During lockdown the world seems different, it even sounds different much peaceful quieter. It’s not just that the birds and animals are rejoicing, the air is cleaner, the sounds are filled with birds chirping. The workstyles have shifted to virtual spaces, cutting down on travel time, allowing one to be more creative. But every conversation during this lockdown seems to revolve around going outside once things normalize, we seem to cherish the outdoors more than ever during this lockdown, trying to find ways beyond
Just for a small blip of time in the Anthropocene, control has been left with nature itself giving it the space it requires. Reclamation by wildlife is emerging as the theme during the lockdown, deer’s coming onto street, elephants running wild, dolphin sighting in polluted river stretches, and hatching of turtle species in record numbers. Viral videos have reconnected us with nature more than ever.
The biggest beneficiaries of the lockdown perhaps have been wetlands, ecosystems and wildlife. Mumbai saw its own mega flock of flamingos which circulated widely over the internet, drawing even the attention of the authorities to swiftly act to protect these lands. Rivers are reported to be cleaner pointing fingers at industrial units releasing effluents close to rivers, dumping of plastic into wetlands has drastically reduced in Chennai. It is not just humans who are breathing cleaner air, it feels like the virus has also let wetlands and wildlife some space to breathe.
Let us decide how we want to come out of this, let us be more ambitious let us build the bond with wetlands, help build wildlife corridors, help connect wetlands with people, let fish, otters enjoy their habitats without unnecessary human interference.
The world will be completely different once the virus threats reduce, so we need to further protect our support systems, fly less, enhance the scope of our lives, take precautionary measures. Let everything come back, let us all pledge individually to put more efforts into conservation and protection of nature which is the building block of all development.