Fynn Walraven & Aline Tarasconi Staff Reporter & Pawzfeed / Pawscast Editor, The Pawprint
Life in many countries has changed dramatically when coronavirus officially became a pandemic on March 11th of this year. As coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world, it is forcing people to stay put inside the safety of their home, and causing economic havoc. Millions of people are either out of work or from home. While we are obviously all concerned about what this will mean for us personally, our study, for our families and friends. It will be super interesting to see how fast the environment will be recovering from less CO2 and other pollutants being released.
Will nature prosper as we humans slow down? With factories shutting down, so people aren’t driving or traveling with orders to remain indoors being the new norm. This has contributed to a huge decrease in air pollution that kills a total of 4.2 million people per year and more than one million people in China alone. The last two months saw a huge improvement in air quality, especially in hard-hit areas such as Wuhan and Northern Italy, as well as a number of metropolitan areas across the U.S.
Although the coronavirus epidemic would likely be a setback to global climate change goals and overall investment, this temporary carbon emission reduction is significant. But while experts warn against treating such figures as a cost-benefit equation for pandemics, some climate scientists believe they can help shine a light on the enormous environmental effects of our daily lifestyles and economic practices, hopefully contributing to a substantive change after the crisis subsides.
The air, especially in China in over industrialized areas is clearer, New York already shows 50% less CO2 emission due to lesser car use compared to last year. Monkeys and deer are seen roaming the streets in Thailand and Japan, and although rumors about dolphins being seen in Venice were fake news, the water in the Venetian canals seems to be clearer and cleaner since the tourists have left. Today with many more flights grounded due to restrictions, more countries telling their population to stay at home, and shopping malls closed that will probably have another positive impact on the environment.
However will it change us when this pandemic is over, will we consider flying less, working from home more, stop buying unnecessary items, or will we pick everything up again where we left off It will depend on how long this pandemic will last, the more we get used to living without these things the better we will realize we can do without them. Also, I’m sure the more improvements to the environment we will see due to our actions the more people will consider that what we were doing needs to be and can be changed for the better. Experts don’t think this positive environmental impact will last and that factories, flights, driving, and shopping will increase again as soon as this pandemic is over. It is important that all governments should pay extra attention to the positive outcomes for their country’s environment and see what should stay a change.
Mc Grath Matt, Coronavirus: Air pollution and CO2 fall as virus spreads, bbc.com, March 19th 2020, UK
Ball Sam, Clearer water, Cleaner air: The Environmental effects of coronavirus, france24.com, March 20th 2020, France