By March 11, 2020 WHO realized that they have an extremely contagious virus on their hands. Declaring the spread of coronavirus disease as a global pandemic, it advised countries of the world to take stringent lock-down measures. Factories shut down, global tourist traffic dropped to zero, offices were asked to close and work from home. As automobiles were taken off road there were massive drops in pollution levels. This confirmed what we always believed, it is not humans, but the greed of humans that is polluting the environment.
World locks down since beginning of March
A virus which has no cure and which can only be countered when a patient recovers on his own. Highly contagious and can spread by touch. Affected patients require ICU and ventilator support. If not put on check, the number of affected patients are likely to shoot-up thereby overwhelming the medical infrastructure of any country. Leaders of the world realize that complete lock down is the only way out.
One by one each country shuts down their airports and borders. Most cities went into curfew mode almost immediately. Trains and buses were stopped almost overnight. In India, first it was Janta Curfew on 22 March 2020. Then on 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a 21 day nation wide shut down starting almost immediately. Previous environmental studies were mostly experimental and hence deemed speculative. Besides, there was never any chance to actually prove anything on ground. This time it is different. World is now able to see the effects of 15 days of lock-down. Results began appearing within the week.
- Rapid drop in air pollution because of lack of automobiles including passenger and commercial vehicles.
- Reduction in air pollution due to shutting down of industries.
- Clearer air increases visibility and allows more sunlight to hit the ground.
- Visible repairs to the ozone layer.
- Industrial discharge into rivers and lakes has stopped allowing more clearer waters.
- Deserted roads and streets has allowed wild animals to venture in cities and towns, multiple sightings across the world.
- Sightings of whales and dolphins on shores of many countries, even the canals of Venice.
- Because of lesser pollution, there is a drop of temperature by at-least 5 to 10 degrees Celsius. Overall reduced use of car a/c and also air conditioning of offices and industrial units means less electricity consumption and less heat given to the environment.
How long will the healing continue & will human greed begin soon after the lock-down
The answer to yes to both the questions. Mother Nature will always find a way. When the pollution gets to the extreme, nature will hit back with the extreme. When people pay for luxury, they end up harming the environment. Simple living is the key to the future harmony with nature. We share space with nature and all the animals and organisms living in it. Being the dominant species we have a primary responsibility to earth and the place we live in. After all it is one of its kind in the universe.