A Lesson From Lockdown

Ever since the beginning of this pandemic, its effect on the environment has been tracked and monitored by professionals. The media has become home to seamless blue skies, virescent rubbish-free fields, maps and pie charts revealing the significant decline in greenhouse gas emissions, crystalline waters in canals and videos echoing the silence of empty roads.

Away from the screen, too,  the sudden change in climate has been blatantly obvious. Painfully obvious. The sharpness in the juxtaposition of pre-lockdown Earth compared to present-day Earth has really accentuated how different of a planet we were living on. The clear, clean and crisp summer air obscured by stifling city fumes and toxins. 

Back then, the prospect of wildlife tentatively taking ownership of deserted, humanless cities would have been close to comical. 

Many people have wisely wondered whether this pandemic may be a signal to reset our relationship with nature - a quest to begin the reverse of the hundreds of years that humanity has played havoc on mother nature. Even before the pandemic, the climate emergency was seeping in and out of mainstream media, urgently screaming out for our full attention. Is this now its final warning?

For a lot of people - myself included - I've never spent more time outside. In fact, I think I've explored every possible walk within a three-mile radius of my house at least five times. Because (at least, when lockdown first commenced) we had solely two options: stay in, or walk. The latter is the most appealing option; nature has forever been a safe refuge. Its beauty offers a sense of tranquillity and escapism, like a soothing throat sweet, but for the mind.

In this sense, the lockdown has taught us to appreciate our local nature. Yes, we may be yearning for a holiday abroad, with foreign scenery and landscapes. However, now more than ever, we are learning how to adjust to continuously changing situations. And, one of them is simply appreciating the beauty of the world around us.

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