Impact of Pandemic on Environment Protection


The umbworld forms a very important aspect of human life because that is where we get the essentials of life i.e. air, water and food. But Globalization, Modernization, Industrialization etc have a severe impact on the environment causing various types of pollution, natural disasters, outbreaks of diseases like EBOLA, SARS etc. At present the World is facing the outburst of pandemic named “COVID-19”. This virus has a zoonotic origin. It is probably bat-to-human infection that blocks the respiratory system which leads to the death of the individual affected. The virus has affected almost every country on the planet, spread to more than 2 million people and caused around 130000 deaths. This breakdown of the pandemic on the world has raised severe issues and challenges. At the end of the day, the goals are simple; safety and security. In order to reduce the spread of the virus, the steps initiated by WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION is “LOCKDOWN” and “SOCIAL DISTANCING”. The only way to reduce the spread of the contagious disease is to stay at home. The famous slogan these days in the entire world is “STAYING HOME, SAVES LIVES”. Its time to battle against the virus by staying at home. This worldwide burst of COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous impacts on the umbworld and the climate. These impacts are positive as well as negative.


Positive outcomes of the pandemic are gearing up day by day. The Mother Earth is healing itself. The melting of glaciers, rising sea level, depletion of ozone layer, rise in the global temperature etc were the result of rise in the amount of green house gases generated since the beginning of the industrialization era. But as an impact of the pandemic, there is a drop in air pollution because of the shutdown of industries and decline in the travel plans. This decrease in air pollution is playing a significant role in reducing the climate change. According to the study of ‘Centre For Research On Energy And Clean Air’ there is 25% reduction of carbon emission in China due to travel ban and quarantines. During the initial stages of lockdown, China generated nearly 200 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide than 2019 because of reduction in air traffic, oil refining and coal consumption. A report says that in May 2020 daily global carbon emission in early April fell by 17% that led to the decline of upto 7% in the annual carbon emission which is the biggest drop since World War 2. The pandemic helped our sacred river “THE GANGA” to heal herself from the pollution and joined its hand in the ambitious project of “NAMAMI GANGA” initiated by Honorable PM Modiji. Airborne particles in Nothern India are at a 20- year low due to decreased factory activity as well as reduced car, bus, truck and airplane traffic. Noise levels have fallen significantly in most of the countries. Telecommuting and virtual conference technology have played a vital role in reducing the transport usage. According to NASA’s “ Ozone Monitoring Instrument”, there is a drastic drop in NO2 pollution. With regard to the wildlife, Mountain Goats are enjoying their trip on the streets of Llandudno, North Wales in the absence of peeps. Sea Turtles were spotted laying eggs on vacant beaches. The city of Venice is experiencing greater water flow and increase in water clarity as the sediment is not disturbed by boat traffic. It is the clearest it has been in 60 years. Even dolphins are swimming there. There is a decrease in consumption of our natural resources.


At the same time there are severe challenges too. Due to the unprecedented use of disposable facial masks, a large amount of masks were disposed in the environment causing worldwide burden of plastic waste. The quarantine policies have led consumers to increase their demand for online shopping causing increase in the household organic waste. There is a rise in medical waste. Waste management has been restricted in many countries in order to prevent the spread of disease. People in South Africa are indulged in poaching of high value products like ivory, rhino horn etc in order to pave a way for their income. The burst of the pandemic has become a boon to illegal deforestation operations taking place in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest as well as in other forests. Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Campaign has failed due to pandemic causing global annual net loss of trees. There is a fear of increase of fish biomass due to sharp decline in fishing. Even there is fall in investments in green energy technology.


No one can deny that the polluted umbworld is a ticking time bomb. Prolific industrialization has put the public health at a huge risk. Though the authorities are indulged in implementing solutions on larger canvas, for example, switching to clean energy, regulations to reduce the emission of harmful pollutants and campaigning to spread acquaintance about the adverse effect of environmental pollution, it is the bound duty of every citizen to abide by the orders of the authorities. The policy of reduce, reuse and recycle of solid and hazardous waste must be owned. Measures to protect lakes, estuaries, wetlands and in-stream flows must be implemented. Bikes and cars must be replaced by cycles, as cycling not only saves fuels but also its beneficial for our health. Hence the interaction of human with the ecosystem must remain balanced, disrupting nature may result in the evolution of novel diseases. Biodiversity is the foundation for life with co-benefits of strengthening global healthcare support system. Not only during the period of pandemic, but also post pandemic recovery one must contribute to reduce the environment pollution so that there is no reoccurrence of dangerous diseases that are threat to human life on earth.

So do follow the famous Sanskrit slogan “PRAKRUTHI RAKSHATI RAKSHITAHA”.!

This article is written by Manasi Chandragiri.

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