The worldwide disruption brought upon by the COVID pandemic has had a huge impact on human societies and environment.
The lasting impact of the Coronavirus still remains to be seen.
After the lockdown was put in place in many countries, there was less traveling done by people, whether it be by their own cars or by trains and flights. Even industries were closed down and not allowed to function. This led to pollution levels dropping significantly.
If there’s something positive to arise from this terrible crisis; it has offered a taste of the air we might breathe in a pollution-free future.
After being untouched by the human presence for almost four months, nature has been healing herself quite well. However, it’s foolish to celebrate this. This kind of change came at a cost of millions of people losing their jobs and many being pushed under the poverty line.
Even more so, this state of nature will soon be challenged by the reopening of factories to make up for the economic losses. Still, we’ve managed to get a sneak peek of what would happen if the major pollution sources were dropped. And it sure looks amazing.
The lockdown led to the pollution levels dropping significantly. The sudden fall in pollutants and the subsequent blue skies signal a dramatic shift for India — which has 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.
On an average, reduction in particulate matter (PM) concentrations over the southern part of India was around 50–60%, and over the Indo-Gangetic basin, including Delhi, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, etc. it was as much as 75%.
Plants are growing better because there’s cleaner air and water and because there’s no human interference. With everything at a standstill, plants are allowed to thrive and grow and produce more coverage and oxygen. Less litter also means lesser clogging of river systems, which is good in the long run for the environment.
The lockdown has resulted in a decline in fishing; thus, fish biomass will increase after overfishing had almost depleted it. Apart from that, animals have been spotted moving about freely where once they wouldn’t dare to go.
Sea turtles were spotted laying eggs on beaches they once avoided (such as the coast of the Bay of Bengal), due to the lower human interference and pollution.
Critically endangered South Asian River Dolphins, Ganges Dolphins, have also been spotted back in the Ganga river after 30 years.
For the first time in decades, the water quality of Ganga at Har-ki-Pauri in the holy city of Haridwar has been classified as “fit for drinking” with chlorination.
It’s assumed that due to the lockdown, the drainage of industrial waste into the river water has stopped and brought a significant change in the water quality.
We should take special care that when our lives do return to normal, will we go back to the same state as before or will we be a little more biocentric? Will we be a little more in harmony with the environment so that we could experience the gifts of nature?
This depends on each one of us. Everyone has to make an effort no matter how small it may seem.
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Know more: https://www.ecochirp.org/events
About The Author: Vignesh is an engineering student who’s curious about everything above and below the sun. An engineer by the day and electronic musician by night.