In West Virginia, Gov. Justice issued a “Stay-at-Home” order, in response to COVID-19, just a few days ago. It went into effect at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 24.
I spent sometime trackside watching trains after work on Tuesday before the order went into effect. Watching trains is a hobby of mine even if I seldom get to do it.
Many non-essential businesses had already closed down, coupled with schools being closed statewide, which has caused a surge in people staying at home. But it’s clear some are not accustomed to being at home for prolonged periods of time.
I observed one person pull up near my train watching spot, which has a tree nearby. The tree, still barren from winter, had shed some branches from various storms that had blown through during the unseasonably warm winter.
This person proceeded to gather up all the sticks he could find around the base of the tree and clean up the trash around it. Never have I seen anyone randomly pull up at this tree and being cleaning around it and I’ve been going to this spot for several years now. Usually, these types of beautification projects are an initiative of a group.
I did not find his actions to be suspicious, however, I do believe it to be indicative of the current state of mind with many staying at home and becoming bored. I have noticed more people out walking on sidewalks, fewer vehicles on the road and fewer airplanes overhead.
With all non-essential businesses closed, there is not much else to do. Perhaps now is a good time to catch up on a good book, start a new blog or learn a new recipe.
We live in a fast-paced world with information that literally travels at the speed of light. Normally, we are forced to process and digest this information as fast as possible (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, email, texts, phone calls, etc). However, COVID-19 has forced national and state governments to enact restrictions that we have never seen before, except during times of war.
The world seems to be slowing down a bit.
An unattended side-effect of the mass lockdowns and “stay-at-home” orders has allowed nature to recover from human-caused pollution. Italy, who has been severely affected by the novel coronavirus, noted markedly clearer water in its canals. China, the virus’ country of origin, noted a sharp decrease in air pollution after factories were shut down during quarantine efforts.
We should take these observations and put them to work when the world is fully recovered. I won’t get into a debate about whether or global warming is real or not but the Earth has clearly shown us that we do pollute our planet. Maybe it’s time we make a change and elect for a cleaner planet and healthier people. But that’s just my opinion.
Cory can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (931) 410-0513.