Coronavirus and God’s creation
by Richard Storey
Coronavirus has given us much to ponder about our relationship with God’s world, and (for some of us) time to think. For me, three days into our lockdown in Nepal, the experience of lockdown has highlighted how connected our family is to ecosystems both local and distant.
To prepare for just two weeks in “isolation” we had to do a massive supermarket shop-up, store drinking water and refill our LPG gas bottles. Even after all that we went out this morning for a few fresh items. Our milk is produced in our own neighbourhood (probably by the cows that walked past our gate this morning!). Most of our fruit and vegetables come from villages a few kilometres up the valley. The packets in our cupboards bear labels from countries right across our region. All these places – their soils and rains, their pollinating insects and birds, the people that worked the land and harvested the produce – are supporting our family even while we stay within our gate.
Another impression has been the sounds. As I sat on my roof this morning, the usual buzz of motorbikes and delivery trucks was beautifully absent and the quiet was filled by birds singing and people chatting. It struck me that over thousands of years of human history, only in the last hundred years or so have the sounds of people and nature been hidden under the noise of motors. And how our unconscious response is to tune out. It has been lovely to tune back in to the sounds of life!
My last thought, looking down the row of shuttered shop fronts from my roof this morning, was how quickly and drastically new realities can change our lives. Often when I suggest to people that we may have overstepped the safe boundaries of our planet, and that the future may be radically less comfortable, their response is just disbelief. Although environmental forecasts always need to be critiqued, hopefully one response that won’t be so common anymore is “life will always go on as it has”.