Sunday, April 26, 2020

...or is it?

I've been sitting on last weeks' post for nearly a year. The symbology and the timeliness of it was too good to pass up.

And aside from my clickbait-y title, yes, the planet is still "on fucking fire". But this year's pandemic has shown that all hope is not lost.

It's like an aging relative. Once you start losing the brain matter or the muscle mass, it ain't coming back. But you can work with what you've got to slow the rate at which you lose what you have left. I should know, I'm watching my grandmother lose herself right now. We warned her years ago, when she first moved out of her house and into her elderly-living-apartment-complex.

Even if she was then having so much trouble with stairs that she had to sit down to navigate them, well, at least she was getting some exercise that way. And she vacuumed and dusted a decently-sized house; that's all exercise too. Instead, now, she sits. She doesn't do her crosswords, she doesn't walk, she has given up.

With businesses closing or pushing as much of the workforce as possible to work-from-home (that's what the "WFH" abbreviation you've been seeing all over means, if you didn't know), cities with known smog issues are seeing more clear days.

New Delhi is seeing blue skies for the first time in years, if not decades.[1] And they're not the only ones.[2][3][4]

I'm not saying we can reverse all the harm we've done to the planet. We can't. There's damage done that we can't get back. And it will take some longer range studies that I'm barely qualified to interpret to see how much good this pandemic has actually done for our planet. It's called a silver lining.

We can't go back to where we were. But this could be the sign that so many people have been waiting for, that we can find a new normal. A survivable normal.

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Citations

  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20200403164157/https://www.ecowatch.com/india-air-pollution-coronavirus-2645617908.html 
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20200403164807/https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/02/lockdown-eases-seasonal-smog-pollution
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20200403164908/https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-show-nature-is-reclaiming-urban-areas-amid-coronavirus-2020-4
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20200408123006/https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/us/los-angeles-pollution-clean-air-coronavirus-trnd/


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