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Everyday Heroes...always have been, always will be.

by Lisa Ikin 2 years ago in habitat
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As humankind implodes with the current Covid19 pandemic let’s not forget Mother Earth!

Dear Eco-warriors,

I know it seems like the recent catastrophic bushfires in Australia was an event that took place sometime in another era but it was only a number of weeks ago that we were bombarded with images of burnt and dehydrated koalas on social media. We witnessed the destruction of many homes and the loss of many lives, both animals and people. We watched the news reports depicting the incredible destruction and the outpouring of grief.

The scale with which humans banded together and donated massive amounts of money to help the people and animals of Australia was unprecedented. Celebrities opened their wallets and appeared almost to be competing with one another to give the most and musicians held concerts to support the bushfire victims. Craft groups from as far as the USA started sewing up a storm and made massive amounts of pouches for kangaroos, wraps for bats and mittens for koalas to protect their burnt paws.

A rescued koala - Photo Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Just as quickly we seem to have forgotten the koalas, the regenerating bush and the people who have lost so much. We haven’t forgotten because we don’t care, far from it! We have forgotten because something bigger has taken over. It’s not a threat to the environment, in fact parts of the environment are probably thriving right now. The streets are bereft of cars and vehicles, people are staying in their homes and working from their homes. There are limited planes in the sky and the air is cleaner. I saw a photo of the Himalayas from Punjab in India yesterday with clear air atop, something which hasn’t been seen for for some time.

Photo: ABC News Residents of Punjab say they can see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time

If you stick your head outside, Mother Earth is still here, the birds are still singing and the flowers still blooming, the tide and the moon still rise and fall and the Autumn leaves are still gathering in piles on the ground. I’ve seen social media posts from people saying that there are more birds in parks, which is lovely idea, but what I think is that people are taking notice more because they are less busy. The birds have always been there.

What has stopped us in our tracks is something that affects us and us alone. Humans are imploding while the rest of the world just ticks away. We are reminded every now and then of Mother Earth when we see that sometimes our birds need rescuing due to an algal bloom in the local lake or the careless discarding of fishing line that tangles up the beak or feet of a water bird requires removing. Thank you for what you do.

We are reminded of the work you selfless and tireless volunteers do. You work around the clock to keep these birds and animals safe and take time out of your own ,probably busy, days to deal with issues that we may think are trivial in this time of Covid19 where we are worried about keeping our jobs or having enough toilet paper.

Photo BBC News

I think it’s important at a time like this that we sometimes let what ails us, take a back seat and let Mother Earth enter our spheres. Forget for a moment, the almighty dollar, forget that our children might miss 6 months of “education”. Greta Thunberg hasn’t been seen on our screens for at least 6 weeks. We have stopped using keep-cups because of the need to distance ourselves from items that have been touched by others. People are starting to leave rubbish lying around again. Did they ever stop? I must admit I am reluctant to pick up takeaway containers and drink cups in this time when we are not touching anything, not even each other.

A meme recently posted on social media that made me smile was something along the lines of “Remember that time when everyone lost their minds about school children missing just one day of school?” And it is a photo of the climate change protests from last year. How our priorities and expectations have changed in such a short passage of time.

I know all those bushfire affected koalas are still recovering because I follow the pages on social media and I love seeing the posts of you volunteers returning koalas to the bushland. I also know that you haven’t stopped working tirelessly for them. I am sure that the baby bats that were rejected by their parents still need wrapping and feeding everyday despite their bad rap (pun intended) as a possible player in the current Covid19 crisis. I know that you volunteers are prepared to take a kayak to a local lake and wade through thick black mud to rescue ducks who are suffering from paralysis due to a botulism outbreak. I know you spend half a day trying to catch a water bird tangled in fishing line. I also know that you are caring for the mange affected wombats of Tasmania.

Yes, the Covid19 pandemic is a huge event in all of our (human) lives. It has tipped most of us upside down and shaken our pockets empty and our capacity to function as we have done in the past. It has changed the way we work, socialise and live and will have long lasting consequences for people who suffer from mental health, domestic violence and issues that we may never have seen had this not happened. It has caused sleepless nights, illness and death. It will continue to do so until we can find a vaccine.

However, as a citizen of a rich “western” country I feel very privileged during this time that I have a job, shelter and access to food and water. I know it is a completely and devastatingly different story for third world countries like India and parts of Africa. I would like to think that the world could respond on behalf of these countries the same way the world responded to the plight of our koalas.

I have heard people say “it’s like the world has pressed the reset button” that we are getting back to what is important. Once again this is the view point from a place of privilege. I’m sure the people who are walking hundreds of miles to get back to their villages in India with no food or fresh water are not thinking this. I’m sure the European countries with death tolls in the tens of thousands are not thinking this.

Therefore, it is up to the privileged among us to keep fighting for the environment. Let’s surface from this and let our politicians know that we have not forgotten because I am sure that narrative would suit the current government to a tee.

The essential workers, the health professionals and the people who are leading us through this disaster of humanity have a massive responsibility. They are heroes and rightly so. I acknowledge their contribution but I also continue to acknowledge the work that you, our wildlife warriors, haven’t stopped carrying out. I won’t forget Mother Earth and I won’t forget you heroes of the environment because the environment will be here with slightly clearer skies and slightly less polluted waterways, when we solve this human problem and emerge once again to wreak havoc!

Love from Mother Earth ❤️

habitat

About the author

Lisa Ikin

Freelance writer, amateur photographer, occasional performer of personal stories @Barefaced Stories. Lover of nature, music and art. I write content and copy for small businesses and teach part time in Perth, Western Australia

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