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Litter Pickup a Coronavirus Casualty

Updated: Jan 25

Part of my regular spiritual practice includes picking up trash during my daily walks. Some of the trash likely blows out of garbage truck or other passing vehicles, but a lot of it is discarded by people or thrown out of their car windows as they drive by. This infuriates me, but that's another post. This post is about why I've decided to temporarily stop picking up roadside litter because of the coronavirus.

Typically, I bag the trash I find while walking, take it home and properly dispose of it in my trash bin. While the trash isn't technically mine, I've come to see it as a spiritual responsibility, one that I view collectively as a human. No matter how careful we are, we all generate trash. No, the discarded bottles of liquor, the paper cups and fast food litter weren't put there by me, but by disposing of trash properly, I'm doing at least one little thing to make this world a better place. So I've come to see the trash I find as my trash.

But with the coronavirus spreading, I'm now scared to pick up anything. I know the risk of contracting the virus this way is minimal, but I'm still spooked. And yes, I feel guilty about it (I was raised Southern Baptist, after all!). I suppose I can look for some disposable gloves next time I'm out--but with a self-quarantine in place, that will be a while. Til then, Mother Earth will have to understand. Are there any spiritual practices you've suspended because of the coronavirus?

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