By Dr. Maham Nasir
Covid-19 or commonly known as corona virus, a Flu virus that started merely as a cough in Wuhan (China) turned into a deadly octopus nurturing through its tentacles into more than 82 countries of the world in just weeks. Now pandemics like these may be happening once in one’s life or never at all but they are not new on the surface of Earth. The earth has seen deadliest of outbreaks in the form of plague, Spanish Flu and even influenza. Co-
Now countries have introduced methods to restrict human activities and movements and in the midst of all this there is a silver lining. Air quality level in Wuhan has radically improved. Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center stated “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event. This fall in the air pollution level is due to decrease in lethal gases such as nitrogen dioxide released during burning fuel. A positive impact on environment in Wuhan –the epicenter of this pandemic is evident from January to February. The cleaner air suggests that there is now healthier air for our lungs to breath in which will help itself in this war with corona.
Now amid the soul terrifying news we get related to this pandemic every minute, we also came to see an unforeseen but fortunate result of lockdown in the Venice’s famous water roads. The water ways that run through the cities look cleaner and healthier. Mayor of the city believed that the water now looks purer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.
The water has cleared up to a point that citizens of Venice have witnessed small fish has been seen around them. Citizens claim that this is the cleanest the water has been in sixty years ,as the city is always burdened with tourists. “The air, however, is less polluted since there are less vapors and boat traffic than usual because of the restricted movement of residents,” Spokesman of Mayor’s office said Decelerating commercial bustle also cuts emissions because as countries order the lockdowns of schools and factories, emissions will decline.
The miracle that occurred in the middle of this crisis is that the Ozone layer covering the Earth is finally repairing itself. The situation for all of us looks pretty miserable at the moment but at least there’s a silver lining. New research has highlighted the positive role played by the Montreal Protocol. Under the Montreal Protocol, states take substantial steps to stop the emission of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) which every country was failing at but now due to the Lockdown protocols that’s finally happening
Is this all a mere coincidence? Or the earth is really taking a break from our callous self-destruction? Pollution has always been a major issue in our world and it will be even after this pandemic is over. Animals roaming streets of Australia, One of the most polluted city in the world, Lahore’s, air finally clearing up. This all just doesn’t seem to be an accident. May be it’s a pointer towards another horrifying truth that we, Humans, are even noxious than any pandemic or virus. We were the basis of fatal environmental problems, we were the source of plastics found in the guts of dead fish, we were the reason behind depletion of the protective layer Nature covered our Earth with and at last what an irony that this virus began with unhygienic practices in wet markets, maybe we were also reason behind this Pandemic.