Writing in Publications: TroJournal Blog
A Busy World Plunged Into Silence
Written by: Aidan Chamberlain, Junior
April 23, 2020
Your local McDonald’s is empty during lunch hour. The always packed highway has maybe two or three cars making their way back home. The playground by your house, which is usually full of laughter and playful screams of children, looks like a ghost town long forgotten. Sounds like a horror story, right?
For most American’s, this is what life currently looks like because of the global pandemic of Covid-19. Schools have closed, businesses have started closing indefinitely, and people have been advised, and others have been commanded, to stay at home unless they are out doing something that is necessary.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is leading the charge at managing the pandemic in Michigan.
Oscoda Press reported, “Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” Whitmer said. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.” (Morris, John. “Whitmer extends ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order to May 15.” Oscoda Press, 28 Apr. 2020.)
Beyond that, group gatherings have been prohibited, the stress on maintaining your hygiene, especially washing your hands, has increased and a new rule of “social distancing” has been asked to be practiced when you are interacting with the public. This has resulted in a very surreal feeling when you leave your home. Sure you get to where you’re trying to go much quicker, but the entire time you’re probably thinking about a hundred different things like: Don’t touch my face. Make sure my mask is covering my nose and mouth. Try to stay six feet from the person next to you and so on.
The small conversations you would normally strike up with your fellow citizens has been replaced by quick glances and half-smiles. Most do wish they could refill the empty air with words, the quiet streets with cars, and the closed down businesses with workers, but until the curve is flattened this is unfortunately impossible. Although this may seem like the worst times, there is a bright side.
Geoff Bansen, Digital Meteorologist, in an article submitted to News12: “With everyday life coming to an abrupt halt, our planet has been given a chance to breathe. In an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic, many factories have been shuttered. Planes sit idly on runways as travelers cancel flights and airlines slash service. More and more of us are working from home, cutting traffic to a bare minimum.” (Bansen, Geoff. “What is COVID-19’s effect on the environment?” News12, Apr. 2020.)
With this lack of human interaction with the world, many things have recovered. The canals in Venice have reportedly become beautifully clear due to the lack of commotion and pollution. As Bansen stated, the earth has been given a chance to breathe. Economically and socially the Covid-19 virus has had a seriously negative impact, but this is a chance for the environment around us to recover. If you need a reason to look at what’s happening in a positive light, there it is.
The surreal new lifestyle we have taken on can be a little jarring; things have been very abrupt and left up in the air as to what the outcome will be. Your best option is to wash your hands, and stay inside. Good luck, and stay safe.