COVID-19 and the Environment
Updated: Sep 6, 2020
By Aman Habib
Along with the crisis that the Coronavirus guided into this world, the global pandemic also played a great part in our environment, especially in my part of the world. When studying the data, the numbers are pretty terrifying as the world is closing in on a whopping 30 million confirmed cases as of now. Out of the confirmed cases across all the countries, the numbers are nearing a total of 870,000 deaths resulting from the global pandemic. Although the COVID-19 has stood cause to shed many lives and destroying a vast majority’s livelihood, the pandemic has still managed to affect the globe a good way as well. Not everyone will agree with me on this one but I believe we all have a different perspective, and mine has shown me how the environment has been influenced by the pandemic in a good way.
In my country, the first few months of the pandemic went pretty well. This doesn’t mean that we didn’t confirm any cases or that the population here was immune to the virus. We had confirmations and we did suffer losses but it was all minimal. As soon as we were hit by the virus, the entire country entered a triple lockdown, which means the country was shut down except for health care. The banks, the markets, government offices, theatres, and anything you can think of, were all locked down. This resulted in no income for many people and consumers were all finally facing lack of products for consumption. However, though this was a crisis that the entire world went through at times of the pandemic and global lockdown, this is when the virus made a major change in the environment and helped us in sustainability.
For once in years and years of desperately hoping and taking measures to clean the environment, it needed the arrival of a global pandemic when all measures proved to fail. The earth went through a better phase of the environment as it was evident from the temporarily cleaned skies and decreased levels of air pollutants. Sadly, looking at the numbers showing the statistics of COVID-19, and the human suffering that we’re witnessing, it isn’t a pleasing sight but the way the virus impacted the environment is appeasing. However, both the human suffering that we’re seeing today and the positive impact on the environment is temporary, which will all end in the near future. This means that we have both good news as well as bad news.
But given the fact that such global restrictions have driven the environment to a cleaner state, it could be a valuable lesson for those in the future when the humans are on the verge of a dying planet. Looking at how my country has been fighting environmental problems for years now, managing solid waste and air pollution has always been something that we’ve failed at. Ever since the Coronavirus took over the attention, all the piled-up garbage in my area that used to increase in height day by day actually ceased going any higher. If I can cope with the daunting outcomes that the virus has fabricated, the environmental change influenced by the pandemic is something I can keep bragging about.
The environmental change due to COVID-19 in my area is one thing that’s most satisfactory. Before we entered the state of a lockdown, there were a lot of factories and transportation producing 78% of the pollution problems in India. As the country entered lockdown and remained in this state for a few months, India recorded a significant decrease of nitrogen-dioxide, which reduced by 15% over the course of only 2 months. That was a huge relief for people that are concerned about the environment. However, the changes we saw never progressed anymore and the decreased rate of pollution is slowing rising back up as the countries are all relieved from lockdown.
From my perspective, the positive impact on climate change influenced by the virus is gratifying but it is not to be celebrated as the current state of the world is causing millions of human lives to suffer. Also, as the planet is going back to the state from where we came from before the pandemic, this is not a piece of news or happiness that we can rely on. With the passing of time, we’ll eventually start polluting the environment unless we somehow come across an effective way to drastically, or at least slowly, reduce the environmental problems that we’re seeing today. This also applies to the pandemic as the dark days and struggles that human beings are going through will finally get to see the other side, safe and sound. Until then, keep protecting yourself from the virus and prevent any possibility of spreading it. Take care and we’ll all see the better days.
Thank you for reading!