I felt certain that this virus would spread around the globe when I first heard of its rather long incubation period and the fact that it could feel just like a cold. That must have been in late December or early to mid January. I remember thinking: Why don’t they halt air travel from Asia, especially from China?
Of course, I can’t prove any of the above, but does it matter? The overwhelming majority of western nations are in total crisis mode. People are dying, left and right. German scientists boast that Germany is doing so great with testing, but still you coudn’t really get a test two weeks ago, if you just had symptoms but weren’t a likely case because you weren’t in a dangerous area or have been in close contact with someone infected. There must be quite the Dunkelziffer.1
But aside from the number of casualties, what this shows more than anything is that a different world with way less (long and short, car and plane) travel is possible. These changes to society, that were made possible by collective, decided action, are a part of what would be necessary to effectively reduce CO2 emissions.
And that, this prompt, decided reaction, gives me hope.2 Depending on how long this CODID19 crisis lasts, parts of economies will likely have to be rebuilt afterwards. What if we rebuild them in a climate friendly, low emissions, sustainable kind of way? It’s unlikely, but it is possible. Unfortunately, we cannot rally right now on the streets, but if there is a strong push by the people for a better rebuilding, politicians and laws and companies will follow.
We’ll need to act. I am not good at this kind of stuff, but I think that the notion that time is of the essence is one to push on. Earlier reactions to COVID19 likely would have been way cheaper, just like more strong reactions will likely prove to be cheaper and effective – China is the example at hand here. It’s just the same with the Climate Crisis: The later we act strongly, the worse, the more expensive it will be. Maybe this COVID19-crisis will help people to understand this simple truth – if it does not, then I have no idea what would.
Let’s just hope we’ll get it right, collectively.
Stay inside, stay safe!