Fintan O’Toole: Earth has a toxic virus – us

The coronavirus crisis reminds us we must find a way not to kill the host we inhabit

Clear skies over London as coronavirus has a positive impact on the environment and levels of pollution. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Clear skies over London as coronavirus has a positive impact on the environment and levels of pollution. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Part one of the 2020 Sign of the Times survey by Behaviour & Attitudes is published by The Irish Times today. The annual snapshot of Irish life combines quantitative and digital qualitative techniques with B&A published data on the economy, health, technology and shopping. The research was conducted in January and February 2020. Today’s findings are on the subject of climate change. Part 2 will appear next week.

Most of us can’t see coronavirus, but we can see its effects. Unnervingly, we can see how, from the point of view of Planet Earth, it makes things better. For us human beings, it is devastating, emotionally, socially and economically.

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