Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Disclaimer: This blog is not about beer. Or quarantine.
The COVID-19 virus, sadly, needs no introduction. The sociological and economical effects are being felt worldwide and the serious nature of the beast we are facing as an international community can no longer be ignored. That being said, there are some positive aspects blooming from the compost that we can be grateful for. This blog explores the 'lite' side of the virus and the possibility that our habits moving forward may be more sustainable.
take a deep breath
The shutting down of factories, public transport and quarantine of millions has had a rather interesting side-effect. NASA satellite photos have revealed that the air over Wuhan has cleared and pollution is, for the moment, history. Not only is this a welcome break for the environment but it may also assist in curbing the spread of the virus.
cleanliness is godliness
Hygiene is on everyone’s radar now and I’m hearing stories from around the world about sanitisers and anti-bacterial soaps being sold out in most supermarkets. As education about the importance of the correct hand-washing and preventative hygiene practices spreads worldwide, we may find our society forming new and long-standing habits which could reduce the spread of all diseases and improve hygiene overall among people in the future.
I’ll have the bat
Possibly the most silver of linings, reports of the possibility that China may ban its wildlife trade are doing the rounds. This pending decision is based on research which suggests that COVID-19 may have originated from wild animals being sold in markets. Should a ruling be put in place to ban the animal trade, this will have a substantially positive impact on poaching and illegal trafficking. While it likely won’t eliminate the threat, the markets may shrink and this could secure the future of highly trafficked animals like pangolins and possibly curb poaching of rhinos, lions and other species as well.
local is lekker
While cancellations of international holidays are ripping through the travel trade at a rate faster than the speed of light, local travel is booming. To date Southern Africa is, for the most part, COVID-19 free offering super low season specials, and ready to welcome domestic tourists with open arms. Our prediction is that, due to a drop in inbound tourism from countries like China, game lodges will be reducing SA resident rates in the winter months in order to attract more guests. This will offer prime opportunity for locals to experience the unique game lodges within our beautiful reserves.
The future feels uncertain to many at the moment and times are, indeed, very tough. But there is always good with every evil and, at the very least, we do have some positive outcomes in this terrible situation which give us hope for a more sustainable future.
Chantelle is a realistic optimist – it’s a new thing that she’s trying out and, so far, it’s working out great!