Part 1 – Do we forget about the elephant in the room?

Our actions show that the vast majority have confidence that our leaders and health officials are the best options for resolving the covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning, lockdowns, masks, and social distancing have become the number one go-to solution. If we strayed off the path, we would experience the dire consequences of the wide spreading of this disease. We’re being told by the people in control that that’s the way it is and will probably be in the future. It’s called the “new normal.”

As populations start emerging from the lockdowns, the world is in a frenzy to return to the way things were before. Why? Because that’s what we know, we’re comfortable with, and so far, nobody has come up with a better strategy. We seem to have forgotten that the previous approach was already leading us towards a dead end, with the following predictions  that will have devastating effects on the planet:

1) the global water and food shortages

2) contamination of the atmosphere

3) poisoning of the oceans, rivers, and streams

4) mass extinction of animal species

5) human suffering and premature death from chronic diseases (i.e., heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and obesity).

These problems will still be with us even after covid-19 is long gone.

It’s true that lockdowns, wearing masks, and social distancing may help in the short term. But is it sustainable? How long can we abide by the rules handed down to us by our leaders and health officials? Weeks, months, years? We already see how fed up we’re becoming. Why? Being confined, not breathing freely, and not being able to express to each other, our warmth and caring are not natural or healthy for human beings. Yesterday, I was in the market and saw a friend who was purchasing some vegetables. Since his back was turned to me, to get his attention, I gently squeezed his arm. He turned to me, and we ended up greeting each other. The next moment I realized that I had touched him without even thinking about it because that’s what I usually do in situations like that. I said, “Eli, I touched you without asking your permission.” He replied (jokingly), “Now I have to wash my shirt.” We began talking, and several times we couldn’t understand each other because of the mask muffled sounds. What did you say? Can you repeat that? What? Later, I thought about that incident and how the new normal began to alienate us and make us feel uncomfortable. The excessive fear and stress caused by the mitigating protocols that we’re following are significantly affecting our physical and emotional health.

We need to think about things in a “novel” way.

There are two positive effects that lockdowns are having, that I don’t think anyone saw coming: 1) a noticeable improvement in air quality, especially in highly populated cities around the world, and 2) cleaner rivers and streams. It’s nature’s way of telling us, “great…now you’re doing good”! What’s surprising is how fast the environment began healing itself from what mankind has been doing. I see these as practical signs of the direction humans need to go to turn things around. Scientists and environmentalists have been warning us to lighten our footprint. If we don’t, our species may not last much longer. After all, humanity hasn’t been around for that long. Yet, in such a short time, we’ve done a lot of terrible things to the planet and other species.

Whether we like it or not, Earth would do just fine without us, as it had been doing for billions of years…before we came onto the scene. We better get with the program before it’s too late. During the 16th century, two scientists proved that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. That must have been a bludgeoning blow to mankind’s collective ego. We’re just a part of and not the center of the universe. Maybe it’s time to realize the importance of living in harmony with this planet and its creatures instead of taking the role of the dominator…if we want to stick around a while longer.

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