Coronavirus Diaries: Are We the Virus?

       Quarantine Day 57: It’s hard to believe that I have been sheltering in place for almost two months. It’s started to feel normal in a sense; it’s crazy to me how the body and mind can begin to adapt to changes in our environments even when it’s uncomfortable. Here in NYC, our deadline has been pushed to June 6th. There’s a part of me that’s relieved because I am not yet ready to go back into the office, but another part of me that’s like Ahhhhhh! Sunday was Mother’s Day, and not knowing when I will be able to see my mom in person again is difficult.

As we were celebrating mothers and those who have mothered us, I began to think about how social distancing has allowed Mother Earth to begin to heal itself. Since the world has essentially shut down, people in many countries have noticed an interesting phenomenon: nature. In India, without the smog and pollution, the Himalayas are now visible and flamingos have returned. In Venice, Italy the canals have cleared and fish have been seen for the first time in years. Multiple cities are reporting a decrease in carbon emission due to fewer cars on the road. It’s a painful thought to realize that we are the cause of Mother Earth’s pain.

Here in the States, protests have broken out all over the country with people feeling like their rights are being infringed upon. Thousands of people have died due to the Coronavirus, and I don’t believe that any country would tank their economy if not for the greater good.  It’s been difficult to understand these protests and it’s embarrassing because other countries have not had the same response to social distancing that we have had here.

As I’ve been watching the news and absorbing all this information, this thought keeps occurring to me: what if we are the virus?  How are our actions any different than what this virus has done to our bodies and the world? We ravage the earth, destroying every ecosystem that we can reach, and when we are done we turn on each other. Instead of trying to find ways to coexist in peace, we seek to conquer and pillage.  Even while so many of us are experiencing pain and hopelessness, our planet shows us that there is hope. We can begin to flourish again if we do it the correct way.

Many countries are beginning to open, and the brief respite that our Mother Earth was experiencing will soon be gone. I’m sure for the first time in many years, she finally got the gift that so many mothers hope for: rest.

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