The Impossible Reality of Covid-19

As Alice explained to the mad hatter,  ‘I like to think about six impossible things before breakfast’.

The Covid-19 crisis around the world is bringing grief and sorrow, but is also raising solidarity and togetherness despite our physical isolation. The craziest of ideas seem to become reality more than ever before. A concept which brings many anxieties, but which in its misery can foster creativity and change from uncertainty and chaos.

Canard Siffleur, Canard, Oiseaux D'Eau, Des Animaux

Nature’s capacity to bounce back;

Since the beginning of the confinement, countries have massively slowed down. This has not only reduced the CO2 emissions, but namely the noise and water pollution are reducing as well. In Venice, Italy, the famously polluted canals have surprised the Venetians as they have become clear in a matter of days, showing an improvement in water quality which has not been observed in years.

Similarly, being forced to stay home has limited the traffic and many individuals living in dense urban areas can reconnect to nature by listening to birds and seeing wild animals venture into lock-downed cities as are they are less threatened to do so.

Mental health issues;

Alongside the health risks and symptom brought by the virus itself, there seems to be a global recognition of the importance of considering our mental health in these uncertain times. Where and when possible, to take your mind off the news and  keep moving forward in this new reality and remain healthy it is recommended to continue to access nature or green areas to take a walk, exercise.

Green areas foster positive and calming benefits in individuals’ well-being. The importance of mental well-being and its connection to nature is even more relevant in our current crisis, and hopefully it is an issue which will continue to get the attention it deserves in a world post corona virus.

Reducing transport;

Many debates in the past year have highlighted the environmental issues related to flying and the need to reduce unnecessary flights. With most people being confined at home our habits are forced to change, forcing us to adapt our behaviour and manage our work and occupations in other manners.

Home office, online chats and gaming platforms are helping us to stay connected and socialise when apart. Although extreme, this period might force us to value the environment we are in everyday and the beauty of what is around us, not just far away, making us reconsider unnecessary travelling in the future.

Changing consumption;

It is harder to access new items at the same pace as we are used to. Some pharmacies are out of containers for hand sanitizers and there is a shortage of egg boxes. Isn’t this an opportunity to keep the bottles we already own and save the boxes, bags or even make bread at home if possible?

We cannot go to the shops or order as we usually do, but we can be creative and fix items we already own or find new uses for them.

They are small actions which not only help at the moment because of production limitations, but which could help us to adapt our behaviour now for long term waste reduction and environmental benefits.

Catching up on reading and films;

With nowhere to go and time to spare reading can re-enter our daily activities. Being a student and having to read articles continuously can put us off books. But finding an escape for a few hours in the words of Tolkien or Austen is a great way to keep our whimsy and creativity alive.

It is also an opportunity to watch documentaries and read those educational books which have been on the shelves for too long. I recommend “Collapse” from Jared Diamond or any copy of the National Geographic.

To be creative;

Again with time on our hands and too much to think about it has become a great way to pass time but also an anxiety release to reconnect with playing an instrument, drawing, writing and expressing yourself however you want. Taking care of your plants, learning to bake bread, poach an egg, or make cinnamon rolls are helpful physical activities to have fun with. They might even make their way in your daily routines in the future.

Here are the 6 things I have done, seen and thought about which seemed impossible to me only a few weeks ago. What are yours?

About the Author: Anne-Sophie Gay is a 3rd year environment student at the University of York and frequent WILD contributor. You can read another of her articles here.

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