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Although the situation brought about by Covid-19 is challenging, to say the least, it is bringing us some incredible learning opportunities, and many of those are remarkably positive.
We wanted to take a look at some of those positive things we are learning as the coronavirus outbreak unfolds and share them with you to help turn any of your frowns, upside down.
Many of the social media posts you’ve no doubt seen recently have been focused on sharing love, warmth and appreciation for the little things. Be it ‘forced’ time with family, or a few token moments outside during isolation – we all seem to be seeing the world in a different light, and long may that continue!
For the most part, we live a life of convenience, and since our freedom has been curbed, along with challenges on our physical and mental health, we are taking stock of how much we are truly blessed with. We’ve had endless travel opportunities (both at home and abroad), an abundant supply of material goods and products, freedom to go wherever (and whenever) we have wanted to, using the means of transport we have felt most comfortable with. In the main, we have had our health and our precious little ones have grown up believing that there is very little medicine cannot cure.
Since practically the whole world has been put on hold, we have noticed things that got lost in the busyness of life. The importance of our relationships and the joy that people bring to our lives. We are social beings and this global lockdown has brought about such an incredibly rewarding sense of community which we are sure you have all felt. From neighbours going above and beyond to help those most vulnerable, dropping off sweet tokens to bring joy, we can all take heart that this will continue past 2020 and will truly bring us all closer together as a global community.
Indeed, beyond the immediate spread of community spirit, we also realise the real impact this virus is having on our world physically. Before the virus took over the front pages of our newspapers, we were inundated with news of global warming, which has affected our weather patterns in ways more severe than ever before.
The lockdown which has forced many nations worldwide to cease all forms of transport and production is giving us a unique opportunity to observe the impact that we have on our atmosphere and all we have to say is – WOW.
Remarkably, the two countries who have a had the most significant reduction in population movement due to the impact of the virus – China and Italy – have both shown dramatic decreases in their levels of air pollution. We find that the evidence indicates that our beautiful planet is being given a chance to take a deep and well-deserved breath.
The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TMI) onboard the Copernicus satellite is a collaboration among the European Space Agency, the European Commission, the Netherlands Space Office, industry, data users and scientists. This instrument has been observing atmospheric changes from space since December 2019 when the virus first appeared and the factories closed in the Hubei Province in China, forcing people to quarantine and cease all normal daily activities.
Nitrogen dioxide is a first-level indicator of industrial activity worldwide, and this is primarily produced by traffic and by factories. The data from the TMI shows that the nitrogen dioxide level has reduced significantly as the activity over China and Italy has become more restricted. Remarkably, these images bring to the fore how much more we can do to help limit air pollution and what a healthy atmosphere can truly look like.
Through all the difficult news our society has been inundated with, we can learn a lot about the impact the pollution we have been putting out there has on this world we love. Hopefully, this is a life lesson for us, and we can change our ways once the madness has subsided to help our precious planet regenerate.
We have seen a considerable increase in people using the precious internet to find ways to connect. Musicians hosting live shows from the comfort of their living rooms, massive street-wide groups starting up on WhatsApp, forums to help celebrate those key workers we are all relying on so heavily. Indeed, we are as a nation also sticking our heads out of our windows to chat to one another across the street – hosting workouts on balconies, cheering on fellow workers as they go about their hard and necessary jobs to keep the world spinning. We even hear stories of the elderly and most vulnerable learning how to interact with technology in ways that will only open up their lines of communication in future, removing in some small way the isolation felt by so many when times were less challenging—feeling humbled? We are!
Never before has something so small had such a massive global impact on humanity. Not just in number and geographical reach but also the degree of impact.
The silver lining of the coronavirus is all the lessons we are learning. We’re learning to appreciate the things previously taken for granted. To be grateful for the luxuries we have, for the relationships and communities we’re in, as well as for the freedom and health we’ve enjoyed and will enjoy one day again. We’re also learning that we need to be more mindful of the implications our actions have on the environment. It’s time to make a few changes. It’s also time to consider more ways to enjoy nature with our family and friends, and we have high hopes that this challenging time will only bring great new ways of living in future. We’re all in this together.