The world was transformed in a matter of just a few weeks. December 2019 saw the spread of the unique Coronavirus named Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, and the world was never the same again. Over the next few weeks, the virus spread across continents and as we write this piece, it has already affected more than 2 million human lives on the earth, causing the unfortunate death of 134,000+ people, as per the Worldomerter.
The virus outbreak has put countries all over the world in lockdowns that feel endless. The streets are empty, the normal hustle of busy city streets vanished; pubs, theatres, entertainment zones screaming of lifelessness. Factories have been shut down and people are working remotely. Travel plans have been cancelled, airlines have been sent on unwanted holidays, and vehicles have been banned from the roads.
While the world outside our homes is giving out silent screams while fighting relentlessly against the COVID-19, Mother Nature seems to be enjoying quite a bit. The environment looks great due to a dramatic fall in the pollution rates pertaining to the restrictions on travel and work.
Here are a few things you can be happy about…
- The rate of global Carbon emission has hugely gone down since the worldwide lockdowns have been implemented.
- Pollution in New York have reduced by nearly 50% due to measures to contain the virus.
- In China, Carbon emissions fell by 25% at the start of the year
Satellite images in Europe have shown Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions fading away over northern Italy, Spain and the UK.
- The cut on unnecessary travel and cut down the global Carbon emission rate by 23% (which accounts for carbon emissions from vehicles and airplanes).
Recently, we have also seen citizens of the Earth exclaiming in joy when the lowered pollution rates showed head-on results to them.
Delhi, the capital of India and one of the most polluted cities of the world, has been talking about the clear blue skies, something that they did not see in a very long time owing to the pollution. Some people have even reported seeing the Himalaya Mountains for the first time from Delhi due to the crystal clarity of the air.
Meanwhile, a video went viral on social media that showed how clear the canal waters of Italy’s Venice have turned that one can easily see the fish and dolphins in the waters. No movement on the canals, no pollution through industrial and household wastes have lead a happier life for the aquatic lives in these countries.
Another instance of wildlife finding its way to freedom from human interference was witnessed just a few days back when a Malabar Civet cat, a critically endangered animal, was spotted crossing an empty road in the city of Kerala, India. This species of Civet cat was seen last in India in the 1990s.
Dolphins have returned to the Marine Drive in Mumbai.
A Nilgai was spotted to freely stroll on the streets of Noida.
Uncountable other endangered animals and birds have been found to come back to their previous habitats and occupy a greater space of the environment for themselves, which they used to before us humans demolished their houses for making our own.
So for now, we can surely be happy about the good days that our environment and Mother Nature is experiencing. The question lies in what change will we see after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Experts are found to comment that the present conditions are temporary and once the industries reopen, increased pressure of production may cause even more pollution than expected. But that is for time to tell.
For us citizens, the aim should be to save the nature not only under the influence of a deadly virus, but because of our own genuine concern and responsibility towards the Earth’s future.