Updated: Aug 9, 2020
For me, my place of escape is nature. I get high off of it. The peace and serenity that I feel when I'm upon a mountain, deep in the forest is irreplaceable by any other human experience.
And in the same breath, it is humanity itself that ruins the experience.
A bit of context in my world right now amid COVID-19: Like many other countries, Canada is asking people to not go out if it's not necessary. Canada is the second-largest country in the world, and though our population overall is quite low, each province is quite different from the next. Most of the population lives in Ontario and Quebec, along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Though I grew up in Ontario in this densely populated area, I now live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and am SO thankful, especially right now, that I have the luxury of living in a place with less people and where we have access to nature, without going to a park - many of which are closed now to prevent crowds.
Yet I go out to nature to escape and find peace, and imagine my surprise as I see the following:
But to be honest: I wasn't that surprised - and I think that's worse.
The most persevering anxious thought I get is regarding how we as the human race treat our planet. It breaks my heart. When the coronavirus first began, I started hearing Good News stories and hearing about how the planet was repairing itself with the sudden decrease in pollution and I was hopeful. I thought, maybe with everyone shutting down work, they will rethink how we've been doing things, take advantage of the already depleted economy and bankruptcies, and move toward more sustainable practices and energies...
I soon learned that some of these "Good News" stories were misled, and those that were real would only be temporary. Even before I researched this, I knew my hopes for a brighter, more sustainable future were senseless.
No one knows how the world will look when all of this is over, but I sincerely hope in my heart that more companies and governments will consider the environment - this really seems like the perfect opportunity for a restart.
In the meantime, it continues to fuel my Work In Progress - a YA Graphic Novel about mental health and environmentalism. Click to learn more - Element the Graphic Novel.