01 April 2020, The Tablet

Nothing can ever be the same again

Coronavirus pandemic

Nothing can ever be the same again

The chiffchaff’s ‘two-note call brought me a deeply moving surge of hope’
Photo: Andreas Trepte, www.photo-natur.net


Many of the scientists helping governments around the world deal with the coronavirus pandemic are the same scientists warning those same governments about the effects of unchecked climate change. Will their warnings now be heeded before it really is too late?

It was the kind of spring day that you yearn for. A vast blue sky, and some warmth in the sun for the first time since October. After the dark, sodden shutdown of winter, the woods seem to be flinging open their doors and welcoming us in. Accepting their free-of-charge invitation, the three of us walked up the steep bank through the trees: myself, my wife and our son – home from university for the foreseeable.

The still leafless oaks and birches rang with birdsong. The beige leaf litter was white with wood anemones, whose blooms seemed to twinkle like stars whenever a breeze strayed through the trees. Reaching the top of the hill, we paused to catch our breath and look down over the valley below. The view of tall-hedged fields and the silvery thread of a fast-running beck was so beautiful that for a moment I almost forgot that we were living in a national emergency, and were enjoying our one piece of daily permissible exercise.

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