A year ago, if you had asked me how long the earth would take to regenerate in the absence of human activity, I would have said ten years. Now after just a few (albeit long and tedious) weeks, my opinion has changed.
A few weeks after Italy went under Covid-19 lockdown, the water in Venice’s canals became clear enough to see fish swimming in them. Swans which had abandoned those filthy canals returned to float there in their majesty.
The smog, that despite unleaded fuel and emissions controls continued to hang over Los Angeles, was gone only a few days after the California governor told drivers to stay home. Even though some people are still out on the the roads, the sky shines blue over LA.
Mother Earth’s resilience and self-healing properties amaze me. I now know that earth is able to bounce back from man’s mistakes and malice. We don’t need to take on huge environmental projects to clean up the damage we have done. All we need to do is stay home. Stop driving. Stop working. Just stop—and the earth will heal itself, fast. It won’t take 10 years or 10 months—-maybe 10 weeks will suffice. This lesson of the virus gives me hope for the future of the planet and all its inhabitants.