It’s 12:34 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. My husband and I are sitting in our family room watching the news.
Okay, let me be a little more honest. My husband was watching the news. I wasn’t paying a lick of attention to any of it because I was crocheting a blanket. And frankly, I’m tired of hearing about COVID-19.
Even though I wasn’t really paying attention, something made me snap my head from my 88th double-crochet stitch and listen as Governor McMasters called for a Stay-at-Home ordinance. I remember hearing something about going to jail or being fined if you are found outside of the home and not attending to essential business.
My mind immediately slammed back in time to the winter of 2009 when I was home, recuperating from a thyroidectomy procedure. I had decided to watch The Happening; written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
It took me five sittings to watch a one-hour and thirty-one-minute movie because the content scared the snot out of me. The movie also forced me to acknowledge the same truths that James Lovelock, a British chemist came to in the 1970s when he presented his Gaia Hypothesis.
Simply put, the Gaia Hypothesis says the following:
- The Earth is a living, breathing thing.
- All living things have a sense of self-preservation.
- All living things have a fight or flight response when their self-preservation is threatened.
- All living things thrive in a balanced environment.
- All living things strive to create equilibrium when disequilibrium occurs.
And what in the world does any of that have to do with COVID-19?
I won’t give any spoilers of the movie, just in case anyone wanted to check it out during our Corona-cation; but the movie explores the scenario of: What if the Earth was fighting to swing her system back into a state of equilibrium and ensure she survives?
And because my writer’s brain is always trying to find the points of connection between what is and what might be… I added 1+1 and came up with COVID-19 being the Earth’s attempt to balance things out.
I know, it sounds like I’m some kind of crazy conspiracy theorist, but hear me out on this.
Reports of improved climate conditions are coming in from all over the world. It is an unexpected benefit of an otherwise horrible, deadly situation. I’m not taking lightly the fact that over 84,000 lives have been lost worldwide to this pandemic. I am looking for understanding… a reason. I don’t believe in coincidence, I have no reason to.
Traffic-free roads, plane-free skies, and widespread brick-and-mortar closings have made the planet a beneficiary of the coronavirus pandemic — but only in the short term.
– Luke Denne, NBC News
There is no doubt that the environment is greatly benefiting from the pandemic. Carbon emissions are down, noise pollution in cities and oceans are down, the seismic activity is decreased as well.
What does all this mean?
It means an improvement in the air quality, thus an improvement in the health of the Earth’s atmosphere and the ozone layer.
It means because people are staying in, creating less seismic activity and noise pollution, scientists are able to conduct experiments and collect data they’ve not been able to do prior to the pandemic. Data that will help them determine the best approach to address climate changes.
It means the noise levels in the oceans have decreased so much, that marine life will have a more productive reproductive season if it stays that way.
It means for the first time in a long time almost every human on the planet is forced to simply… be.
Be still. Be quiet. Be aware. Be alone. Be considerate. Be human.
At least for the foreseeable future, the living Earth is finding some semblance of balance in which she can thrive.
Could the Coronavirus have the same function as the spores released by the trees in the movie, The Happening? I don’t know.
What do you think the purpose of such wide-spread pestilence could be?
Michelle Fournet, a marine ecologist at Cornell who studies acoustic environments, is hoping to position underwater microphones off the coast of Alaska and Florida, where she has studied humpback whales and other marine life, to investigate how the waters have changed in the absence of noise from cruise ships as the industry suspends operations worldwide.
~Morena Koren; The Atlantic