As I noted in a recent post, “Silent Spring,” things have quieted down around the world due to the extreme isolation measures governments have imposed on their citizens. Empty malls, empty stores, empty arenas, empty streets…and empty lives…are the rule, not the exception.
Seismologists across the planet have noticed. They are observing dramatically less ambient seismic noise, otherwise known as the vibrations generated by cars, buses, trucks, trains and people living and working as they had been for many decades. This has, they say, resulted in the Earth’s upper crust moving a little less. We’re not talking about the rich and famous (the movers and the shakers?), but the planet’s actual physical crust. Thomas Lecocq (!), a geologist and seismologist at the Royal Observatory in Belgium, noted that Brussels has seen a reduction in ambient seismic noise of between 30% and 50% since social-distancing measures were imposed in mid-March. Lecocq says this is clear evidence that people are observing authorities’ warnings to stay inside and avoid traveling. “Everyone is doing the same. Everyone is respecting the rules,” he added.
Raphael De Plaen (“look, boss, De Plaen…De Plaen!”), a postdoctoral researcher at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, explained that the seismological data can also be used to identify areas where containment measures have not been as effective. He stated: "That could be used in the future by decision makers to figure out, 'OK, we're not doing things right. We need to work on that and make sure that people respect that because this is in the interest of everyone.'"
In other words, authorities will be able to utilize the data to “deal” with those who have not sufficiently ceased their movements in the eyes of their governments.
“Good Vibrations?” Not anymore. Even the Beach Boys are slowing down.
Soon, there will be no need to ask anyone, “What’s shakin’?”
Because every answer would be the same. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”