My condolences to those who have lost loved ones. I am a vulnerable one myself (over 70) but have survived so far. Without wishing to be insensitive towards people who have lost relatives and friends, it cannot be denied that some good things have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic. Some are a result of lockdowns and some are not. I think they need to be listed and a few of them concern cats so I have the right to discuss the topic here.
- Shenzhen, a major metropolis in China adjacent to Hong Kong has banned cat and dog meat. At last. Let’s hope the ban expands to the entire country. It should asap.
- China has reclassified dogs as pets which means they shouldn’t be used in the fur and meat trade. If this is true it is a massive advancement in animal welfare. But what about cats? We wait.
- Cats are far less likely to get run over on the roads in countries where there are lockdowns because there has been a 75% fall in traffic. This saves cats’ lives.
- Knife crime in the UK has fallen off a cliff. It was a major talking point and now: nothing. This has saved human lives.
- Harry and Meghan are off the front pages of the newspapers. They have become an irrelevance to us. Thank God.
- Camaraderie: there has been a dramatic improvement in people’s attitude towards others. Barring some exceptions, people are pulling together as always happens in a crisis. Altruism comes out. Selfish self-interest is pushed back. People are more generous towards others and want to help. They are more patient and more accepting. There is a greater concern for the vulnerable. Great.
- Air quality has dramatically improved across the industrialised world. The Times reports: ‘Residents of northern India are marvelling at their first sight of the Himalayas in a generation, as a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus triggers a drop in the country’s notorious air pollution’. We can smell the difference. Air pollution from vehicles is the cause of much illness in millions of people due to particulates, NO and CO2. Those ever present but invisible hazards have temporarily gone to great benefit for us all in lockdown countries.
- Quiet has befallen urban places. People can hear the bird song more clearly and record it. Birds can hear each other more clearly. This may change their song. Without vehicles and noisy machinery because of the lockdown the world is more natural. Nature and humans benefit.
- Peacefulness has come to many places. If you like a bit of peace and quiet outdoors walking in nature, which all of us need for our mental health, the coronavirus pandemic has helped in that objective. It is allowed by the way in the UK. Some other countries may have banned it.
- Finally, our relationship with wildlife has been called into question. Humans have messed around with nature for centuries. It is causing the sixth mass extinction, the decimation of wild cat species and the destruction of the planet that sustains us. The current pandemic was caused by eating bushmeat in China and their brutal slaughter in wet markets. China wants to hide this. They want to avoid political fallout from their behaviour in causing the pandemic. They will have to change their attitude towards nature, be less exploitative, stop killing tigers for their bones and penises. Africa will have to take a look at their attitudes too. Bushmeat is extensively eaten on that continent. Will Africa be the next cause of the next virus pandemic?
This is a non-exhaustive list of the good things that have come out of the coronavirus pandemic. Can you add to it in a comment?
P.S. Some more:
Many businesses have realised that they can function just as well without having an office. Working from home has become mainstream. For instance, The Times newspaper (hard copy) looks just the same as normal but all the journalists as far as I am aware work from home and send in their copy direct to the printers. The bright shiny Times office is at least partially redundant.
The UK Parliament have decided they can debate via Zoom, the video conferencing software. They don’t need to repair the Houses of Parliament. They can turn it into a tourist attraction!