Extinction Rebellion Guelph’s Response to Coronavirus
As new information surrounding COVID-19 continues to surface, Extinction Rebellion Guelph stands by our demands and principles. It is more important than ever to remember that Extinction Rebellion exists to protect life, both now and for future generations. We must work together to make public health our number one priority, listening to advice from the scientific community, and caring for those who are most vulnerable.
-This text was adapted from Extinction Rebellion Boston’s original.
Extinction Rebellion Guelph has cancelled all in-person actions and meetings until transmission of the Coronavirus is under control and begins to dwindle. We do not want anyone to be exposed to the virus at an XR meeting or action – we want to keep everyone safe and healthy. We will continue our work using social media, holding online meetings, and keeping touch via phone and email.
Staying Safe with Coronavirus
We urge everyone to take this public health concern seriously, but not to panic. We live in a global, interconnected world, where our actions affect more than just ourselves. It’s important we do everything we can as a movement to Flatten the Curve and help keep our communities safe. Read more about what this means here: www.flattenthecurve.com.
For regular updates about COVID-19, you can visit the World Health Organization.
Tell the Truth
Monica Maggioni, a veteran journalist and the CEO of RaiCom, a division of Italian public television, discusses how denialism led to increased death rates in Italy, “For many Italians, the normal warnings about this virus were simply not enough to change behavior. Denial comes too easily, perhaps. It was more convenient to blame some foreign germ-spreader, or pretend that the news was unreal.” This is a warning of the chaos that will ensue if governments, media, and individuals continue to deny the severity of the climate crisis and don’t take urgent and immediate action.
Links between Coronavirus and the Climate Crisis
The Coronavirus crisis has many parallels to the climate and ecological crisis. Both reveal our global interconnectedness and vulnerability. Both require truth-telling and cooperation to reduce suffering and save lives. Both disproportionately threaten vulnerable populations, from the elderly to those with existing medical conditions. Neither can be solved while politicians prioritize propping up big businesses over the health of people and planet and if we do not have collective structures in place to deal with crisis in an organized fashion, caring for people’s economic and physical well-being with a proactive plan that we put into place before it’s too late.
As our climate and ecosystems deteriorate, outbreaks like the Coronavirus will become more probable. The migration patterns of wild animals are changing in response to human-induced rising temperatures. Wildlife carries viruses that can become pandemics in places where the human population is dense and growing. Because our contact with wildlife is increasing, there’s a higher likelihood of us contacting these viruses. Land use, deforestation, road building, mining, and agricultural intensification are forcing wildlife to take refuge in human populated areas as we destroy their natural habitats for our own use.
A Just Transition
As world governments pass huge economic spending packages in response to this crisis, this is an important opportunity to choose policies that move towards carbon neutrality and a just transition rather than propping up the dying fossil fuel industry. These stimulus packages must help the most marginalized rather than deepen social injustice.
Regenerative Culture: We are in this together
At a time when the coronavirus is disrupting business as usual, grounding flights and halting industry, let’s disrupt in a different way. Let’s disrupt the hyper-individualistic society in which we live. Let’s take this time to slow down, safely connect with family and friends, and remember all we have to be grateful for. Let’s build the more loving, caring society that our hearts know is possible, beyond the story of separation. Love in the time of coronavirus means collectively protecting each other from infection, especially those most vulnerable. It is understandable to feel afraid at a time like this. Just as with the climate and ecological crisis, difficult emotions such as fear, grief, and anger are bound to surface. But we don’t have to hold these emotions alone. More than ever, we need each other, Rebels! We need your enthusiasm, compassion, creativity and courage. We need to stay connected, rather than let isolation and fear take hold.
Please join us as we move our work online for now, and once everything settles with the virus, we will see you in the streets.
Stay tuned on the XRGuelph Facebook Page for an upcoming live stream of the presentation: Heading For Extinction (and what to do about it). https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellionGuelph/
Share your ideas for community support, online or solo actions on our Facebook Page, Facebook Group or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org