We are into our fourth week of lockdown here in the UK. The children have been out of school for all that time. I was tagged by Carly from Mom Of Two Little Girls to share my COVID-19 Lockdown silver linings.
What I’m not going to bore you in this post are the difficulties and the worries – we all have our owns, it’s good to know that we are not alone, but for me reading all the bad news makes me depressed.
I’ve been consciously pinning down the positives and mentally list the things that I’m grateful for on a daily basis. There are still plenty of those, I feel very lucky and grateful for me and my family being healthy and safe.
My silver linings are however will be related to my passion: preserving the our planet for the future generations of all living creatures. So, I’m going to list all the positive news I came across lately, the positive “side effects” of the Corona virus. “Nature is sending us a message with the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis”, according to the UN’s environment chief, Inger Andersen.
On a side note, I’d like to add as an environmentalist, and. I’m pretty sure I am now speaking for others too, I find nothing cheerful about the virus and this is not how things supposed to be at all. The lockdown will not solve any problems related to climate change. There is nothing to “celebrate” – this is time to notice and make plans to do things differently after we’re on. the other side of the tunnel. The Covid-19 crisis may provide an opportunity for change.
Photos from last September’s XR Families Protest in London.
Reduced air pollution
We live in south-West London and the quality of the air definitely has changed for the better lately. Same with the noise and light pollution. The latter is not only bad for humans but affects all sorts of urban and suburban animals from birds to insects. But the difference on the other parts of the world in very polluted cities is dramatically positive: both the levels of air pollutants and warming gases over some cities and regions are showing significant drops as coronavirus impacts work and travel.
Flowering road verges – happy bees
According to Plantlife, as the roads are so much more quieter since the lockdown has started, councils are have also reduced grass cutting down to essential management to maintain visibility and ensure road safety. And this is a silver lining for verge wild flowers which is also good news for the pollinators. Rare wildflowers and declining bee populations could start to recover over the remaining weeks of the lockdown.
People are kinder
People around the globe have demonstrated kindness and helped each other on a very different and selfless ways: feel good stories are popping up from people sewing scrub kits for medical staff to CEOs donating billions to help others. Zookeepers are isolating in zoos to look after animals. Supermarkets rewarding their workers with pay rises. These news are truly uplifting and I want to believe that the situation brought out the best of all of us. Civilisation begins with helping others in hard times.
Reduced green house emissions
This is of course temporary too, and not at all sustainable in the economical sense of the word as it is now – but it’s great to see how much difference it makes if we could just live on less. Less stuff produced, less stuff bought and less stuff being thrown away. The last time carbon emissions fell was during the economic crisis in 2008-2009. Coal and oil industrial activities have dropped, so carbon dioxide emissions have also decreased.
Climate activists are not giving up
Whilst coronavirus took over our lives environmentalist are not giving up and pushing the climate change agenda back. As the virus is pushing the climate crisis off people’s minds, activists like Greta Thunberg are calling for digital protests too.
Perhaps, a clear conclusion can be drawn too, regarding how the world handled and mishandled the virus at the same time: interventions are more effective if they take place during moments of change. And that’s what we should take away from all this.