Ever since the coronavirus broke out from Wuhan, China and rapidly spread around the globe, the whole world has been at a standstill. Economies have been left in a wild tailspin. The stock market is volatile. Industries have been shut down. Workers have been asked to stay home. All of these just to get people off the streets to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
While the main goal of social distancing and quarantine is to get people off the streets to prevent contracting the disease, the world is benefiting from the lack of human movement throughout the globe.
The Earth’s Condition: Pre-COVID-19
Before the global health crisis happened, the world has experienced a lot of natural calamities and tragedies. From tsunamis and earthquakes to floods and forest fires, the planet was in pretty bad shape, no thanks to us human beings.
Organizations created for environmental awareness and protection have launched several projects to help protect Mother Earth from further destruction at the hands of humans.
Efforts were made to combat forest fires in the Amazon and Australia late last year. Young Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations about global warming. Environmentalists and green companies performed hydroseeding in Utah, West Virginia, and other states in the U.S. The WWF continued its campaign for wildlife preservation and protection. The Montreal Protocol helped minimize the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) across the globe.
Amid all of these efforts, none made a significant dent to the planet’s worsening condition. That was until Mother Earth sent us all back to our rooms like the spoiled children we are.
Mother Earth in Recovery Mode
With over 200 countries affected by the health crisis, world governments have issued decrees for people to get off the streets. The general rule of thumb here is if you’re not a healthcare worker, part of law enforcement, a first responder, or an essential, you’re supposed to stay home.
With this, human movement all across the globe has been limited. Transportation is minimal. Factories and manufacturing plants have ceased operations temporarily. Man’s carbon footprint has significantly decreased over the past few weeks. Because of this, pollution has significantly decreased along with a reduction in greenhouse gases.
Several social media posts have poured in talking about clearer skies and bluer seas and rivers. A lot of people started noticing birds chirping. Italian residents reported the presence of swans and dolphins in the Venetian canals. Endangered Pacific Ridley sea turtles went ashore on India’s eastern coastline to lay over sixty million eggs. Oh, and that big hole in the ozone layer? It’s now closing at a faster rate thanks to the lack of human movement.
This pandemic will surely have adverse effects on humanity and these should never be downplayed. However, despite all this, we can be assured that the Earth is in a much better condition for us once we step out into it again. May we never go back to our old destructive ways. May this season of lockdown allow us to reflect on our habits and adapt so we can be better stewards of this planet.