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Virus Shut-Downs Allow Nature To Heal; Public Policy Needed To Keep It Going

photo courtesy of Lilias Jarding

The headline for the coronavirus is that millions have tested positive and thousands have died. Global economies are failing; millions are out of work. And isolation takes a mental and physical toll on people who are quarantined and lonely.

But there are other surprising headlines. Smog over the world's problem cities has disappeared, saving the lives of thousands of people. Mechanical noise has died out, allowing seismologists to hear earthquakes from the other side of the planet. City dwellers hear birdsong so loudly now, they think there's something wrong. The typically cloudy water of Venice's canals are clear. At the Hong Kong zoo, the pandas Ying Ying and Le Le mate for the first time in ten years.

Some headlines offer hope that these changes will continue after the pandemic and mitigate global warming. Other headlines say a change in individual behavior is not enough.

A Black Hills environmentalist agrees. Lilias Jarding tells SPDB's Victoria Wicks that individual behavior must be guided by public policy.

Rapid City freelancer Victoria L. Wicks has been producing news for SDPB since August 2007. She Retired from this position in March 2023.
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