Despite all the horror Covid-19 has thrown at us, the pandemic has been a gasp of fresh air for the planet.
It has been obvious for weeks that lockdowns of people, cars, planes, and polluting industries around the world have meant clearer skies and less gas emissions.
The coronavirus has driven a green advance; the United States is expected this year, for the first time on record, to produce more electricity from renewable power than from coal.
The BBC reports that India's emissions fell 15 per cent in March and are likely to have dropped by 30 per cent in April. Britain completed a month without coal power for the first time in 138 years, according to National Grid ESO.
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Gains will likely fade as economies reopen. But the experience offers some hope that economic and policy changes could bring benefits.
Here, there was a focus on environmental work in last week's Budget – a good, although narrowly focused move considering the potential growth of green and new-technology jobs.
Governments very rarely get a licence to spend eye-watering sums of money with public support. Plenty of people believe that means this is a one-time chance to rebuild while also tackling entrenched problems - particularly climate change and systemic economic vulnerabilities. Climate change brings the threat of costly disaster but also economic opportunities in countering it.
The Government's old-school bread and butter Budget was instead about basic survival, throwing billions at housing, infrastructure, extending the wage subsidy scheme and job training. Such moves will make a practical difference in people's lives.
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Yet there was no sniff of innovation: no big new renewable energy project, no anti-pandemic technological innovation fund, no hint of a universal basic income scheme, no tweaks to improve our competitiveness for an increasingly digital future.
The foundations come first, and a longer-term plan can follow. But so far there is no sense the Government has upsized its vision to meet the moment.
In some ways our success in combating the virus has insulated us and perhaps made it seem that normality is around the corner.
But isolation from the rest of the world can only be temporary. The World Health Organisation has warned that Covid-19 could well stick around and while we all hope for a vaccine, there has never been one against a coronavirus.
This is equivalent to the security shockwave that shook the world for years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As was the case then, international air travel, hotels, public events and transport, eating out, shopping and building safety have been stress points this time.
We can expect the same sweeping changes to how we do things. Quick, accurate testing at airports and technological tracking will be among the measures needed to resuscitate international travel.
Studies of Covid-19 increasingly point to crowded and enclosed indoor areas as the chief danger area for transmission.
University of Hong Kong researchers found that of hundreds of outbreaks studied, only one occurred outdoors. Sharing indoor space, they concluded, is a major infection risk. US CDC studies on outbreaks at a restaurant, call centre, and a choir practice showed that people close together, inside without fresh air for hours on end, could be sitting ducks for the virus.
We have got this far with good leadership, luck, unity, common sense, and pragmatism.
Smart thinking and planning to find advantages, innovation and use of technology will also be key to living with the pandemic and recession.