Reflections on a Pandemic - Covid19 - GTEC Green Technology Education Centre

by Ross Thrasher

No numbers this time, just some rambling thoughts about how some good could emerge from the pandemic that is strangling our world.

In spite of denialism and quackery from the White House and elsewhere, most people seem to be gaining respect for science and medicine in their battle to overcome the virus. We may even see an increased acceptance of vaccines as a solution to this disease.

The temporary curtailment of global industrial production and travel has resulted in visibly cleaner air and water. Could this give rise to a greater environmental awareness and more support for measures to limit pollution and climate change?

In this age of populist leaders advocating for less government, deregulation, lower taxes, etc. it has been refreshing to see the acceptance of, indeed the demand for, stronger government leadership to rescue ravaged communities economically and medically. This may translate into more traction for universal health care, universal daycare, perhaps even universal guaranteed income as more efficient solutions to crises like this one.

A communal spirit has sprouted from this disaster. Voluntarism is everywhere, together with a focus on remaining connected and making the best of a simplified lifestyle.

Labour activism has been revived by the safety issues in meat-packing plants and other industries.

Supply-chain issues have encouraged a return to local production and sourcing of many consumer goods, or doing without.

Students are gaining new learning skills from their enforced transition to virtual education.

The horrendous death toll from COVID-19 in seniors’ care homes around the world is shining a light on living and working conditions in these facilities. Reforms will be insisted upon.

It’s not all bad, folks. What have we learned and how can we change as a society, as a species?