Azure skies, pristine water bodies, sparkling snow, golden beaches, green mountains and a light breeze - COVID-19 is over and the earth has healed.
Too good to be true? Maybe, but too good to be even partially true? Not really.
The only cause of ambiguity is us, all of us.
The earth has been healing itself while we stay locked down in our houses. There are reports of Ganges water being sparkling clean, the Himalayas being visible from towns in Punjab, ozone layer sealing, air quality index improving significantly, birds singing in our cities, flamingos flocking Mumbai, animals coming out of hiding and roaming on the streets across various towns, Venice streams running clear and many more.
While it is debatable whether this is an outcome of the coronavirus pandemic only, for the lack of any stronger correlation it is safe to assume that at least partially it is. And hence, if all it took for the earth to heal was a month and half of no human intervention, it shows the power nature possesses to make things right; and the power humans possess to just make them wrong.
Yudhishtir had told Yaksha that the biggest irony of life is that we encounter people dying every day and yet live like immortals. One of the many reflections of this thought is the incessant plundering of nature done by mankind, under the false notion of being invincible and superior; overlooking the dependency on that very nature for survival. The medical systems of the first world countries of the EU and USA are collapsing under the COVID-19 impact, and it is for us to realize how small and helpless we are if the cosmos decides to take over.
As we grapple with the lives we have been pushed into, let's take this time to also plan on what we will do after things normalize - what parts of normal would we want to go back to.
There are notions of what government should be doing to ensure this does not repeat and the Earth stays safe, ranging from stricter industrial policies, better hygiene and new rules around gatherings.
There are also people who want to start dialogues and even revolutions around climatic change, safety, education and health, even boycotting certain nations.
However, not all of us are revolutionaries and not all changes are possible at a broad level. What is possible is a small bit from all of us, a drop in the ocean but nevertheless a contribution to the whole.
Can we waste a little bit less water? Can we use a little less paper? Can we plant the seed of the fruit we just ate? Can we feed that stray instead of throwing food in the trash? Can we walk and cycle a bit more and drive a bit less? Recycle? Be more responsible tourists and clean up after ourselves? Not throw garbage in our water bodies? Or on the roads? Can we all learn to co-exist with all forms of nature with a bit more responsibility?
We can all play our parts, assume our responsibilities and do our bit.
Small acts, very small which can all add up to sustain the world that is getting created now.
(Author is a mother, an MBA graduate and part-time research consultant based in Dubai)