During lockdown we have met together using Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. We have had time to walk around our neighbourhoods or spend extra time in our gardens. Without the noise of traffic and overhead planes, we have been able to listen to the birds singing to defend territories and attract mates. Put simply we have rediscover the wonders on natural world that surrounds us. And best of all, it’s free!
We have recognised for some time that nature was under enormous pressure. Human activity, from mining to building new roads and high-speed railways, from clearing forest for agriculture to discarding our rubbish, has been is destroying habitat. Of course, people were concerned about the threats to our environments, but the problem always seems insurmountable.
And then a microscopic organism arrived and changed everything. In just a few short weeks, coronavirus has changed the world more dramatically than years of protest about the dangers of unrestricted international trade that saw the environment as just another commodity to be exploited.
There is much talk about the ‘new normal’. But will that just be a different way of continuing with the same destructive activities as before?
On the other hand, perhaps this is an opportunity to pause, to think about what is important, and to strive for a new normal that sees our role in the world as stewards – tending the planet as a treasure to be passed onto future generations.