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A Pandemic for Cleaner Air?

May 8, 2020 | Created by: Andreas Klippe

The COVID Pandemic has gripped the world. What started as the novel coronavirus back in December has spread out bringing industries to a standstill, crippling world economies. Millions have been infected and hundreds of thousands have perished. Even now, the COVID Pandemic is already widely accepted as a defining moment for this generation. 

It is noteworthy that science is of utmost importance now. We now look to scientists and doctors to bring us out of this struggle. Sure as clouds have silver linings, the quarantines and shutdowns that resulted from the pandemic has given us all a glimpse of what life looks like when destructive human activities are reduced. Let’s see what this break from industrial waste and pollution means for our future.

Our planet as a side-effect of the pandemic has been able to slightly recover. While major industrial activities cease, wildlife has been taking back spaces left empty by human absence. The improving air quality, clearer water, and worldwide reduction in greenhouse gasses is unprecedented. Right now, scientists are able to gather important data and get a glimpse of how human activity affects nature. This data can be used for better climate models and deepen our understanding of weather.

To be clear, we have not reversed climate change. Scientists are even warning us that clearer waters don’t mean cleaner waters. In fact, if we are to be realistic, this short respite for the environment could be shortlived. Our old ways may come back with a vengeance. It is very possible that factories will ramp up production to recoup losses. People who have been cooped up in their homes might travel more. In fact, it has already happened in China. 

We are most definitely in a unique situation. Let us not be too excited about going back to the way things were before. If we do, then we surely have more pandemics in our near future. Now is the time to reevaluate! Not doing so would be a disservice to future generations and belittles the suffering of those who were affected by this pandemic.

This virus heeds us to enact better environment-friendly practices; to be more aware of nature. Let us not let the suffering that is happening to be in vain. Let us not throw caution to the wind. All of us need to be more vigilant in becoming more eco-friendly.

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