“Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama
It may sound crazy if someone talks about the positive impact of COVID – 19 on our collective life. However, it would be rational if we look at the other side of the picture.
As the pandemic spread, lockdowns were implemented worldwide. The global lockdowns have drastically altered the patterns of energy demands and facilitated cleaner air. It was an immense unintended advantage. This primary impact of Covid-19 on society and the global environment has been significant as a decline in CO2 emission and other air polluters. We are aware that both climate change and a pandemic are existential challenges that the human race is facing.
We can’t fight any global disaster in isolation out of over-confidence, arrogance, and isolation. The task needs international collaboration so that scientists can work together and address the challenges.
We had seen the pictures and read the article in media where Mother Nature seemed eager to push the reset button, reclaiming the spaces to heal itself as the anthropogenic activities have slowed down.
According to scientific journals, 91% of the global population breathing air that is next to poor in quality. There are several areas upon earth where the Air Quality Index (AQI) was exceeding the permissible limits (23) and it was evident in the general rise in health problems due to this pervasive and pernicious exposure to pollution. The Lancet commission reports on pollution and health suggest that pollution accounts for more than 16% of the global deaths, with air pollution alone contributing up to 8% of these deaths, which is three times more than the deaths due to tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS and 15% more than warfares and other global violence.
The recent studies suggest that the current Covid-19 pandemic has made a significant contribution in bringing down Carbon Monoxide emission by more than 50%. Similarly, particulate matter (PM 2.5) was found to reduce by 1.4 μg/m3 in different parts of the industrial world. There had been a sharp reduction in Nitrogen dioxide NO2 concentrations in other European countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and France.
The other lesser-known pollution is environmental noise pollution. It is well-defined as an undesirable sound generated by various anthropogenic, transport, industrial, and commercial activities. Prolonged exposure to noise pollution causes a range of health problems such as stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, cardiovascular disease, hearing loss, cognitive impairment, poor concentration, difficulties, and poor communication The imposition of quarantine measures by governments compelled the people to stay at their homes resulting in the decrease of the use of private and public transportation as well as a significant drop in commercial activities. All these changes have caused a considerable drop in the noise level in most cities in the world. The reports show that noise reductions have gone deep, with seismologists reporting less seismic noise.
The coastal areas which were the worst victim of tourism and industrialization took a sigh of relief. The complete closure of various industrial activities in these regions had almost halted the pollution and caused a remarkable change in the appearance of many beaches in the world.
As the study of several scientific journals suggests, the Covid-19 lockdown had improved the surface water quality around the globe.
Last but not the least, the wild animals all over the planet seem to have had a good time during these days. They seem to be becoming bold to reclaim their territories.
And the greatest benefit of COVID – 19 was the change in the ministerial berth in the BJP dispensations. The removal of Mr. Harsh Vardhan, the ex–health minister was the masterstroke of Modi Ji.