This day in history

This day in history
blooming crab apple--wikimedia

In the future, when this day is history, what will future historians say about us, how we live now?  There will be archives, daily news of  life and deaths in these pandemic and dystopian times.

There are so many heartbreaking stories. Here is one from the Chicago Tribune today.

People are also keeping personal diaries and notebooks.  There are Zoom meetings. And there are blogs, here on ChicagoNow, and elsewhere. There are posts on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social media.  There  will be many stories.

And even  when this world as we know  it is gone, like civilizations before us, there will still be records of how we lived here, in these uncertain times.  How we cheered a beautiful day in May, the cloudless blue sky and the blooming lilacs and crabapples. How we put on masks, and planted tomatoes.

But more than that, future scientists will be able to study the impact of how our lives changed, and how the earth changed as well.

The story is in the glacial ice. You can read more about it here, in this article from Popular Mechanics. Much like tree rings, ice  cores tell a story of climate.

They also hold evidence of volcanic dust, atmospheric concentrations,  and ancient viruses. The ice cores contain ash from Krakatoa and radiation from Chernobyl.  And they will tell the story of COVID-19. The evidence  will be there, and the coronavirus, too.

The article explores how the Great Plague in the 1300’s changed the atmosphere and the environment. There have been disasters and plagues before, but somehow humans have survived.

Our lives are very different, today.  We are learning more and more how things are connected, from weather patterns to supply chains.

But already there is less pollution in  cities in the US, and in China–two major polluting nations.  Every day, we are changing. Every day, we have a chance to change the future.


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  • Thank you for a wonderful post. The ice cores are a fascinating point -- and, I admit, it's oddly fun to think of the virus being frozen for ages.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much for reading. Who knows what ancient viruses are dormant in that ice! I hope there will still be scientists in the future, and maybe by then a vaccine for COVID-19.

  • 1. You are assuming that geological archeologists are going to survive this.
    2. The only thing of which I am sure is that on a weather alert day, we won't see the Weather Hound. Snoopy is not happy (assuming he survived Charles Schulz).

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks so much for reading, Jack.
    Yes, I'm being radically optimistic that science and scientists will survive in some form. I am trying to stay positive. The world may be falling apart, but there are still lilacs blooming.

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