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Mother Nature: She’s Here and She Means Business...

By Felicia Grondin

The Corona Virus and its impact on our planet is an awful situation, which is just beginning and far from being resolved. In a matter of days, it has changed our way of life and forced us to retreat and slow down. Given our planet has a population of 7.7 billion and the vast opportunity each individual has to behave independently, it is an incredible challenge to harness everyone’s activity in an effort to keep the virus contained. It is a horrible situation with thousands of people affected and dying daily. It is unsettling, sad and all things awful. But it got me thinking…

Is the Corona Virus Mother Nature’s way of defending her planet and our continued existence? She is aware that if we continue to live as we have been this planet is headed toward the brink of extinction. World population continues to grow. Resources are depleting. Animal species are being eliminated everyday due to human behavior. She has observed the massive amount of plastic and garbage in our oceans and marine life is declining. She has witnessed the increase in industry, auto and airplane emissions as it continues to contribute to global warming and resulting in unusually deadly weather patterns. Her heart aches to see the Amazon – the “lungs of the earth” –diminishing every day due to greed. It’s ironic how COVID-19 attacks our lungs as we have done to this planet and its inhabitants for decades and decades. And these are only a few observations.

The natural order of many environmental conditions has been changed by our actions and disregard, as well as our societal behavior. Animals seem to care for each other more than humans. Humans disrespect other humans, the environment and other living things; we have come to view everything (including the living planet) as commodities to serve individual need. As a society, especially in the US, we expect fully stocked grocery shelves, hot water, warm/cool homes, nice cars, etc. and have taken our luxury way of living (even if you’re middle class) for granted.

Although it is just the beginning of our societal quarantine, it is interesting to observe how Mother Nature has already begun to correct the environmental damage we caused. Changes are occurring at a quick pace. The atmosphere is clearing due to a global decline in auto, airplane and industry emissions. Within a few weeks, canals in Venice have cleared; fish can be seen clear through to the bottom. Marine life has resurfaced in unexpected places. Animals never seen in common public places are reclaiming the space once taken from them, including elephants in China’s Yunnan province, raccoons on the beach in Sal Felipe, Panama, turkeys in Oakland, California, sika deer in Nara, Japan and wild boars throughout European cities. Socially speaking, people are home focused: working from home, slowing down (when not working) and spending time with their families. In my neighborhood (which is in a rather rural setting), people are outside, enjoying nature, walking around or riding their bicycles. Thanks to the existence of social media, we can maintain contact with each other.

Some have called it a “reset” or “reboot” for the planet, which is evident. We have been forced to retreat to get out of the way and allow for Mother Nature to “do her thing.” Call it a “utopian” perspective, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if this episode resulted in changes for our planet and our society?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we came to have greater respect for our environment and its inhabitants, human, animal, air, earth and plant alike? Our world is made up of “life” – living creatures and organisms deserving kindness, care, respect and dignity. Humans are not more deserving than other living things who share this planet. All living things are reliant upon each other and humans have severely dropped the ball in this department.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we became more globally conscious and behaved accordingly? Scaling back on our excesses and enjoying the simpler things in life to a greater degree? A simple observation is our use of disposable paper and plastic products – a purchase in great demand these days. I can remember working in my father’s office as a young teen. One of my tasks was to wash the coffee pot and used ceramic cups at the end of each day. Today millions of paper and plastic cups are used daily and thrown away. Think of all the resources used to make these cups (like trees) and the related waste they produce. Although a minor example, I think it is something to consider as we move forward. Perhaps this “lock down” will encourage us to focus on being more practical and appreciate the beauty of nature and all that is around us. Perhaps the lack of commodities (like paper products) will encourage us to alter our now “disposable” society.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people began to appreciate their homes and families to a greater degree as a result of this quarantine? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our fast paced, “no time for anything” lives slowed down in the future and we enjoyed our lives to a greater degree and recognized our blessings?

These are but a few observations, but nevertheless, important to consider.

Like any good mother, Mother Nature is protective. She disciplines, although it may be difficult for her to do so. But She does so with the intention of protecting her brood and seeing it grow, thrive and flourish.

This pandemic is very serious – no one can argue with that – but perhaps it is Mother Nature’s way of parenting her planet so it can continue to “BE”.

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