ASU sustainability professor looking for positives during virus outbreak

Apr 17, 2020, 4:05 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — They’re calling it a silver lining below the pandemic’s cloud.

“We don’t want to minimize the negative impacts, but we trying to look for some of the positives,” Mick Dalrymple, director of the University Sustainability Practices at Arizona State University, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Dalrymple believes in looking for the positive things no matter the circumstances.

Right now, one of those positives can be seen with the impact on Phoenix’s air quality. The city has a heavy commuter society and now with most people working from home, it’s evident less cars are on the road, reducing traffic and minimizing pollution.

“It’s gotten a lot of people connected at the neighborhood level which creates social cohesiveness,” Dalrymple said.

People are getting back to the way things used to be. They’re appreciating the little things like blue skies, neighbors helping neighbors and more kids playing outside.

“People are having neighborhood happy hours sitting in their driveways enjoying the sunset,” Dalrymple added. “I had a neighbor tell me they’ve lived in our neighborhood for 32 years and just met someone for the first time.”

People are quite literally taking a breath of fresh air during some of the darkest times our country has seen.

“I think it’s good for building community where it counts which is in the neighborhoods,” Dalrymple said.

He hopes the pandemic helps change people’s perspective permanently.

Dalrymple compared the changed perspective to traveling to foreign countries.

“It gives you a different perspective and allows you to evaluate what you were used to,” Dalrymple said.

He believes the current situation could show us what can change for the better in the future. Businesses are adapting and have become more innovative. Families are supporting local businesses, reusing things at home and cooking more meals together.

But will it all continue after the pandemic fades away? Dalrymple is hopeful.

“One thing I’ve really taken to heart over this past decade is the phrase, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste,” he said.

The negatives can become consuming, but Dalrymple remains encouraged this could bring more positives to our society.

“A crisis is the opportune time to make change for the good because in crisis is when change happens,” Dalrymple said. “In normal life change is difficult because there’s a lot of pressure to just keep doing the same thing that has always been done.”

Arizona News

FILE - In this June 5, 2020, file photo, Mussallina Muhaymin, left, and Zarinah Tavares, sisters of...
Associated Press

Trial set in lawsuit filed over man’s death during struggle with Phoenix police

An April 25 trial has been scheduled in a lawsuit filed over the 2017 death of a man during a struggle with Phoenix police officers who were arresting him outside a community center.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Lottery)...

Lottery ticket worth over $500,000 sold at Tempe gas station

A lottery player has the opportunity to snag a prize worth over $500,000 after purchasing a winning ticket Tuesday at a Tempe gas station.
1 day ago
Simeon Busano booked Sept. 21, 2021, on counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery. (Maricopa ...

Suspect arrested in killing of a paraplegic man during Phoenix robbery

A suspect in the killing of a paraplegic man during a robbery in Phoenix over a month ago has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Danny Shapiro

Contractors to present findings of Maricopa County election audit Friday

Contractors in charge of the audit of 2020 Maricopa County election results will present their findings to the Arizona Senate on Friday.
1 day ago
(Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Fall makes its arrival in Phoenix with 100-degree temperatures

Wednesday marked the official start of fall, but it still feels like summer in Phoenix with triple-digit heat.
1 day ago
Maricopa County Supervisors Clint Hickman, left, and Steve Chucri (Maricopa County Photos)...
Kevin Stone

Maricopa County’s Hickman calls Chucri situation a ‘bit of a shock’

Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman said Wednesday it’s been difficult to process the whirlwind that culminated with the resignation of Republican colleague and close friend Steve Chucri.
1 day ago
ASU sustainability professor looking for positives during virus outbreak