Although I started the quarantine thoroughly looking forward to my daily outings to the supermarket, I now don’t want to go out at all. I find it melancholic to see the streets and plazas of Malasaña, so usually buzzing with life, as empty as they are right now. Casting my mind back a mere 7 days, I have done a full U-turn and am now a complete convert on notions of social responsibility. I recognise that we all need to play our part by staying indoors as much as possible in order to delay the spread of the virus and therefore feel frustration at the selfish people who are flouting the rules.
Besides these few reckless individuals, it is surprising how whole populations at the moment seem to be willing to make immense sacrifices for the common good. The same cannot be said for the climate crisis which had a constant presence in the media before the Coronavirus situation. We might be living through a more immediate threat right now, but climate change has the potential to be far more catastrophic long-term for our species than a virus that will kill quite frankly a tiny percentage of our population. A few months ago it would have been almost inconceivable that people would give up their ways of life to bring about any meaningful change, let alone for the future of another generation.
I don’t want the aftermath of this crisis to turn into an inter-generational feud during which fingers are pointed and debts are called to be repaid, however I do thoroughly hope that it can be recognised the difference collective action can make in times of severe need. I am a young (possibly naive) idealist and believe that this could be a pivotal moment for our species if it means saving our planet from irreversible damage. We should take this moment to recognise the fragility of our place on this planet and replace our destructive, exploitative practices and behaviours with ones that a mutually beneficial. It is hopes like this that will propel us towards the light at the end of this long, old tunnel.