If we're gonna survive, we gotta find a healthier way to do it.

I think there's going to be a rethinking of what we're doing in society in terms of how we relate to the earth. One of the things I've thought about is there's been just a lot less travel, there's been less traffic, there's been less air travel. And I think this pandemic is directly related to how we relate to our environment and the sheer amount of human population. And I think it's giving us time... It's giving us a preview of what can happen with climate change stuff, you know food shortages and supply chains breaking down. And there's I think some recognition of... People are going, "Well, when can we go back to the way life was?" I don't think we can, and I don't think we will. We have to reenvision how we structure our society and how it relates to the environment.

And the virus is a natural part of our world, it's a part of nature. And from what we know it has to do with how we've related to wild animals and the land. And we just have to rethink about how we're living and how we can live more harmoniously with the earth. And so I think that that's a really positive thing that we can take from it, 'cause it's like we're taking a really big long pause and we're taking a long look at how we've been going about business, and we can't go back to business as usual. We're gonna have to change if we're gonna survive.

And we, humans are part of the natural world as well. We wanna separate ourselves from the animal world, and it's just not true. We're just all one family. And one thing I know about life, and I know about the natural world, that life wants to live, life wants to survive. And we've been on a collision course for a very long time, but when push comes to shove and we're actually falling apart and dying, we're gonna find a way to survive. And if we're gonna survive, we gotta find a healthier way to do it. So I think this is pushing us in that direction. 

Sam Miltich




National Endowment for the Humanities Logo

Stories of Wisdom from Bodies in Separation (SWaBS): Archiving the Coronavirus Pandemic Through the Lens of Humanities has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To see the full interviews
and media for this project

Visit Archive

To contribute your own materials to the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project, please Visit Library