effect of covid-19 on environment

The global pandemic Covid-19 has affected every aspect of human lives whether it be mental health or physical environment. The government took several measures to halt the spread of this lethal virus. The slowdown of economic activities had a significant impact on the environment. The outbreak of the disease first emerged in December 2019 after which WHO declared it as an International Public Health Emergency and declared covid -19 as a global pandemic. The virus is spread from person to person through direct contact like as sneezing, talking, and coughing. This virus resulted in the death of millions and many more were infected. For breaking the chain and controlling the death rate, the movement of people was restricted and many countries saw nationwide lockdowns. Overall, The pandemic wreaked havoc on the global economy, affecting the environment directly or indirectly.

ADVANTAGES-As factories, transportation, and businesses have closed, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dropped dramatically. Many countries recorded a nearly 50% drop in nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide. Nitrogen oxide is released from burning of the fossil fuels and around 80% comes from motor vehicle exhaustion. According to reports the nitrogen oxide level and PM2.5 level dropped by 70% in Delhi, the capital of India. People were able to breathe more clean and fresh air during the Covid-19 lockdown. Before lockdown, the industrial waste was directly dumped into the rivers without proper treatment resulting in water pollution. But during the lockdown, the industries causing major pollution were closed, which resulted in the reduction of pollution loads. Rivers were cleaner and there was a huge drop in sewage and industrial effluents. The reduced industrial activities, vehicle movement, and construction work resulted in the reduction of noise pollution. In Delhi, the noise level was reduced by around 40-50%. During this time people witnessed the chirping of birds which is not usual in the capital. The lockdown also reduced soil and marine pollution.

DUMPING OF FACE MASK DIRECTLY IN OCEANS


DISADVANTAGES-But, since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been an increase in the global medical waste generation which poses threat to health and the environment. For prevention, people use a face mask, hand gloves, and other safety equipment which results in an increase in healthcare waste. These equipment are the sources of increase in microplastic level in the environment. Some equipments are directly dumped into oceans posing a threat to marine life. However, with proper management of waste, environmental pollution can be reduced.

CONCLUSION-The epidemic is harming human lives and the global economy, which in turn is affecting the environment and climate. It reminds us of how we have ignored environmental components while enforcing human-caused climate change. Furthermore, COVID-19’s global response encourages us to act together to resist the threat to humanity. Though the environmental benefits of COVID-19 are short-term, a concerted and time-bound effort can increase environmental sustainability and preserve the planet from the ravages of global climate change.

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