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The coronavirus crisis should make us more mindful of our place on the planet

In just days, the earth, air and water have been spared tons of pollution. Maybe we can learn something about sustainable living.

A man walks on deserted Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
A man walks on deserted Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

In this time of extreme worry and deprivation over the coronavirus, I can’t help but see another aspect to the dilemma. The earth must be breathing a deep sigh of relief. For the first time in ages, it isn’t feeling our machinations.

The emissions, the carbon footprints, the traffic, the garbage have all stopped. Our lack of consumption has lessened waste in every aspect. In just days, the earth, air and water have been spared tons of pollution.

When we continue to deny climate change and our responsibility for caring for this earth, we court grave danger. This virus, invisible and silent, has shown how vulnerable we are and how all the things we do to create our lives — building, buying and taking up all the green space — can create a future which sends us all inside. It is my great hope that as we come out of this crisis, we can be more mindful of our place on the planet and how we contribute to its well-being.

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We’ve already got a full head start. We have had to instantly adjust to living with a situation that would have been unthinkable just a week ago. We didn’t need to have meetings or discuss the ramifications beforehand. It just happened, and we are here. Maybe when we roar back, we can roar back in a more mindful way about how we use the resources on the planet and realize that all we do has an effect and we are vulnerable, and no amount of money or things will protect us. We need to live kindly and mindfully with each other and the earth to sustain our humanity.

Susan Licciardi, Edgewater

Airline bailout

Again! Unfortunately, helping the airlines is a necessary evil to stabilize our economy. Our airlines, the ones that up-charge us on baggage fees and carry-on bags, and leg room that is a health hazard (potential blood clots). They separate families if they don’t pay an extra charge. If they could, they would install pay toilets.

I think the flying public deserve to be treated better at a fair price, since our tax dollars subsidize them in times of crisis. When times are good, they gouge us. When times are bad, they beg. How pathetic! A bailout needs to have strings attached. Enough is enough.

John Petersen, Belmont Heights

Say a prayer for first responders

As we all can see, the coronavirus has taken a full grip on our country and the entire world, putting us in a whole new territory for the first time in many of our lives. The pandemic could infect millions and cause thousands of deaths. It has resulted in the closing of schools, restaurants, bars, many other businesses, all sporting events/concerts and cancellation of travel to other countries. Churches have stopped all masses and other activities. Millions are in self-quarantine for at least two weeks or longer. Thousands of companies are now allowing their employees to work from home.

However, that can’t be said for our police, firefighters and all first responders that will have to continue to serve and protect, putting them at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. They don’t have the same opportunity to work out of their homes like the rest of us. So let’s give a big shout-out to our first responders to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic and keep them in our prayers. St. Michael the Archangel watch over them.

John Moravecek, Naperville