The J’pura AIESEC presents nature’s miracles given by COVID19 and how to respond to them
Last week, on the 20th of April, the AIESEC in University of Sri Jayawadenapura took an initiative to look at the ongoing pandemic in a different way. While most people recognize the need and benefits of being positive in such a time, there remain very few to discuss and teach it.
The J’pura AIESEC took a unique look at the pandemic: nature’s miracles given by COVID19 and how to respond to them.
We’ve all heard the multitude of good news flowing through our channels regarding nature. Air pollution is dropping, wildlife is thriving and even rumours that the ozone layer has accelerated healing are everywhere. Venice’s canals are taken over by dolphins and jellyfish, Japan’s streets by deer and monkeys. And cities formerly obstructed with perpetual smog have discovered the sky of blue, or in some cases, the Himalayan mountain range.
Even on an individual level, a lot of us have become more aware about the environment and our impact. We’ve also become more aware as people, and we’ve been forced to reprioritize in a way that only a pandemic of this scale could.
The panel discussion on the 20th discussed these issues with Nethmi Medawala, Hirushi Jayasena, Gaia Kodithuwakku, Natasha Rathnayake, and Bernadine Jayasinghe. Between these five ladies, a lot of information, thoughts, and mind changing conversations were carried out within a matter of hours. “This event has taught us to reprioritize and go back to the basics”, Natasha observed. “People have been desentized to ignore the elephant in the room, but now we're forced to confront these issues.” And it's true, especially since most of us are at home confronted with the reality that nature is thriving without us.
Another point that was discussed was the change in the societal valuation system. The fact that blue collar workers are more valued than white right now is a hopeful sign that labour equality could really become a thing. While people used to look down on blue collar workers, they are the ones who are holding our society up and we doubt people will forget it, at least not for a while.
We are the products of our environment, they emphasized. We’re all in this together. And that connectivity is something really great. One of the greatest human errors is thinking that we’re separate.
Gaia thinks the main issue is lack of sensitivity. Towards the environment, towards others, towards ourselves. To show an example she pulled up the fact that Tibet is one of the happiest nations, and they cite the reason for that as "while the western man was exploring outer space, we were exploring inner space"
We've been cruel to the planet, she continued. Most of the stuff we use isn’t even recyclable. While interest is growing in living healthy and organic lifestyles, most people are still unaware of what true eco friendly living is. JustGoodness is one of the only examples of a truly sustainable lifestyle promoter we can find in Sri Lanka.
It’s important to know that helping the environment and nature isn’t so drastic, they emphasized. Change can start from you, even by a small word or action. Re-evaluating your necessities can be a crucial step, they explained. Even things like cutting down on meat consumption can contribute towards a better future.
If you want to look towards a bigger impact, you can look into putting out bushfires and forest gardening. Research, awareness and action is what will save our future.
After a very meaningful and eye-opening discussion about nature and its miracles in the COVID time, the panelists closed the discussion after giving much to think about. If you want to watch the full discussion, visit the facebook page of AIESEC of J’pura!