The earth is so old we don’t know when it was “born.” Obviously, it has no real “birthday” but you could think of Earth Day as Mother Earth’s birthday. It always occurs at the beginning of the Sun’s annual month-long visit to Taurus, a sign of the earth element. Appropriately enough for this year’s golden celebration, the Moon is also in Taurus; by evening of April 22, it passes the Sun, the defining moment of a New Moon. There hasn’t been a New Moon on Earth Day since 1974 and there won’t be another until 2058, with two more in this century, in 2077 and 2096.
This year on Earth Day, conditions on Mother Earth are very different than they have been for decades – as a result of a virus of a type termed “novel corona.” Using keywords, “novel” means “new” and “corona” denotes a “crown,” specifically the “Sun’s crown” or “aura.” This correlates with a new Sun sign, highlighted by a new Moon cycle.
With less road traffic, fewer air flights and industrial operations curtailed, air pollution has declined significantly and rapidly. Waters are clearer, too. Mother Earth is likely happy about this! With no visitors to America’s National Parks, animals are reclaiming their natural habitat instead of sharing it with humans. People have been less violent to one another since the virus has forced them to stay home; crime rates are down. So is energy consumption, and oil currently costs less than hand sanitizer! When life returns to “normal” (or the “new normal,” whatever that might be), will we be more conscientious about humanity’s impact on the planet we share? Let’s hope so!
Meanwhile, Mother Earth’s children are suffering terribly. Beyond the immediate loss of life of victims of this “invisible enemy,” this pandemic has not only exposed (once again) but exaggerated the disparity between “haves” and “have-nots.” The economically disadvantaged have experienced a higher rate of infection. Hunger and the need for human services and financial assistance have skyrocketed, and the economic landscape has been altered for years to come. If a more equitable sharing of resources and opportunities is the outcome in the long run, at least we will benefit in that regard.
Following the first Earth Day, President Nixon signed an executive order to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Clean-up of the nation’s air and waterways was already underway, and proceeded and succeeded. Air and water quality improved. But regulations were a thorn in the side of the energy-producing industries, who lobbied to roll back protections, which has been enacted in the most recent and the current Republican administrations. We risk returning to more unhealthy conditions and for what? More profit for an economic sector that has already accumulated massive wealth at taxpayers’ expense, health be damned?
Public health is now front and center, and with it, the need for better health care for huge numbers of Americans has become painfully obvious. Improvements in the environment and health care could be positive outcomes of the enormous sacrifices we are making in the wake of Covid-19. That would indeed be a good gift for Mother Earth.