The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. This disease has affected people in many countries all over the world. And it’s spreading at a rapid rate.
Reported symptoms range from mild to critical conditions. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Other critical symptoms that require immediate medical attention include bluish face or lips, difficulty in breathing, pressure in the chest and inability to arouse. Unfortunately, thousands of people have also died as a result of Coronavirus.
Due to the rising number of new cases and deaths, this disease has led officials to institute disease containment tactics including social distancing and lock downs in affected countries around the world. These necessary public health actions have affected everything from education to the economy. And it’s also having a great impact on the environment.
One of the impacts that the Coronavirus has had on the environment includes a big temporary drop in carbon dioxide emissions due to the closure of factories, reduced traffic and airline travel.
Despite the seriousness of this major health crisis, one of the positive effects that this pandemic has had on the environment includes a big temporary drop in carbon dioxide emissions due to the closure of factories. While the negative effects include the growing pile of infected face masks and tissues.
Here are some of the ways that Coronavirus has changed the face of the environmental state.
1. Increase in waste
Starbucks reported that they will stop accepting reusable cups from customers. They will be serving drinks in disposable cups that are not recyclable to help in preventing the virus from spreading. People have also been encouraged to avoid consuming pre-packaged foods. However, the Food and Safety Authority assured people that no evidence has been tabled to prove that food may transmit the virus.
China is also drowning in waste produced by the hospitals which include tissues and face masks. For instance, the volume of waste in the city of Wuhan has been reported to have quadrupled in the last few weeks. These wastes must be burnt to prevent the virus from spreading during the recycling process
2. Improvement in the quality of air
A study conducted by NASA in Hubei province, China reported a drop in air pollution shortly after the Coronavirus outbreak which started in December. On 23rd January, the Chinese government put Wuhan and other major cities on lockdown to manage the virus. And this led to a standstill.
NASA researchers reported that they’ve never witnessed such a dramatic drop-off in such a large geographical area. In Madrid, Spain, the traffic authorities reported a drop in rush hour traffic by 14 percent. Last year, the European Commission referred the capital of Spain to court for failing to meet air pollution limits as stated by the EU leading to an increased risk of people’s health.
Stanford University reported that the improvements in air quality that were recorded in China may save approximately four thousand children under five years old and seventy-three thousand adults above seventy years. Research shows that the virus could end up saving lives — up to twenty times the number of deaths it has caused.
According to a recent article in Newsweek:
“One of the areas that scientists are witnessing a big difference in is in air quality. It seems that the pandemic is already leading to huge reductions in air pollution in those regions that have been significantly affected by COVID-19—such as China and Italy—as industry, aviation and other forms of transport grind to a halt. Air pollution levels as observed by satellite are showing drastic improvements in many areas that have been undergoing restrictive quarantines due to COVID-19, Peter DeCarlo, an Associate Professor of Environmental Health Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, told Newsweek. Both China and Italy industrial areas are showing strong drops in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) corresponding to reductions in industrial activity and vehicular traffic. This isn’t surprising given that vehicles and industry are the main source of NO2 and when these sources are essentially turned off, the atmosphere will clear up relatively quickly.”
3. Greenhouse gas emissions
A reduction in economic activities has also reduced the rate of emissions for a while. As governments order the closure of factories, schools, and shops, emissions are expected to fall at a rapid rate.
The last time greenhouse emission rates went down was during the 2008-2009 economic crisis. However, the economy picked up and so did the demand for fossil fuels and coal especially in China which is the largest emitter in the world today. A series of studies conducted by Carbon Brief found out that emissions have gone down by approximately 25 percent.
Another factor that could reduce the rate of emission is the decrease in demand for oil. The International Energy Agency reported that oil demand is expected to go down this year thanks to Coronavirus which is taking the world by storm. The pandemic has affected the entire energy market, but more specifically, oil markets.
Industrial emissions have hugely stagnated in Europe. However, transport emissions have gone up over the years. This is also expected to decline as more nations order lockdowns.
But as more people stay and work from home, the demand for entertainment could go up, leading to an increase in energy use. German’s Internet Exchange reported that more than 9.1 terabits of data one transmitted per second this Tuesday. This number surpassed the figure that is normally exchanged at peak times.
4. The empty metro
The ridership of Madrid’s metro operator fell by 35 percent this week compared to the week before. The Belgian government has encouraged people to avoid traveling at peak hours. Working from home may lead to long-term changes in peoples’ habits and cleaner modes of transport.
As the virus continues consuming people’s attention, most issues including the climate, have been put off the agenda for a while. As people continue staying and working from home, the climate is expected to greatly improve, especially in the affected countries. To better manage the virus, wash your hands regularly with soap and water and maintain your distance from persons affected by the virus.
About the Author
Scott Matthews is a professional UK assignment help provider and content writer at college paper writing services, and dissertation help. Also, he worked at assignment help UK and paper writers as a digital marketing manager with a team of assignment writers. He likes researching on the latest issues affecting the world and coming up with practical solutions. Besides assignment help, he travels with friends and plays with his toddlers.
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