Nature’s revenge: Climate change and Covid-19

10 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Nature’s revenge: Climate change and Covid-19

I was reading an article by Arundhati Roy just the other day. From the writing, one expression in particular stood out to me- “Which scientist or doctor is not secretly praying for a miracle? Which priest is not- secretly, at least- submitting to science?” These two questions in themselves are enough to show the gravity of the situation caused by COVID-19. They clearly depict how even the most powerful politician, most acclaimed scientist or the most skilled doctor stands helplessly at the mercy of Mother Nature. Nature has had enough. This recent pandemic has put an abrupt halt to our hollow conceitedness, and forced us to examine how much we have given; in return to how much we have taken from Earth.

The direct effect of this pandemic is quite advantageous for nature. While we humans are sitting tightly at home, shaking with the paranoia of an undetected shadow creeping on us, the environment has taken a break from serving the ungrateful humans and rather concentrated on tending its wounds. The most obvious example of this is the fact that the depletion in the ozone layer has been confirmed to be healing itself. Saying that pollution has decreased would be an utter understatement. With the avaricious industrialists confined at home, and almost non-existent presence of CFCs, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases in the air, it is no wonder that nature is reviving itself.

Mocking the humankind who had swarmed into forests tramping on their habitats, the wildlife has also found its sanctuary on roads or near the sea-shore, turning the tables. While this time we are the ones frantic to save our legacy, wild deer herds can be seen sleeping on pavements, trees shedding the brown coat of dust turning into vibrant green, birds happily chirping on deserted roads where obnoxious horns shouted at one another even six months ago. Ridiculing our overinflated ego, they are roaming around - aloof and undisturbed, ignoring our envious gazes from the windows. What else can this be termed other than a victorious vengeance of nature!

From a much deeper perspective, COVID-19 has taught us, or rather forced us, to understand the importance of minimalistic and conservation oriented life. A sudden demotion from our luxurious wastage of food, water, electricity or gas, we now carefully plan out our rations and flip the light switch off in an attempt to save money or resources, for we are unsure of how long this havoc will last and fear the impact it will leave on our economy.

Hopefully, after we have fought our way through this challenging time, we will not only be more unified, but also learn the significance of preserving nature and showing the respect Mother Earth deserves. After all, to establish equilibrium, both sides of the fragile see-saw must have equal moments.


                Hasinat Rifa