The Silver Lining to COVID-19

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Clear skies in Delhi (Photo/V V Krishnan)

Hannah Choe, Contributing Writer

In a world where everything seems to be falling apart, the Earth gives us hope. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into lockdown, shut down restaurants, retail stores, and virtually everything considered “non-essential.” People are no longer getting in their gas-guzzling Mercedes-Benz to drive to the school that’s five minutes away or commuting to work, drastically reducing carbon emissions. With everyone staying inside, we have finally given Mother Nature the opportunity to heal herself from all the damage we’ve done.

When you turn on the news you hear stories about the tragic loss of people’s loved ones. You hear about how the number of deaths are increasing and how more people are losing their jobs, but where is the hope? 

I’m here to tell you: there is hope.

Animals are a light to many during this pandemic. Wild animals have begun to venture into cities and residential neighborhoods– ducks are floating happily in the fountains of Rome and deer can be seen roaming the streets in places typically occupied by humans. Social distancing has given animals the ability to explore places they were unable to experience before. Additionally, many Americans have lost their jobs amid this crisis, with heaps of free time to sit around and do absolutely nothing. Since we are not permitted to interact with others due to social distancing, the lack of entertainment and company has encouraged people to adopt pets. Animal shelters across the nation, from California to New York, have reported that they are out of adoptable animals. And though that isn’t to say all shelters have run out of available pets, because that will never happen, it certainly is a beautiful start. We are living in a time where hope is hard to come by, so why not give these animals some?

The Environment has also become a growing concern for many in recent years; however, the Coronavirus may be its saving grace. For the first time in sixty years, Venice’s canals are so clear you can see jellyfish swimming in them. China has reported a 25 percent decrease in emissions following its government’s stay at home order. There are dolphins swimming in the waters of Southern Italy and Delhi’s once fume-filled skies are now so clear you can actually see the stars at night. In a time full of fear and uncertainty, the world has been able to begin to repair the damage we have caused, showing us a glimpse at a better future for our planet. 

So please, take this as a sign: The world can heal if we give it the chance. Stay home, take care of yourselves, and Happy Earth Day ~Han 🙂

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