The current pandemic has been the first thing for a long time to unite every human on Earth. As I write this, there are people around the world in lockdown, just like you and just like me. It really is quite mind bending to think that something so awful has unified the world in a way that very few things have the power to do Many have even likened it to the community spirit of the World Wars.

Since we first heard about the dreaded coronavirus at the beginning of 2020, there have been numerous conspiracy theories about the disease. I am sure we all have one friend who is convinced that this is the governments’ doing and some have even gone as far as to link it to the introduction of 5G towers! (Not sure how I feel about this one, but at least we aren’t talking about Brexit anymore!)

Through all of the noise and theories, there is one fact that stands out as absolutely irrefutable. Since we humans have all been confined to our homes, our planet has finally been given a chance to breathe. There are images flooding our timelines of clean canals in Venice and city skylines from China to LA that can be seen clearly for the first time in years. This is giving us all a chance to reflect on our environmental impact. It is worth recognizing that while we sit at home and reflect, the Earth is healing itself rapidly.

Dr Jane Goodall has been seen in multiple interviews recently sharing her opinion that COVID-19 is nature’s way of fighting back. This is because the coronavirus is thought to have first infected humans in a meat market in China. From the moment I saw her say this for the first time, I couldn’t believe what a profound thought this was (not that we would expect anything less from Dr Goodall). After much thought and careful consideration, I am inclined to agree with this theory.

Dr Goodall goes on to explain that meat markets around the world create the perfect environment for a virus to mutate and cross different species, in this case, to humans. If you’re anything like myself, you’re aware of these terrible places but would prefer not to know the details of what goes on. Don’t worry we won’t leave you with any specifics that you won’t be able to get out of your mind! What we will say is these meat markets are 100% cruel, inhumane and unnecessary. The stuff of nightmares.

I think it is very easy for us to pass blame in these situations and say ‘there’s no meat markets in my country so it’s not my fault’. On the other hand, the virus has united us as ONE human race all facing the same enemy. As COVID-19 is treating us as one, it seems that we should be evaluating the actions that caused this as one collective entity too. Weas one planet have allowed animals to be treated this way and the animals have unleashed a virus that does not discriminate, everyone is susceptible. Nature is fighting back and they have done a really good job so far. We’ve been poking the bear since the industrial revolution and the bear has woken up.

The year 2020 will be remembered (from an environmental perspective) as the year that flights stopped, the roads were empty of cars and people were not throwing litter in the streets to end up in waterways. Nature didn’t just get what it wanted by fighting back, this virus has allowed nature to escape humanity and it’s thriving.

We have all faced the punishment of the coronavirus together and here at New Footprint we hope you and your family are safe and well. When this is all over and we return to our lives we will also reap the rewards of the planet’s recovery, together.

The biggest question is, when we go back to ‘normal’ what do we want normal to look like? Dr Goodall thinks that we have not learned from previous pandemics, but will we learn this time? Polls show that only 9% of people in the UK want things to return to ‘normal’ after lockdown but what changes will the other 91% make and will the changes be for the better?

We sincerely hope that we can all seize this rare opportunity as it is unlikely we will be given another chance of redemption in our lifetimes. Hopefully this has given us all a chance to step back and evaluate what is important and we will all start to make changes impacting the environment for the better.

If we all make changes together, we can all reap the rewards together too.

What changes will you be making after lockdown and do you agree that nature is fighting back? Comment below and let us know!