By M. Liaw
Recently, COVID-19 has been affecting many things, and one remarkable consequence of the pandemic is how it positively impacted the environment. All over the globe, restaurants, shops, airports, factories and roads have been closing due to lockdown, and the release of gases such as Carbon Dioxide and Methane into the atmosphere has decreased. Satellite images from Europe have also revealed that the release of Nitrogen Dioxide (toxic gas related to pulmonary diseases caused by acid rain) has reduced immensely.
This effect has been sensed all around the world as different sectors have been more sustainable. For instance, transportation is almost 1/4 of the worlds carbon compounds emissions, as governments have been issuing lockdowns, there are less people travelling and therefore, there is less carbon usage. In addition, carbon emissions are reduced as factories and industries have been closing down, nevertheless, from a social viewpoint this is not ideal as many citizens have lost their jobs. Carbon caused by factories take up about 1/5 of global greenhouse gas production. This is also evident as countries have been experiencing best air quality as 10% of oil usage has been abolished globally. Around 2 million people with respiratory disorders have experienced minimized symptoms. Satellites in space caught a cut of smog belts in Wuhan, China and Turin, Italy. Fortunately, many famous landmarks such as Mount Everest Kathmandu and Sierra Madre have also cleared out and became visible again.
Even though most of the world is excited by the COVID-19 vaccines coming up, this will surely have a negative effect on the environment as, people will be travelling more often, shops and restaurants will be open and therefore, the carbon usage will return to normal.
Additionally, Brazil was one of the most affect countries by the virus, and the natives who experienced lockdown are seeing one of the few negative effects of the pandemic on the environment. Whilst indigenous people who take care of the forests and their tribes are on lockdown, illegal mining and deforestations have been taking place, and the natives’ habitats have been destroyed as people take advantage of this situation to obtain raw materials to sell goods with a lower production cost.