Nature has provided a suitable environment for every creature on this Earth. As a Human, being a superior product of the evolution process always tries to control nature and their activities according to his need. But due to overexploitation of natural resources and anthropogenic activities, we are facing problems like Global Warming, Climate Change, Ozone Layer depletion, Pollution and the sudden outbreak of deadly spreading infectious diseases i.e. Pandemic like COVID 19.
So basically, Pandemic is a dictionary word, right! Yes for me too, but what the Year 2020 taught us about the Pandemic? Let’s figure it out …..
We all had different experiences of COVID 19 that acclimatized us with sudden environmental changes to mankind & habitat. Every human being on earth will not forget the year 2020, it gives mankind a severe threat from a hidden pandemic & another side it teaches us all how to live a simple life and stick to our basic needs. We all know that it has started from Wuhan (China), in the course of time spread globally including 210 countries and continue to do so.
Though COVID 19 pandemic has a devastating and cruel adverse impact on the surrounding it also has positive spin-offs on nature. Now let’s take a look at different aspects of COVID 19:-
Positive Impact of Covid-19 on Environment (Pros)
1. Reduce Industrial pollution: -
Due to the slowdown of industrial activity during the lockdown, there is a drastic decline in Air, water, noise and land pollution. During the lockdown, almost all the metro cities experience the lowest Air Quality Index (AQI) since from last decades. Not only Air quality has improved but also Water Quality is also recovered. Many companies started Air quality testing for their office premises to ensure there are no harmful gases are present.
Ex. Dhauladhar range becomes visible to the Punjab residents almost after 30 years due to country-wide lockdown.
Ex. Ganga water becomes fit for many dips, aquatic life at places like Haridwar, Varanasi etc
2. Reduce fossil fuel consumption: -
Due to travel restriction imposed by international and local Government bodies, there was less demand for fossil fuel consumption worldwide, resulting in less CO2 and Green House Gases (GHGs) emissions. This may also bring new opportunities into the renewable energy production sector.
3. Reduce resource consumption: -
It means a requirement of natural resources per person has dramatically dropped down during this period as most of the people quarantined at home, working from home etc.
4. Effect on Climate Change:-
Most of the countries imposed mandatory lockdown during this Pandemic that results in 5oC reduction in temperature than pre-lockdown periods. It indicates that Industrial Sector is majorly responsible for energy footprint that can significantly increase the temperature.
Negative Impact Of Covid-19 on Environment (Cons)
1. Increase in medical waste:-
Demands of Medical supplies like syringes, needles, gloves, masks etc. shoot up as patients are admitted haphazardly in hospitals. The demand for single-use plastics was increased and it adds up more burden on already existing plastic waste globally.
2. Disposal of PPE kits:-
Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE) kits are used to avoid direct contact, as Covid 19 is a contagious disease. Clinicians have used dozens of single used plastic gowns, mask and face shield at a time. A countless amount of the above clinical supplies was also being disposed of on daily basis.
3. Increase in Municipal Solid Waste: -
When people become panic, they started storing daily use products intensively after the announcement of Lockdown having not sure about the un-lock. Consequently, there was a tremendous rise in demand and supply of products, and this leads to an extensive increase in household and hospital waste. According to guidelines all of this waste should be disposed to a solid waste landfill permitted to accept municipal solid waste.
4. Reduce recycling activity:-
Used PPE can’t be recycled. Disposal of the used mask, face shield, gloves, wipes into the same bins with other products may hamper good recycling practices. By keeping them separate at source only we can help our health workers.
Life provides us with all through the environment & we had also seen how past adversities generated opportunities for a better life. In fact of all those odds during the pandemic one had experienced has a silver lining of different possibilities. Those have cultivated a sustainable life for mankind. We shall continuously focus to improve our interaction skills with the environment for a better Habitat. Hence we all must abide by the sensible practices which will help in the conservation of mankind and the environment for a harmonized growth.
All the positive impacts are temporary but it gives us a ray of hope for a sustainable life approach. By applying sensible policies and correct practices can help us all to create a new recovery pathway. However learning from the lessons of Covid 19, we must act now to avoid any global catastrophe and be aware of any alarming threats that may arise gradually.