EARTH DAY 2020: In the Era of Coronavirus & Social Distancing

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is Wednesday April 22.  Normally this would have been a day of gathering together in celebration of our Planet Earth and in collective protest of the lack of climate action that has been taken to date to help ‘save’ our Planet Earth.  50 years ago, April 22, 1970, global attention was riveted to protests and demonstrations and marches trying to bring our planet to a better place of cleaner water, cleaner air and protection for endangered species.  

Today we find ourselves in a crisis situation that 6 months ago we never could have fathomed.  Every day we see the pain and the fear that so many in our community, and around the world, are currently experiencing.  And we give heartfelt thanks to all in the medical field who are taking care of us and to all other essential workers for keeping things going.   As the humanity of Planet Earth works to rein in, corral and put a stop to the spreading of the deadly COVID-19 Coronavirus, the immediacy of this health and economic crisis has somewhat eclipsed the escalating climate crisis……for the moment.

But there are many lessons to be learned from how the global community is tackling COVID-19 and how they are (or are not) tackling the crisis of a rapidly changing climate.   Today, citizens of the world are uniting in the call for good science, data, creativity, innovation, bravery and self-less generosity to battle the pandemic.   If all of these things were collectively put to the challenge of fighting a changing climate we just might be able to get things turned around. 

This year we cannot gather together in person for Earth Day but we can come together in the spirit of hope, unity, and dedication to caring for our communities and caring for our one and only Planet Earth. We can see and understand first-hand the interdependence and inter-connectivity of all life.   And we can think about our own role in that web of life.  

With our social distancing and isolating or sheltering-in-place we have unique opportunities to get back to some of the basics that perhaps we have forgotten about or just not had time for.  Getting out in the sunshine for a walk or a bike ride.  Sitting out in the back yard or out in the desert and pondering the things that we value the most.  Planting a garden.  Connecting with family and friends we have not seen or talked with for a while.

Earth Day provides an opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves to those fundamental values and goals that we treasure the most.  To think about how we care for our families, our neighbors, our community, the wonderful outdoor world of Payahuunadu and the Eastern Sierra, and our Planet Earth.  We can also think about the power of our vote in this election year.  And we can think about how we as individuals, and we as a collective caring community, can make a difference.  

So this Earth Day spend a little time, or a lot of time, outdoors — with proper social distancing being key.    If you feel like virtually joining with others you can go to  where the Earth Day Network will be sponsoring 24 hours of global on-line activities, music, lectures and more.   And if you feel like sharing a favorite Earth or Earth Day related photo or quote that has inspired you, share it on Facebook or Instagram and tag INYO350 (Instagram:@inyo350) and we will repost it on our page.  

Try to come away at the end of the day on Wednesday April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with just one thing that you as an individual can do to make our Planet Earth more healthy, more sustainable, more life-supporting for all.   

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