Human life in the whole globe has come to a standstill. Industrial activities have ground to a halt, traffic is off the roads, and more than 780,000 people in the world have tested positive for Covid-19, according to data compiled by the Hopkins University.
No doubt, coronavirus is a pandemic but it has some surprising and uplifting consequences as well.
A satellite image of China released by NASA after the coronavirus outbreak in late February showed a dramatic reduction in air pollution. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” said Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. On 13th of March, the European Space Agency (ESA) released a satellite image of Italy showing a similar decline in emission of NO2 and other baleful gases over northern Italy. The coronavirus lockdown is clearing our atmosphere. But how long will it last? Days or months?
If we talk about India, the cities are not gasping for breath now. According to the global air data collected by a Swiss-based group, Delhi was the world’s most polluted city in 2019. The recent air quality index graph of Indian cities shows that Delhi falls in the healthy zone now. The halt in vehicular traffic, noxious gas emissions from industries, incineration of solid waste, and burning of crop residue in fields has dwindled the pollution in the air.
As there are no traffic activities in the canals of Venice, the sediments settle down to the bottom of the canals, making the turbid waterways more clear. The aquatic ecosystems of Dal and Wullar and Manasbal lakes in Kashmir are also undisturbed, in contrast with the past. The fish and other aquatic species in these lakes are breathing a sigh of relief.
The clearance of air and water globally suggests that nature is healing itself with this coronavirus lockdown. Humans should take note that their absence is making nature flourish.