Written By: Anitika Beesla, Math Instructor
To our Dear Hamilton Families,
We know you’ve been hearing a lot about the coronavirus lately so we wanted to give you a much needed break while you’re social distancing. We live in a fairly divisive world. Not much truly unites us as a whole: Wars, Olympics, and now a global health pandemic.
In a day and age where Coronavirus has taken the world by storm, we’ve all had to make adjustments to find a new kind of normal. And this new benchmark may be here to stay for a bit. In the time of Covid-19, chances are that if you have been watching the news, you are hungry for a silver lining in the midst of the chaos. While there is certainly a lot to be concerned about, there are some amazing things that have happened that await us on the other side of this pandemic.
1. The Earth is healing! Perhaps one of the most positive things to come out of lockdown, is the way in which our planet appears to be getting a break from our energy consumption, car and air pollution and general environmental footprint.
Forecasts predict the coronavirus pandemic will cause a two to three billion tonne drop in CO2. For any history buffs: it dropped by 800 million tonnes after WW2. Satellite images from NASA have shown China’s pollution clearing amid slowdown without rebound thus far! The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the world will use 6% less this year – which is the equivalent to losing the entire energy demand of India.
Speaking of India, the Himalayas are officially visible from the northernmost region of Punjab, India for the first time in over 30 years!
2. Sticking to the Eastern Hemisphere, Australia found a 500 meter detached reef as part of the Great Barrier Reef. This massive detached reef is measured to be 1.5 kilometers wide and over 500 meters in length which would make it larger than some of the world’s highest skyscrapers including the Empire State Building.
Over the years as the temperature of the ocean warms beyond the Reef’s tolerance range, coral turns white (aka “bleached”). Coral polyps then eject algae that normally live inside their tissues and help them survive. The resulting bleaching kills many corals and hampers growth and reproduction. Since the lockdown, Scuba divers have been replanting broken off coral on the Great Barrier Reef. It is the first time tourism operators have worked with researchers on the Great Barrier Reef. The hope is that by attaching the fallen fragments, coral will grow giving the reef a continual source of new corals.
3. A ticket to Australia might be a desired purchase, but the most desired purchase during 2020 was surprisingly not toilet paper… it was puppies! Dog adoptions and sales were the most coveted of goods even giving toilet paper a run for their rolls. What began in mid-March as a sudden surge in demand became a bona fide sales boom in August. Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, pet stores — all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and puppies to fill it.
The kindness of our canine friends’ must have rubbed off on us because this year had the most dramatic impact on how parents and children are spending their time in a vicinity called: Home.
4. Family units have become closer than ever during this time. Ways that the lockdown has benefitted families include: Family Mealtime, Dinner table conversations, household chores being done together, cooking! During this time of Covid-19, many Americans followed cooking trends that allowed us to be tethered together. Whether it was dalgona coffee, or failing at baking bread- cloud or sourdough, I messed up both! Lockdown allowed families to come together to experiment and try something new for dinner every day. Families ate at home more over the last few months than ever before due to local restaurants being closed.
Now that local businesses are slowly opening up in accordance with health and safety guidelines, another benefit of lockdown is that when we are being lazy, ordering takeout is now considered supporting local business. It’s a win-win strategy we highly recommend!
The Pew Research center found that during lockdown kids and parents definitely understand each other better. Both parties know much more about their family members and how they think. Because of this, both parents and children are welcoming to ideas and thoughts and naturally tend to get a little less bothered by things that might have otherwise upset them. The more time you spend with your family, the better you become at understanding and accepting them. You might still be arguing with your family, however the lockdown has given you more time to accept them and the things they believe in. Family units have become closer than ever during this tough time. In a way, this has led us to become more empathetic.
Perhaps the answer lies in empathy. Perhaps that’s how we move forward. Whoever you are, whether this piece has been useful or not, know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
Which allows us to come to another realization… With everything that’s going on, perhaps there is another thing, the most important thing that connects us all: humanity and kindness.