Remember the story of Apollo 13? Remember how the capsule, in effect, in being slingshot around the moon, created a kind of centrifugal force required for it to get back to Earth? Do you not also recall that in making their way back, the astronauts ran into setback after setback and how the they themselves, along with the team at Mission Control though seemingly frantically, but diligently, and the fact that they worked as unit that is what ultimately enabled the Apollo 13 astronauts to return to Earth unharmed, the team’s steadfast refusal in the face of such adversity to let failure be an option that made a terrestrial splashdown possible? You remember that, right?
What the Apollo 13 mission demonstrated, from lift-off to touchdown, is a refusing-to-accept-defeat attitude, along with the intestinal fortitude and wherewithal needed to get the astronauts home mostly all of the mission under the most difficult of circumstances, which shows what is possible in times of crisis. What’s also possible is having clean air for everyone to breathe but only on the condition that’s what we want and do the due diligence necessary to achieve that.
That’s all it takes. Piece of cake: right?
As far as that goes, the air will not be cleansed either by our resting on our laurels or us wishing it so. That we all know and something akin to wishing the corona virus away without any mitigating action taken. Though I can’t say with any certainty, but based on what I understand about the spread of the disease thus far, in all likelihood, that outcome probably ain’t gonna happen.
When you think about it, our battle with dirty air, or maybe more correctly, the way in which we deal with polluted air from now on, could be based on our experience in handling COVID-19. That is to say that if we are ultimately able to get the disease under control and stop its spread, and if eradication of the virus turns out to be as a result of the world working together, that would have implications for the kind of approach taken to nip in the bud the deplorable state of the air, absolutely. That I can say confidently.
Approaching this piecemeal or half-heartedly, won’t do justice. But, a focused, wholehearted effort on the order and to the degree of that summoned by the Apollo 13 mission team, on the other hand, is what it is going to take to be able to declare victory here. That’s the key.
Stopping the deadly corona virus outbreak, meanwhile, that’s first and foremost.
Whether stamping that out or filtering the air of toxic chemicals, impurities, particles and substances, failure has absolutely no place here! That, too, is key.
Image above: NASA
– Alan Kandel