As the number of COVID-19 cases grows around the world, we see a powerful illustration of the inextricable link between human health, the environment, and each other. We are being asked as societies to self-quarantine, limit contact with others, and emulate social responsibility on behalf of our communities. As we necessitate requirements for public health such as hand washing, social distancing, staying home if we are sick, it is equally important to advocate for communities and individuals who are most vulnerable. We are only as safe as those most at risk. And our communities include the non-human animals and plants that are part of our daily lives. Watching the golden-crowned sparrows return north is an opportunity to be outside while social distancing (or watching through windows) and getting a much needed break from the news. Hearing the song of thrushes along the creek near my house reminds me that seasons change even while we struggle to understand the future.
We are in this together. At the heart of any crisis is the opportunity to rise to the challenge. This time can be a call to action for a healthy environment, where humans and other creatures thrive. We can create the space for dialogue across social, environmental, and health justice movements to push for change, inclusion, and empowerment. We can support visionary leadership in our communities and share resources with those in need. We can learn from the birds. They teach us to stay still and listen. They teach us that we can heal the world through joy by celebrating each day with song. One hundred Sandhill Cranes, a Hermit Thrush, two Barred Owls in courtship, remind us that we are not alone.
Audubon Alaska is joining with our community partners and allies from across the country to highlight the importance of empathy, compassion, and community in this time of need. We will be providing resources that bring us together even while we sit in isolation. We will share our own experiences with you as we also navigate uncertainty and fear. We will learn with you about the ways in which our world is changing, and ask questions to inspire imaginative solutions to our challenges. Please continue to share your world with us. Write a poem, share a quote, send us photos. We are here because of you, and we are here with you.