Dan Smith looks at whether lessons around COVID-19 show that we can work together on things such as climate change

We are living through unprecedented times, a time where the whole world is struggling to deal with an invisible enemy – COVID-19. Even the name of it sounds frightening.

The number of infections and unfortunately fatalities are rising daily. The planet is on a wobble board surrounded by waves of uncertainty and unanswered questions.

Different countries are frantically trying to squash the curve in slightly different ways, but eventually, we cannot continue to pretend this is not going to take a global effort to find a solution for this pandemic.

Uniformity, shared research, drop your egos and agendas, it is time to roll your sleeves up and dig in because we are ALL in this viral trench.

Here in the UK, it seems the situation is likely to remain uncertain and strange for many months, What we can be sure of is, this is a catalyst for change on how we engage with each other and how we are going to work moving forward.

There are some interesting concepts already appearing …. it’s amazing what happens when people support each other, incredible things can happen.

Coming together for COVID-19 shows that we can work together on things such as climate change

Dan Headshot BW Dan Smith Project Development Coordinator

NEWS not for the faint hearted

Watching the news now is grim viewing, whether from a medical crisis point of view, or the sheer jaw dropping unfathomable scale of this beast.

We must continue to look for the positive and see what we still have, rather than what we do not have right now.

It is also important to play your part; you are no exception to the rule, it is madness deciding to climb Mt Snowdon or take a leisurely stroll into the local arcades on the sea front….some-baffling decisions.

It is also difficult to understand panic buying but actually this need to stockpile is often a primal urge and can be easily put down to a need to be able to control something, anything in a largely uncontrollable world.

That doesn’t completely excuse it though and I do wonder what makes people think that buying up all the soap for themselves will help protect them from a virus that can be lessened IF EVERYONE is unable to wash their hands with soap?

Surely if this crisis teaches us anything it is that we are part of something bigger and need to work together to help support those that we expect to be there to help support those that we expect to be there to support us, when we need them.

Mother Nature is watching

Whilst nobody in their right minds would welcome the spread of the coronavirus, it could eventually bring about a new way of thinking about the climate crisis, especially as we see the positive news that shows how, as mankind stops everything, nature starts to take back control.

The European Space Agency released a video this weekend showing the air pollution over China vanishing as the country went into a coronavirus lockdown.  Unfortunately, it also shows the pollution levels returning as business resumes.

The BBC was also reporting on how the crisis and disruption was reducing overall air pollution and CO2, through less air travel and less use of cars.  The report quotes US researchers showing how carbon monoxide has dropped by nearly half compared with last year and, come May, when CO2 emissions are usually at their annual peak, the levels may have dropped to they were over a decade ago.

Other reports show wildlife returning to areas it had previously abandoned due to pollution, with Venice’s canals now crystal clear and showing not only fish, but also the occasional dolphin.

Stay home

We still have a long way to go to get through this emergency and there are still many ways that it could turn into even more of a disaster.

But I do think there are lessons to be learnt for other global issue and hope that coming together for COVID19 shows that we can work together on things such as climate change.

In the meantime, I hope all of you and your families stay safe and well. 

If you have symptoms, you know what to do, so self-isolate now.

If you do not have symptoms, keep in doors as much as you can, and only go out if absolutely required.

But don’t take my word for it.  Just follow the advice of Hollywood legend Mel Brooks and his son Max, who made a public service announcement with his dad to highlight the need for a safety-first approach.

Or listen to song writing legend Neil Diamond, who has rewritten some of the lines to Sweet Caroline to reflect COVID19 advice

Dan Smith is a Project Development Coordinator