Earth Day 2020 Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today is Earth Day 2020 and this year's 50th anniversary of the celebration to raise awareness toward the good of Planet Earth, sadly falls amid a deadly Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under the normal conditions, outdoor events would have been a hive of activity on this day as environmentally conscious folks cleaned oceans, rivers, lakes, parks and communities across the globe.
But this 2020 is non-normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected more than 2.6 million people worldwide and has killed more than 181,000. And it's still spreading. As a result, most Earth Day activities have been forced inside as humanity practices social distancing as a tool to containing the deadly contagion.
Yet, the general premise of Earth Day remains pertinent: change our lives to better our world. And that's a tall order today amid a pandemic; it was a tall order before this time of the virus; and it will be an even taller order on the other side of COVID-19.
Existential threats of climate change disruptions remain real before the eyes of humanity. A lull in bad air quality because of humanity's inactivity due to social distancing and stay at home orders is but temporary. The return of wild animals to mankind-dominated places now quiet because of fewer vibrations, is also just temporary and so are the appearances of azure skies in places plagued by decades of bad air.
Climate Change remains real: land and sea temperatures are increasing and sea level rise will consume now dry communities. The 2.4 degrees increase in temperatures across the contiguous United States (US) since 1970 is also corroborated by global temperature increases, which shows an acceleration these temperatures in the past decade.
So on this Earth Day 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity should take stock in the realization that Planet Earth demands full attention in the face of, or not in the face of a deadly disease. As a matter of fact, Planet Earth is more deserving of attention and healing now than at any other time.