The widespread coronavirus has forced all the affected countries to impose lockdown followed by social distancing and quarantine norms. It has killed more than 2 lakhs and left many people infected across the world. However the natural environment seems to have gained from the benefits of lockdown leading to a fresh abode of nature. Everything including schools, colleges, industries etc has been closed down to prevent transmission of infection. Only essential and emergency services are being operated to serve public needs. Despite the negative aspects of the pandemic situation, the environment has rediscovered its clean air with the reduction of air pollution and absence of vehicles in the roads emitting harmful gases. It was reported that a few animals such as deer, peacocks, boars, monkeys etc were seen roaming freely in the urban and sub-urban regions of some countries which were usually crowded by people.
The Impact of Lockdown around the World
Surprising fall of air pollution:
Able to breathe clean and fresh air is the most remarkable effect of this lockdown. Due to the temporary suspension of industrial activities, factory work and less number of vehicles moving in the streets air pollution has dropped. For the first time in 30 years people of Northern India could see the view of the Himalayan mountain range from their homes. The citizens from Punjab have also shared pictures of the mesmerizing Himalayas on social media. This is indeed an amazing feature gained from lockdown. The data collected from the Sentinel-5P satellite revealed a dramatic fall in gases like nitrogen dioxide generated by power plants, car engines and other industrial processes in the European cities. London, Paris, Madrid, Milan and several other cities witnessed a reduction in air pollution from March 14-25 as compared to the same time of last year.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) every year three million people lose their lives because of air pollution that causes several heath problems like asthma, lung diseases, skin disease etc. But this unprecedented lockdown has contributed to the solution of air pollution across the world.
Clean water followed by fresh air:
Another positive effect of lockdown can be found in the freshness of water. With the implementation of lockdown traveling from one place to another has also been suspended. As a result of which the tourist spots remain empty and such a situation has witnessed clean beaches, seawaters and rivers. Dumping wastes in the water bodies, swimming and running speedboats in waters cause pollution and severe damage to aquatic life. But as all such activities came to a halt it restored fresh water in the seas and rivers.
In Venice the residents have witnessed improvement in the water quality of canals. The locals have opined that the absence of motorboat taxis and movements of tourist boats in water have cleaned the water of the canals. Due to the stringent lockdown rules the people could now see small fishes, crabs and mottled plants in water which were hidden because of tourist activities. The empty surroundings have cleaned the muddy water and dirt from the water areas.
Ozone Layer started to heal:
With the control of air pollution across the world environment has no doubt started to heal. There ozone layer was effected positively from less pollution. The less number of people, limited traffic in roads and restricted individual and collective activities of people the ozone layer has gained some breathing space. According to scientists collective efforts of the world can have a major positive impact in controlling environmental damage. They have also shared views that say complete healing of the ozone layer can be made possible in the future.
Freedom of wildlife:
Animals such as deers, nilgai, civet cats etc were found roaming freely in different parts of India. Many people have shared and tweeted images of animals moving peacefully in residing areas. Without lockdown such sights would not had been possibly visible anywhere. A person from Haridwar posted a video of a few reindeers walking in the locality on his social media account. The kids can’t resist their excitement seeing reindeers moving in their locality for the first time in life. Such a view will be remembered as a memorable period for the younger and older generations. In other instances, a small Indian civet was seen in the roads of Kozhikode and a Nilgai was spotted in front of The Great India Place Mall in Noida. Another astonishing example of reviving the lively nature of Kolkata ghats was discovered when the Gangetic or the South Asian River dolphins were seen. This surprising arrival of dolphins happened after 30 years.
Apart from India, Venice’s clam and clean water also welcomed swans in Murano and Burano. The swans were seen swimming in the sparkling waters of the canals. A herd of goats were seen in the deserted streets of Llandudno, a Welsh seaside town. The nationwide lockdown followed by the spread of COVID-19 has no doubt improved the conditions of the environment in many ways but it has also ruined human lives in a massive way. Other than covid deaths, economy has suffered a major loss resulting in the loss of jobs, hunger and extreme poverty of the marginalized section of the society. The government and entire administration of all the countries affected with the virus are trying hard to tackle the situation but still its end is unknown. But the lockdown has taught all the citizens the healing capacity of nature which was damaged by mankind in various ways. Everyone is hopeful that the pandemic situation is mitigated and the world soon becomes free from the deadly coronavirus.