As I mentioned in my last Coronavirus post, there are geographic factors and implications everywhere when dealing with this truly global issue that has profoundly local ramifications. True, I am guilty as charged if I stand accused of seeing geography everywhere, but now even non-geographers are seeing geography, place, distance, regions, interactions, and connections as more important than ever. I would like to share three additional resources that point to the centrality of geographic thought to all that is happening these days:
- Amid Pandemic, Geography Returns with a Vengeance (WIRED)
- The Coronavirus Pandemic is NOT a natural disaster (New Yorker)
- Rhode Island’s Dept. of Health GIS Dashboard (RI-DOH, ArcGIS)
These three resources show that geographic factors were more than just a part of the origin and diffusion of the Coronavirus; geographic tools and analysis are front and center in local, national, and global responses to the situation. A former student of mine put together the RI Dept. of Health dashboard and I was delighted to see her love of mapping spatial data help my state during this time of crisis. Our ‘personal space’ means much more during social distancing as our spatial settings are at the forefront of our thoughts as we move through our neighborhoods and navigate through space with greater concern. The forces that have made the world more interconnected are the same forces that are requiring that we stay apart. May we also think more geographically as we consider the problems at a bigger scale as we have seen how many things need to be restructured.