Welcome to our new reality. With the exception of the toilet paper shortage, Rod Serling pretty accurately dreamed up this new way of life of ours. While nearly everyone around the globe is in some form of lockdown or quarantine, the world outside our doors is getting warmer and greener. Speaking of green, have you noticed how little chatter there has been of late about green deals, new or otherwise? There is a reason for that. Without fossil fuels, the devastation of this pandemic would be much, much worse.
Fossil fuels are the first choice of first responders
Much is being said about wearing surgical face masks. First responders, nurses, doctors wear them. It is impossible to enter any store to buy food without seeing the majority of people wearing them. There are two types of surgical face masks. The first is made of paper and is considered disposable. They will prevent large, airborne particles from getting into your mouth, but do little else. The second kind is the N95 respirator mask. It fits snugly around the mouth and the nose and is of much higher quality. This higher quality mask, the one preferred by first responders and medical personnel, is available thanks to fossil fuels. N95 masks are constructed with polypropylene, a petrochemical.
Fossil Fuels for safe shopping
While you are out shopping for food, it may be worth noting that stores that just a month ago were banning single use plastic bags are now encouraging them, and they are even beginning to ban reusable bags. It makes perfect sense. Single use plastic bags are clean when the shopper fills them and takes them home. And don’t let the term “single use” fool you. I don’t know of one person who doesn’t have a small hoard of these bags somewhere in their house. They are used as trash bags for small, household wastebaskets. They are great when it’s time to scoop out the kitty-litter box. Walk the dog, and you will most likely need a plastic bag somewhere along the way.
Those reusable, cloth bags on the other hand can be more germ ridden than most things around your house. They’ve been on the floor of your home and your car, maybe you sat them down in the parking lot to look for your keys. Then off they go with you to the market on your next trip, taking all those germs with them. Like masks, plastic bags made from fossil fuels are keeping us safe and healthy.
Making the new normal possible
Working from home is the new normal for more than one-third of the American population. It’s amazing this is even possible. What is even more amazing is the majority of those home-workers have no idea they should be thanking the fossil fuel industry. All smart phones, tablets, laptops, and computers are available because of the fossil-fuel derived components within them.