COVID’19 has hindered our daily lives and brought the world to a stop. Greenhouse gas emissions and industrial discharges have dropped significantly, thus allowing earth a break from pollution. But the real question is, Are the positive impacts, short-lived or are they here to stay? Is the environment recovery process a continuous one or will it stop once we win the battle against Coronavirus? Let’s first look at how COVID’19 has benefitted our environment.
China’s air gets cleaner and pleasant.
With no planes flying, no vehicles on roads and no factories running, air pollution has dropped drastically. The province of Hubei, China was the first to yield prominent improvement in its atmosphere. Satellite images from NASA show just how much greenhouse gases and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions have dropped. It’s not only China, but a cleaner air can also be felt in lots of other parts of the world where lockdown is imposed.
India is once again able to see the Himalayan Range.
People from as far as 100 miles are awestruck at the sight of the Himalayan range. Air pollution had veiled this beauty for the naked eye. But now, with an improvement in air quality, it’s finally visible after more than 30 years.
Venice canals go from cloudy to clear.
No more tourists, no more ships sailing. Venice canals enjoy this leverage by recovering from the water pollution and going back to their signature clear blue water. Not only this, but the marine life is making a comeback. Tiny fish, and water plants of splendid colors can now be seen. Seems like Venice is returning to what it was famous for.
In Pakistan and other parts of the world, the clarity of air has made us all witness the night skies we have heard our parents talk about. From foggy and dull to star-studded and luminous, the transition in the night sky is note-worthy.
Sea turtles are no longer endangered.
Not only the air and the water but it seems the wildlife is enjoying the lockdown too. Mind Un-leashed reports that over 475,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles have traveled to the east coats in India to lay eggs. This will lift the danger of extinction off them.
So, what’s the future?
Coronavirus has undoubtedly made positive changes to our environment. However, we must not forget that this came at the expense of our economy and lifestyle. “COVID-19 is not a silver lining for the climate.”, one UN environment chief states. The outbreak might have increased medical discharge, that’s mostly hazardous. Once the lockdown is lifted, industries and transport emissions will shoot sharply as the world will try to reverse the economic loss. We must therefore not rely completely on COVID’19 for revamping the environment. If not more, we must at least put in efforts to prevent the environment from deteriorating even more.