The coronavirus pandemic has saddened and horrified the world, and the number of people infected from it is on the rise. To shift from negativity, many people point out the valuable lesson this pandemic taught humans.
People have dramatically harmed the environment, and the consequences of the long years of neglect and destruction have finally come to the surface.
Have you heard of Karma?
While humanity is struggling to stop the spread of this dangerous virus, Nature seems to enjoy the opportunity to breathe. Satellite images of countries where intensive quarantine measures and lockdown were issued reveal a dramatic decrease in pollution.
NASA satellite images showed reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide over China in the past two months.
Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that this was the first time he has seen “such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event.”
Locals were happy to see that instead of the thick smog that normally blankets the city, the sky turned blue.
Marshall Burke, a Stanford University expert, believes that the cleaner air in China has prevented between 50,000 and 75,000 premature deaths:
“The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved 20 times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country.”
Yet, he explains:
“It seems clearly incorrect and foolhardy to conclude that pandemics are good for health … But the calculation is perhaps a useful reminder of the often-hidden health consequences of the status quo. It means that the way our economies operate absent pandemics has massive hidden health costs, and it takes a pandemic to help see that.”
A study by specialist outlet Carbon Brief also showed that carbon dioxide emissions in China have dropped by around 25 percent.
The countrywide lockdown in Italy has provided similar effects, and the timelapse video taken from space by the European Space Agency (ESA) showed that air pollution was drastically reduced.
The otherwise murky waters of the Venice canals are now crystal clear, due to the stop of the traffic. Similar results are expected in all countries that are going into quarantine.
The healing effect the pandemic has on the environment is one bright spot amid the tragedy.
Yet, the moment the virus is no longer a major threat, industrialized nations will get back to work to get the economy going again, and many fear that the sharp change will negatively affect the environment once more.