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What the Pandemic Is Teaching Us

Thinking is a luxury in our world, let's face it. Have you had time to slow down and think? Like, during this pandemic, how “interdependent” we are? The actions of each of us can affect all of us. We depend on healthcare workers and medical researchers. We depend on the clerks, delivery services, truck drivers, garbage workers, farmers, grocery stores, to keep us alive. We are in this together, in every way there is.

We are also interdependent with nature — witness the brief moment of grace going on outside. Nature is putting on quite a show right now as carbon, nitrogen, and methane are

vanishing from the atmosphere. Have you noticed how much easier it is to breathe? More wildlife, less noise, less litter, less debris in the water. Skies are clear and blue again. A gift like this is rare -- we can see what our future can look like if we don’t blow it.

So let’s cut to the chase — as we reboot the economy, let’s make this a green recovery. This pandemic is a dry run for the havoc of climate change. It’s our big and maybe last chance to

think about our interdependence with nature and to take concerted action on a catastrophic global problem in order to ensure that we can mitigate its worst impacts.

Science is on track for new respect — if scientists can cure COVID-19, think of the huge payoffs for our action on climate. COVID-19, for all its pain and misery, has given us a brief window to pause, observe, rethink, and act together to move decisively in the right direction this time.

Consider these activities to help bring home our interdependence with nature and a new awareness for all the family of what we can achieve permanently. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Ramsey County, Washington County, and Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy are teaming up to offer Earth Day Action Quest, which offers Earth-focused activities for families at home now.

Think globally, act locally.

W. Gorski is a board member of Sustainable Stillwater MN, a 501c3 nonprofit organization

working to make Stillwater more green, sustainable, and resilient. Contact at

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