We are all facing the hardships of the Coronavirus, but with persistence and community effort, we will be able to overcome what seems like the impossible. It may seem like everything is going downhill, but there have been some unexpected positive impacts on the earth. Satellites used by NASA and the European Space Agency allow researchers to notice how cities and countries are affected by the pandemic. In China, factories are forced to shut down due to social distancing, and as a result, levels of air pollution have been drastically dropped. According to The New York Post, “China’s carbon emissions were 25% lower in February compared to the same time last year…” Other than China, countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, and Belgium are also seeing a positive impact. Polluted clouds of nitrogen dioxide are rapidly evaporating from these cities, making for healthier and breathable air. Also, NBC News states, “the average concentration of fine particulate matter — tiny particles in the air that are dangerous because they can be breathed deeply into the lungs… ” have drastically dropped in major cities in the U.S. as well. In addition, because there has been a decrease in airplane transportation since the pandemic started, air pollution has changed dramatically.
Another positive change is that animals have more room to roam. In Nara, Japan herds of deer are wandering the parks and streets for scraps of food. “In New Delhi, India, and Lopburi, Thailand, packs of wayward monkeys are loitering at storefronts and invading closed shops. In Oakland, California, wild turkeys were seen playing tag in a schoolyard as children are taking lessons from home.” And in the Welsh town of Llandudno, a herd of wild mountain goats was spotted on the streets having some fun. Even zoos are allowing animals like penguins and flamingos to have their own private tour of the zoo! This video will let you clearly see the ongoing changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78EvLw2hs2U
Lastly, without the constant travel of visitors in Italy, canals are the cleanest they have ever been seen in a long time. Boats and gondolas on the canals have caused sentiment to constantly swim in the waters, but because everyone is staying indoors, the waters are so clear that fish and dolphins come to explore the free space.
These positive impacts on Earth are great news, but will they last long? We have to find a way to let our environment prosper forever, not just during this pandemic. If we all work together, there is no doubt that we can sustain these positive trends and continue to improve the health of the environment.