We are currently gripped by a global pandemic that is taking thousands of people’s lives indiscriminately and most of us will have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes; Coronavirus is really cruel and has no care for our world. As the lockdown continues around the globe, it’s a strange time where we really need to stay at home to help our NHS and flatten the curve of this horrific virus spreading further.
I myself live on my own and am not able to see my partner and loved ones, although I am very lucky to have a garden, to live in Cornwall, and am thankful to have a daily work routine during the week where I get to collaborate with an amazing team of individuals.
Over the last few weeks from my garden, on outdoor walks and bike rides, I have noticed that the natural world has really come alive and is thriving; spring is in full flow and high pressure is currently upon us (at the time of writing). I have noticed the sounds of birds chirping and bees buzzing, the sights of flowers and trees quickly coming into bloom. The lack of human activity has really made this apparent.
On a recent car journey to the supermarket I saw a buzzard in all its glory, perched on top of a waist-high fence post. I really got a full view of this magnificent bird of prey whilst driving. Usually I’ve only see buzzards on top of telegraph poles along main roads in Cornwall but this time, because it was so quiet with the lack of traffic and human activity, this beautiful bird was low and didn’t have a care in the world. It was a real sight to behold as it was diligently tracking for its next meal across the road into the fields.
Seeing this buzzard so low got me thinking more about the natural world and how it seems to be thriving at the moment!
During occasional bike rides as exercise and to keep my mental wellbeing okay, I have managed to ride down roads with less worry of being knocked off by cars and, whilst riding over A30 flyover bridges that connect my ride, I have noticed a significant drop in traffic. I have never seen the A30 backbone of Cornwall so quiet! According to figures published in the Guardian, traffic is down to levels not seen since 1955 in the UK!
Less traffic on our roads has lead to big drops in air pollution and the air is getting cleaner, which can only be a good thing for people with breathing problems as well as nature and wildlife. I’ve also noticed the skies are getting clearer with far less (if any) aeroplane vapour trails, not that I’m against air travel (I live just around the corner from Newquay Cornwall Airport). The climate is having a real break from human activity, however this will not fix and reset all of our climate change problems.
I also read another report which said that pollution levels were so low in India that some residents in the north of the country can now see the snow-capped Himalayas 200 kilometres away for the first time in 30 years, which must be an amazing sight and truly spectacular. We easily forget how much impact we have on the world and our environment(s).
However, at the moment there is a real sense of wanting to get back to normal and to get the wheels re-turning in many aspects of our lives.
Wuhan in China, where the first cases of COVID-19 appeared, is now re-opening for business and governments around the world are starting to work out plans to reemerge from lockdown to save economies and slowly get back to normal, though this could take a while to get back to complete normality. Individuals and businesses are looking to fully re-open again and to get back into full swing. I for one hope that this happens successfully for everyone in our nation and I hope that we can eradicate this dreadful virus and humanity can heal with time.
One of the things that I personally would like to come out of this for governments, businesses and individuals, is for us to all think about the world and environment that we live in and how we can make small changes to our routines and daily lives, so we can come back better and not destroy this beautiful planet that we live in. Humanity needs to learn to share this planet with animals and nature more and consider our footprint on the world.
By making small changes to our daily routines, rethinking our leisure time and time with family and travelling for holidays, we might be able to help reverse some of climate change and not destroy the planet for future generations.
Not everyone will be able to make large lifestyle changes, but if everyone could consider their impact and look at making small changes then we’re on a better path to improvement and just maybe, as a race, we can come back better!
Things you could consider doing differently:
-Not always taking the car – try walking or cycling to the shops for those last minute supplies. It’ll improve your health and mental wellbeing too!
-Booking less holidays abroad and cutting down air travel.
-Car share with other colleagues to work (when social distancing is relaxed) or using public transport.
-Buying food and products locally so you support your local community and economy. This also cuts down on food miles.
-Taking more walks nearer to where you live and appreciating the natural world on your doorstep.
-Buying and using less plastic. Is there a more sustainable way of drinking your daily coffee?
-Grow your own fruit and veg and become more self sufficient.
-Use less and go back to basics for a more simple living lifestyle.
-Rethink time with family and work out what’s really important.
-Recycle and reuse.
-Review your energy and energy consumption at home.
-Respect your local community and area.