This past year has been a lot, both on a global scale, and also locally within our own communities.
We’ve entered an era of change and uncertainty, where the phrase “new normal” has been thrown around a great deal. It makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed, but also excited and hopeful.
It may feel impossible to think that anything positive has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I would argue we all desperately need some positivity amongst the bad news.
Empty animal shelters
Due to Stay-At-Home orders, shelters and non-profit rescues have reported that the pandemic created a huge consumer demand for dogs and puppies since everyone is home all the time. More than ever, dogs have been finding safe and loving homes to live in.
Record drop in global carbon emissions 2020
Last year, global greenhouse gas emissions fell by around 2.4 million tons. This is a 7% drop from 2019 and the greatest decline to occur on record, according to the global carbon project. Staying at home and travelling by cars less allowed for this decline.
Benefits to Biodiversity
China’s goal to ban wildlife consumption, farming, and the sale of wildlife could become permanent which would have huge benefits for wildlife. Now, public health officials are also advocating for this change, not just conservationists.
The fight against racial injustice and police violence
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed at the hands of the state. The video was recorded by Darnella Fraizer, and rapidly distributed via the internet. Within days, protesters took to the streets across America to march in Floyd’s name and protest police brutality against BIPOC people. Unlike previous instances of political and social mobilization in response to police brutality against Black Americans, Floyd’s death triggered protests that continued for months. The urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement following Floyd’s death happened during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many argue the quarantines associated with COVID-19 led to a captive audience of global viewers, allowing mass amounts of protestors who had more time due to self-isolation.
Since this pandemic started, people have been saying they “can’t wait for things to go back to normal” – but I have formed an aversion to the word “normal”. Of course, I know the simple meanings of the word, like going to movies, parties, and restaurant dinners, and it feels like we’re almost there.
But, if going back to “normal” means violence against women, anti-black and Indigenous racism, homophobia, and transphobia, I don’t want it. A “new normal” to me is a space of consideration. A world filled with empathy, love, and justice. It’s having conversations about things that matter that may have once been considered “taboo.” Calling out abusers, racists, and homophobes. Provoking thought amongst our friends and family and making time for things and people that matter most. I don’t want things to go back to normal.
I want things to change for good.