happy face on a major international crisis. But since we’re in this anyway, what if we could grasp the opportunity to put on new glasses (or new eyes), and see things from a fresh perspective?

I mean, this is the perfect chance to see your partner/family/housemate through different eyes… hopefully good ones. Hopefully we’ll find new things to love about each other. Hopefully it won’t matter that they leave dishes in the sink and half-empty coffee cups all over the place. Hopefully we won’t mind that they breathe weirdly while they work. Hopefully we won’t reach a stage where we’re drawing lines on the floor to mark out Your Side and My Side.

See, we all have those meaningless little habits that would be annoying to the people living with us. Only they’re not really, because we only enact them for a few hours every day. The rest of the time, we’re inflicting those habits on our co-workers as they inflict theirs on us. Now? It’s all day, every day.

But let’s stay on track and keep things positive. (Fresh optimistic eyes, remember?) Staring at your four walls could help you see your home in a completely different way.

There’s a story going around about how Swiss shops have no stock on their shelves. No, not their supermarkets – their hardware stores. The people of Switzerland are embracing this chance to complete all the DIY tasks they’ve been putting off. They figure they’ve finally got some time on their hands. When all this is over, House & Leisure will have to dedicate an entire issue to Switzerland’s newly-fabulous homes.

Now that’s what they mean when they talk about seeing the opportunity in the crisis. Seeing the silver lining and all that. So maybe it’s time to grab that To-Do list. (No, not the one you made… the one your spouse made for you.)

Ever the optimist, my estate agent friend has a brilliant marketing strategy in mind. When shutdown is over, she’s going to send out a flyer that says: “Tired of your house after 21 days inside? Time to buy a new one!” (True story.)

As the world starts to look different, maybe we’ll start to feel different too. No traffic means no road rage. No gym means no frustration with those people who hog three machines at a time. Lockdown means no rushing to meetings. No rushing anywhere, in fact.

Again, these are challenging times. But what if it all ends and we discover we’ve become… nicer?

And how will everything look once we step outside again? Maybe the same. But maybe, not quite.