Is Earth is Healing During COVID-19
With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there is uncertainty around the world. Nobody can tell when we are going to get rid of this virus completely. The terrifying black clouds of coronavirus have enveloped almost every part of the world, spreading its vibes of fear among the people.
Without any doubt, this pandemic is the most disruptive experience of our lives. Together we anticipate seeing the brighter days for the light in our dark lives. In this time of chaos, we must not ignore the possible silver lining. Despite the panic and human loss, earth is healing.
As the global death toll from coronavirus is increasing every day, governments have locked down their citizens to prevent the local transmission of the disease. People around the world are practicing social distancing and staying in their homes. This has not only helped to decrease the spread of this pandemic but it is also helping mother earth to heal. Earth is becoming cleaner.
China has reported a significant improvement in its air quality. Fossil fuel burning is the major contributor to air pollution throughout the world. 40% reduction in emissions has been observed due to a restriction on transportation and closure of power plants and factories.
According to the European Space Agency, a decrease in particulate matter was observed in the air. Particulate matter concentration in this February was compared with the past three years, surprisingly, studies revealed 20-30% reduction over China. The skies are blue and sunny these days while they were covered with smoke in normal circumstances.
COVID-19 and its impact on the environment
One of the major reductions in pollution levels could be seen over the city of Wuhan which was put under a strict lockdown in late January. It is a city of 11 million and serves a hub for different industries. According to NASA, nitrogen dioxide levels across eastern and central China have been 10-30% lower than normal. Nitrogen dioxide levels in Italy have also fallen by about 40%.
It is unfortunate that Italy is declared as the epicenter of coronavirus but the silver lining is that Venice canals have cleared up. As there is a lockdown in the country, boating is banned and there are no tourists around. Swans, dolphins, and fishes are making their way to the waters of Venice.
The water is blue and clear. The apparent cleanliness of the water is not just attributed to a lack of pollution but also to the absence of motorized boats, which normally churns up the muddy canal floor.
India is also under lockdown from the past few days. The reduction in Mumbai Marine Drive has been observed which is due to decreased water traffic. The absence of water transportation has led people to witness a school of dolphins playing in the water.
It is the right time to say that our planet would breathe a long sigh of relief if humans were to vanish. But this is not how it should be. We should take the opportunity of this lockdown to reflect and see how we can be more organized and live in harmony with nature.
With so many industries shutting down due to the corona pandemic, it is the ideal time for them to brainstorm plans to return more environmentally conscious. If companies would change their plans to consider the environment, this small and reasonably fast, change we are seeing now could continue to change the fate of planet earth.
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by: Abeer Arshad