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  • Writer's pictureKatya Mulvaney

another COVID-19 post

I left my home country of South Africa just less than two weeks ago to join my husband in Thailand. We had decided to take our lives on a different path, step out of the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, and allow ourselves to slow down and enjoy our youth. My flight was scheduled on March 5th, however there were some delays and difficulties getting to my destination. Fortunately, after two delayed flights I was able to change airlines and arrived in Bangkok to meet my husband who I hadn’t seen for two months.

So far I am loving my experience living in Bang Saen, a coastal town about 1 hour South of Bangkok. But the obvious threat of COVID-19 has been growing even in our area. My biggest concern however is for my family and friends who are in South Africa. From what I’ve read the SA government is installing good precautions to contain the virus. As South Africa has a high population of people living on or below the breadline, an outbreak there could be incredibly severe. This coupled with inadequate health care facilities and high percentages of the population living with HIV/AIDS and/or tuberculosis could result in catastrophe for the country.

This being said, I am delighted to read the positive news reports showing how nature is healing herself in certain areas where the shutdown has prevented the usual day-to-day pollution. This is by no means to say that it is not horrific that thousands of people have and are suffering. That is truly tragic. However, as someone who tries to maintain some sort of awareness surrounding sustainability and environmentalism, it gives me some hope that the earth can heal herself in such a short period of time. And I hope that once the threat of the virus slows down, that humans take notice of how much we contribute to pollution every single day. I hope that governments, politicians and businessmen see that the fight for money and enterprise is not worth the cost to human or animal life.

Coming from a country which favours innovation and entrepreneurship, my hope is that through this difficult time which has challenged the way we live our lives, we will see new and innovative ways of conducting business. Ways which have a less negative impact on the earth. Often, the best solutions have been born out of the worst tragedies. And it is my heartfelt hope that following this period, we will emerge as a better human race with novel solutions and increased empathy for all.


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