Living in an isolated rural area can make the pandemic feel far away, sometimes, but one freelance writer who lives on a western Pennsylvania farm writes that the stay-at-home orders have made her pay closer attention to the changing climate around her.
Here's the conclusion of Daryln Brewer Hoffstot's essay for The New York Times:
"Nature is not just carrying on. Chimney swifts, which roost every summer in our 19th-century chimney, have declined by 72 percent. The emerald ash borer kills hundreds of our ash trees. Our summers are hotter and wetter. The '100-year flood' has come about five times in the last 12 years. Nearby, water is contaminated by fracking. Nary a bat can be seen in the night sky, lost to white-nose syndrome. My maple sugaring friends can’t decide when to tap trees because of climate change.
In my small slice of the world, I see a neon sign, flashing red, and I wonder how long can we go on without seeing, and without listening — to the bats, the bugs, the bees, the birds, the trees, the land?
My hope is that when the pandemic releases its grip, when the world speeds up again and we return to work and school, when there’s less time to watch birds and weed a victory garden, that we remember what covid-19 has taught us: that our health and our planet’s health have never been more intertwined — and to take care of the planet is to take care of ourselves."