The poet Benjamin Zephaniah recently made a very valid point when he said that we don’t need to get back to normal, after the pandemic.
Normal he argued got us into the present situation. The destructive way in which human beings live is destroying the planet on which life is based.
The destruction of biodiversity is killing environments, bringing humans and animals ever closer together. The links between the spread of Covid-19 and bats has been well documented.
It would be incredibly foolhardy to believe that this pandemic is a one off and there won’t be another one along for decades.
Human beings need to change the way they live, there must be a move away from the destructive, throw away, consumer society.
A society that pollutes the air that we breath, destroys the countryside and poisons the waterways.
Government at all levels has a role to play. Climate and biodiversity emergences have been declared at all levels but the talking remains well ahead of the actions.
We all also need to take individual responsibility.
Too many people are happy just to blame others, whilst continuing to live as before.
In the Wanstead area, we have an excellent vibrant community. The response to the pandemic has been fantastic, with people supporting foodbanks, the homeless etc.
We are moving forward with efforts to combat the biodiversity and climate crisis. But there is always more that can be done.
We all need to take responsibility for our individual actions and realise that all are part of an interconnected community. Somewhere, where we are all our brother and sister’s keepers. If we all come together in solidarity then a new just and sustainable normal can be created. A better world for everyone.
Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See paulfdonovan.blogspot.com.