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Hope Is Stronger Than Fear: 5 Good Things to Think About

When you're surrounded by sadness and negativity—like that surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak—it can be hard for even the most optimistic to stay strong. It's true that we need to take the virus seriously—it's capable of causing severe illness, death, and significant changes to the way we live and work. It's easy to stay focused on these negative thoughts, especially when they seem to be the center of every local and national news story.

But pessimistic thinking under high pressure can be counterproductive. Obviously, there are things you need to know about the pandemic to keep yourself and those around you safe, but you don't need to drown yourself in negative thoughts and news stories. Instead, here are five good things to think about to help you move forward with determination and hope.

Families are spending quality time together.

With our busy schedules, it can be difficult for families to find time to connect. Before the pandemic, it was normal to eat lunch alone in front of your laptop instead of sitting together to eat as a family, and we turned to technology for social connection. But with school and office closures and throughout the United States, many families are getting the opportunity to spend quality time together.

Deepening our family connections can help us counter social distancing from our school and work communities. Instead of being alone together, we're together together.

The planet is starting to heal.

While the world continues to battle the pandemic, the Earth has started to heal. The worldwide slowdown in human activity has had several positive effects on the environment, from lowered levels of air pollution to fewer emissions from planes in the sky and less fuel-burning cars on the road.

Notably, with slowed industrial activity under lockdown restrictions, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency has revealed that air pollution levels in China are significantly lower than this time last year. Air pollution levels have also decreased in the United Kingdom, with some cities experiencing nitrogen dioxide levels decreased by 60% from last year.

Meanwhile, in India, the skies of some of the most polluted cities have turned blue during the lockdown. The lockdown has improved the air quality index levels in nearly 90% of India's 103 cities.

Our pets are happier than ever.

From our furry friends to endangered species, animals around the world are enjoying the lockdown. As more and more employees are turning to remote work, adoption kennels are finding themselves empty with an influx of people interested in fostering and adopting animals.

It's not just pets that are thriving during the quarantine. Right now, sea turtles are laying eggs, which is an extremely vulnerable time when sharing beaches with humans. With more people staying home and away from beaches, the sea turtles' journey to the ocean is easier in places like Brazil and Florida, allowing the endangered species to thrive.

We've learned to appreciate the little things.

More time creates more time to think. The little things you might not have noticed before, like warm summer evenings or the stars in the night sky, have much more significance because we've all been forced to reassess how we live our lives.

Thanks to the lockdown, we've also learned to appreciate ordinary workers who have done extraordinary things for us. From grocery store workers to post office staff, so many people are working hard for our health and well-being, and we've come to respect and appreciate our everyday heroes more than ever.

It's easy to dismiss the little things when we're caught up in our routines, but once we step back and slow down, we start to notice them.

Love endures all.

We know how many couples-to-be had to adjust their weddings or proposal plans during these unprecedented times—but love isn't put on hold during the quarantine. From couples who have donated their wedding budget to frontline workers and doctors tying the knot at their hospital, the lockdown is the perfect opportunity to communicate and express your love to your significant other.

If you're thinking about tying the knot, choosing an ethical and responsible alternative to real diamonds can help the planet continue to heal. You may look into synthetic diamonds made from resources such as cubic zirconia, or a more chemically-true alternative, lab diamonds.

As man-made diamonds created in a lab, lab diamonds offer numerous advantages over mined diamonds, includingenvironmental sustainability, lower diamond prices, and durability. If you're worried about the reality of blood diamondsor conflict diamonds as well, you can rest assured knowing there's no comparison between these and lab-grown diamonds.The price of lab diamonds is often lower than natural diamonds because they can be developed in-house for some retailers, removing the middleman from sales.

In general terms, lab diamonds are created using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high-pressure high temperature(HPHT) processes, which involve placing a diamond seed in a vacuum chamber and applying a combination of heat and extreme pressure to replicate the diamond growth process within the Earth's surface. Carbon atoms layer onto the diamond seed to create loose diamonds, which are cut, polished, and graded by diamond experts to create an HPHT diamond or CVD diamond free of inclusions.Even though a lab diamond may seem like an imitation, you can get your preference of diamond for a fraction of the price. Lab-created diamonds and  simulants are a great choice and you don't have to worry about flaws, imperfections, impurities, hardness, or overall gem quality. In recent years, jewelry stores have found ways to include the brilliance of this type of diamond on necklaces, engagement rings, and more. The crystal structure is akin to a lab-grown diamond's natural counterparts. It's also easy to talk to gemologists about promotional discounts for designer collections. As a buyer, you can rest assured that each gem is crystal-clear just like a natural diamond counterpart. Keep this in mind for future purchases. 

A diamond engagement ring doesn't have to put you in long term financial turmoil. Diamond-lovers working with a budget can appreciate lab-created diamonds or other diamond simulants to embrace the look they love. While the origins of a lab diamond may be different than other options in the traditional diamond market, they offer a comparable sparkle that is sure to wow your loved one.

If you're concerned about the appearance or craftsmanship of your engagement ring, it can be helpful to consider that lab diamonds share the same optical properties, physical properties, and chemical properties as natural diamonds—in fact, even diamond experts have trouble distinguishing between real diamonds and lab diamonds with the naked eye.

Lab diamonds, which are often manufactured for industrial use, have also been shown to be 10-times more durable than real diamonds. In addition, jewelry purchase from Agape Diamonds comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from the Gemological Institute of America with detailed information on the color, cut, clarity, and carat size of your diamond ring.

Customizable options let you be creative about the look of your band—yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold—as well as the gemstones you decide to use. Emeralds, sapphires, and rubies have become popular alongside diamonds. The important thing is that your ring set reflects your unique personalities and relationship.

Whether you're shopping for real diamonds or lab diamonds, working with a wholesaler can help you find the perfect engagement ring. Agape Diamonds has a local store in Tampa, Florida but features a robust online shop that will ship anywhere. As a wholesale jeweler, Agape Diamonds offers free shipping within the United States and a lifetime warranty on all diamond jewelry. Additionally, the company features more reasonable, lower prices than popular designer collections in the diamond industry like De Beers, Diamond Nexus, and James Allen for diamonds of the same cut, clarity, and carat of diamond.

If you have any questions about engagement ring or wedding band shopping, the diamond experts at Agape Diamonds can help you and your future spouse find the perfect ring to symbolize your true love and lifelong commitment to each other. You may be inspired to buy a classic halo, or a platinum band that will gain compliments for years to come. Learn more about special offers and other promotions by talking to a diamond expert today.

Around the world, friends, family, and neighbors are coming together to spread love and optimism. The positive impacts of joining together in the face of uncertainty are all around us. In your personal life as well as how you decide your future purchases, it's important to remember to keep a positive attitude and move forward with hope.

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