Pollution drastically drops as COVID-19 locks down travel

As the world continues its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, an unexpected silver lining is starting to emerge. With so many people on lockdown and the aviation and shipping industries being slowed to a crawl, air and water pollution have been drastically reduced and Nature is beginning to heal itself.

As of this writing, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to more than 900,000, with more than 46,000 casualties globally. The figures prompted world governments to lockdown their countries, banning travellers coming in and going out of their respective territories.

Meanwhile, in an unintended side effect, harmful emissions drastically dropped as the world took its course on natural healing. 

Stricter travel restrictions and quarantines

The COVID-19 pandemic showed an obvious drop in air pollution as countries imposed stricter travel bans and quarantine measures.

Earlier this month, the United States and Canada mutually agreed to close their borders to all non-essential travelers. President Donald Trump has also announced an extension of their social distancing guidelines and has imposed European travel restrictions.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has also announced a 21-day total lockdown following the surging numbers of coronavirus infections in the country.

Cases in neighboring Pakistan has doubled the figure of India but went short of a nationwide lockdown; however, some Pakistani provinces announced the ban independently and brought in the army to help impose travel restrictions.

Nature is healing the world

In spite of the economic crisis, the bright side of this calamity is that the world started healing itself.

In Venice, canal waters in one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations are clearing up without the gondola riders traversing along these water alleys. Small fish can now be seen on its clear waters.

In Thailand and Japan, it seems that nature is taking over with a number of monkeys and sightings of deers roving about on the streets in the absence of tourists.

In China, where the virus originally came from, NASA and the European Space Agency satellite imaging showed the decline of nitrogen dioxide over the country, which is a major pollutant coming from factories and transportation.

Pollution maps showed that the major causes of air pollution were from industrial facilities, power plants, and motor vehicles.

Experts say, however, that the decline of air and water pollution is just temporary. It is not clear when the pandemic will tide over and for citizens to return to their normal lives.

One thing is for sure: mankind will face whatever tragedies befall our species and will rise up strong and determined to learn from this worldwide disaster.

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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