Finding a light in the dark
Nothing can take away the pain and disruption we are all experiencing from the coronavirus pandemic. Quite literally, we are all in this together. As schools and businesses around the globe close their doors and with futures uncertain, it’s difficult to find the light during this darkened state of affairs.
Although this pandemic has proven costly for individuals and businesses worldwide, is there a silver lining to the devastation? With airlines halting flights and fewer people leaving their homes you have to question what impact this is having on the environment…
Air quality improvements have been seen in nations around the World. In particular China, Northern Italy as well as the UK. Nasa reported that nitrogen dioxide levels in central and eastern China have been between 10 and 30% lower than normal most likely due to their economic slump.
Nitrogen dioxide is produced by car engines, power plants as well as other industrial processes. Since nations have been placed in lockdown and non-essential activities have been prohibited, they are accountable for the decrease in nitrogen dioxide entering the atmosphere. Though you cannot take away the devastation covid-19 has caused, it is insightful to what the future holds, when societies become carbon neutral.
As well as China, Italy has also seen a dramatic drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions. In particular Milan and other Northern areas have witnessed levels drop by 40%. These areas usually experience heavy road traffic and industrial activity. Similar statistics are evident in parts of the UK.
Carbon monoxide levels have also dropped since the outbreak. In New York, researchers claim that carbon monoxide levels have dropped as low as 50% in comparison to 2019. They have also found that there was a 5-10% drop in CO2 over New York as well.
While the virus has been wreaking havoc on humanity, mother nature is appearing to be flourishing. The waters of Venice that are usually murky due to the sediment stirred up by boat pollution and gondolas have appeared clear and little schools of fish are now visible. The universe has slowed down and the earth has had a little while to heal from this craziness. Bittersweet.
As well as the physical changes, coronavirus has acted as a total mindset change for many of us. Staying inside has led to an increase in questioning whether we really need to make that journey in the car. It has highlighted the importance of family and embracing the outdoors by taking pleasure in simple things like a walk or a bike ride. It has certainly shown the potential to change our everyday practices.
The pandemic has allowed us all to take a step back and realise the impact that we are having on the earth as well as one another. It’s important to use this time to reflect on your contribution to the life you are living and listen.
If this pandemic can teach us anything, let it highlight what can be achieved if we all follow the same sustainable habits – even if these have been forced upon us. The willingness to come together during this tragic time is nothing short of remarkable and there is so much to be thankful for. If you can do anything to help, it’s staying inside to prevent the further spread of this malicious virus.