There is no denying that the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been nothing short of catastrophic – and that will change our lives for a very long time. However, we can take one positive out of this difficult period – the environmental impact. With everyday life coming to an abrupt halt, our planet has been given a chance to breathe. In an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic, many factories have been shuttered, planes sit on runways, and more people are working from home, thus cutting traffic to a minimum. The global shutdown caused by the virus has become the biggest experiment ever in the reduction of greenhouse gases. As far as the Earth is concerned, the flora and fauna, as well as the rest of nature are all enjoying the benefits of this deadly virus. It seems like the plants and animals are reclaiming the land that we forgot to share with them – or snatched away from them. The environment seems to have pressed the reset button to replenish itself. The points below can be considered some of the worldwide positive side effects of COVID-19.
Blue Skies – Today, when the production of almost everything is on hold and factories are no longer as active as they used to be, the emission of smoke has lessened, which has resulted in clear, blue skies.
Pollution-Free Air – With limited use of vehicles on the road and planes in the air, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) have decreased. Plus, the emission of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is also reduced. As a result, we can now breathe pure and naturally filtered air.
Fewer Planes in the Sky – The previous high demand for air travel increased flights around the world, and the quality of air we breathe worsened. Every time we looked up at the sky, we saw fewer birds and more airplanes. With reduced air traffic, birds have begun to spread their wings once again.
Reduced Pressure on Resources – To combat coronavirus, many companies have asked employees to work from home, which reduced vehicles on the road. In addition, with the increase in online shopping, we travel far less for shopping in stores. In one way or another, all of this contributes toward the good health of the environment.
Going Green – People are being forced by nature to opt for dietary options that are relevant to sustainable development. Many have said goodbye to meat while others have temporarily paused consumption of plant-based alternatives. This is a positive indicator for the betterment of the environment.
Self-awareness – In this competitive era where most people follow a hectic schedule, we honestly have very little time to think and act the way that is best for our health and the environment. Consequently, many of us never considered the way we are treating the environment and natural resources. However, now that we are forced to stay home, almost everyone has ample time to think and reflect on our actions. We have now become aware of how we have been wasting water while bathing and brushing and wasting electricity by keeping laptops, computers, televisions on just to save the time and effort of turning them on and off. We have found ourselves guilty of having wasted so much food, so much paper and so many natural resources.
The coronavirus has had disastrous impacts on mankind. However, it has given the environment a chance to heal and reclaim what belongs to nature. It is a huge lesson for humans to mend their ways – better late than never. Hopefully, Mother Earth will heal itself soon, with people understanding the importance of their being its responsible stewards.