The Covid-19 pandemic infects humanity, freezes the global economy, destroys lives, and the list goes on. It’s complicated to see the positive in this situation, and yet there are. The Covid-19 and environment have a good relationship since the environment is doing much better; however, the social and economic fields are getting worst.
In this article, we will talk about the impact of Covid-19 on the environment, economy, and social life.
1. The impact of Covid-19 on the environment
The water of the canals in Venice has turned blue again. Greenhouse gas emissions have declined significantly in many places on the planet. The world is deadlocked, the streets, which are usually crowded with cars, became empty during the imposed closures. In some respects, this is certainly good for the environment.
1.1 Improved air quality in many cities
In light of the interruption of most industrial processes in the world, the air quality began to improve significantly. Satellite imagery showed a decrease in the concentration levels of nitrogen dioxide in the world, a toxic gas emitted mainly from car exhaust and factories, and one of the largest causes of air pollution in many cities; namely:
- New Delhi and Mumbai:
India is one of the most polluted countries in the world, with a population exceeding the limit set by the World Health Organization.
According to the report, the number of days classified as “unhealthy” in New Delhi; the most polluted city in the world. During the three-week closure, the period decreased from 68 % in 2019 to 17 % during the study period.
- The impact of Covid-19 on the environment of Wuhan; the epicenter of the first epidemic:
Likewise, in Wuhan, the city that was considered the epicenter of the new Coronavirus outbreak saw the purest air recorded in February and March.
The city witnessed a total closure of about 10 weeks.
- Los Angeles: 31% less pollution
Highly polluted American Los Angeles has met the World Health Organization’s air quality targets during the three-week closure period, with pollution levels dropping by 31 % from the last year and 51 % from the average for the four previous years, according to reports.
During this period, the pollution was less than the maximum set by the World Health Organization about 90% of the time.
- Europe; Madrid and London:
The same applies to some European cities. The European cities whose pollution data have been compared and measured are the British capital, London, and the Spanish capital, Madrid, which were among the most affected cities by the emerging Coronavirus around the world.
London falls by 9 % in the three-week close.
While Madrid witnessed a decrease in the same polluter by 11% during the same period.
- Rome; the exceptional impact of Covid-19 on the environment:
In a surprise, and unlike the rest of the results, the numbers of the Italian capital, Rome, were different and opposite to the expected.
Instead of a decrease, the city witnessed a 30 % increase in particulate contamination compared to 2019.
Although there is no apparent reason for this result, the authors of the report believe that it has to do with the city’s home heating systems, which are an important source of air pollution.
1.2 Clean waters
Clean waters days after Italy announced full closure, photos of the canals spread from Venice, where the water appeared pure without impurities for the first time. This is due to the lack of tourist boats’ movement after they stopped moving sediments in the waters of the city. The lack of transport vessels in the seas gave room for marine creatures like whales to float quietly and without disturbance.
1.3 Raise awareness about wild animal trade
Environmental activists hope that the Coronavirus will reduce the wild animal trade worldwide after this trade threatens many species to extinction. Scientists believe that the new Coronavirus is originated in one of the wild animal trade markets in Wuhan, China, which is a hub for both the legitimate and illegal trade of these animals.
2. The impact of Covid-19 on the economy
Covid-19 pandemic is a global challenge. Thousands of doctors and medical personnel risk their lives to confront it and limit its spread. Governments and companies work together to understand and deal with this challenge to provide the necessary support to victims, their families, and society in general and to develop effective treatments and vaccines.
The Covid-19 situation has a profound impact on all types of businesses. With the temporary shutdown of some companies and the slowdown of activities for many, the consequences of the pandemic are even worse for the world economy than those which followed the great financial crisis of 2007-2008.
The first country to suffer from the impact of COVID-19 is China, the second largest economy in the world. The drastic containment, which required the closure or curtailment of the activities of many big manufacturing companies and retail businesses, has tremendously slowed the Chinese economy. According to reports, more than 95% of the 299 large manufacturers questioned saw their incomes fall. In terms of consumption, compared to 2019, retail sales decreased by 20.5% in January and February. Although consumption started to be affected by the pandemic in January, all retail sales, except for basic necessities, were frozen from February for most of the month.
3.The impact of Covid-19 on society
The new Coronavirus has left its mark in all aspects of life. Countries are paralyzed, borders are closed, global economies have slowed, and schools closed. One historian says: “The epidemic threatens social ties and unleashes a hidden form of civil war in which everyone is wary of their neighbor. The spread of epidemics is always a test for human societies”. He adds:
“At this stage, this appears in the unreasonable scenes of people scrambling in the stores over the last bundle of toilet paper’.
The situation is more tragic in Italy, where doctors have to choose a patient to save him instead of another because of the lack of equipment, as happened at the time of war”.
3.1 The impact of Covid-19 on children
The COVID-19 crisis could have far-reaching and long-term negative impacts on children around the world. Human Rights Watch said in a report; that this impact is likely to be devastating even if children who contract the Coronavirus appear to develop fewer severe symptoms and have lower death rates than other age groups.
More than 1.5 billion students no longer go to class. Widespread job and income losses, as well as economic insecurity for families, are likely to increase the incidence of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Constraints faced by families, especially those living in quarantine or confined areas, increase domestic violence incidence. As the number of deaths from COVID-19 increases, many children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
For many children, the COVID-19 crisis will mean stopping or restricting their education or falling behind others. Over 91% of the world’s students are out of school, as schools have closed in at least 188 countries. The crisis has revealed huge disparities in countries’ preparedness for emergencies, children’s access to the Internet, and the availability of educational materials. While there is much talk about e-learning platforms at the moment, many public institutions are not organized to use them. They do not have the technology and equipment to deliver their instruction via the Internet. Almost half of humanity does not have access to the Internet.
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Originally published on Live Positively.