During the past few weeks, human activities have been minimized because of the fact that people are quarantined. And with that, there have certainly been some good things which have happened. We can see the earth is healing but what could happen if the lockdown stays longer. To be precise we are not focusing here on the economy, businesses, or health sector but what we are concerned here is about the Earth.
With the lockdown being declared from almost every other country in the world has resulted in a number of incidents wherein we can say that the earth is healing. And that too at a good pace but for how long? That’s the question.
We have clearly noticed that the air is cleaner and so does the water as compared to before. And this hasn’t happened in years. This lockdown has brought a certain amount of beauty with it which was wrapped in air, noise, and water pollution.
Here are a few signs of healing:
According to NASA, the air pollution over north India has dropped to 20 years low during the lockdown. With the industries being shut, vehicles off the road and no air travel have led to a drop in the pollution level worldwide. Similar to north India, the same drop in air pollution has been seen in Los Angeles as well. The city has not experienced this quality of air since 1980. The same can be witnessed in Europe, China, Columbia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
In the case of India, Delhi and Mumbai can literally breathe now. The air quality of these cities has been so pathetic majorly Delhi as the city has been in limelight for years about the same. But thanks to the lockdown which led Delhi people to feel the clean air after two decades.
Holy River is clean
Our holy river Ganga was severely polluted despite the fact that it is considered sacred and various rejuvenation plans are executed. With the industries being shut down and the ghats are not being used for bathing the quality of water has increased. The water of famous ghat Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar is now declared fit for drinking. Moreover, in Varanasi as well the water quality has improved by 40-50%.
Foam free Yamuna
Another sign, when the river Yamuna was featured on Instagram by a photojournalist of Indian express as foam-free. The photo showed the before and after effect of lockdown. One picture was taken during Chhath Puja when the devotees used to take a dip in the toxic and filthy water, covered with foam. And the second picture showed the transformation of the river after the lockdown. Surely, the industries have shut down and because of which there is no industrial waste which is dispersed in the water. It looks like a month lockdown has benefitted the river Yamuna more than what any other cleanup mission could not do in years.
Almighty Himalayas are visible
The last time the almighty Himalayas were spotted from Jalandhar city in Punjab was 30 years ago. But the sheer beauty of the Himalayas has been spotted again in the early month of April. The residents were able to see the Dhauladhar ranges which are over 200kms away in Himachal Pradesh right from their terrace/balcony. How was this possible? Well, the answer is pretty simple, it’s all because of the clean air or less air pollution…. No wonder what would happen if pollution reduces more. Can we see some more of the Himalayas from our own terrace?
Earth is shaking less
Researchers at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels believe that there has been a drop in seismic noise (the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust). And the reason is the result of the shut down of transport networks and other human activities. They believe that this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity.
Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC – If the lockdown is continued for longer then the city-based detectors around the world might be better at detecting the location of the earthquake aftershocks. He added, “You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events.”
Marine life is recovering
Now that lockdown has restricted human activities and so the hotels and restaurants have been closed. Although, it has still not proven whether the coronavirus pandemic originated in the wet market of Wuhan or not. But this has definitely slammed the global demand for seafood. And as a result of which, marine life is recovering again. While there have been no exact numbers or data but with the presence of marine life being spotted, we can say that a change is underway.
Benefits to Wildlife
With the humans quarantined inside their houses, the wildlife has been stepped out. There have been instances of peacocks in Mumbai, dolphins in the ocean, birds chirping in the morning, and much more. It is clear that wildlife is taking advantage of the lack of human presence and having some fun. Many other countries have witnessed the same thing as Goats spotted in Wales, ducks in Paris, and lions resting on roads in South Africa (Orpen Rest Camp).
Moreover, the lockdown has also resulted in a spotlight over wildlife trade. WCS recommended that we should stop all wildlife trades for human consumption and closing any such markets.
To conclude, the earth is definitely having a great time during the lockdown because of the coronavirus. And it is actually benefiting the humans. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that the virus has created some great issues globally and the only solution to fight is a lockdown. Although, the way the earth is healing is actually very fast. And even when the lockdown is over we need to take some or other measures to avoid polluting our only planet. The Earth is already healing but what happens in case the lockdown stays longer, I am sure if this happens we can definitely add some more points to the list. Also, there will be a decrease in the level of pollution – air, water, noise, and soil. And this would result in more healing to the earth.
We can certainly raise the economy, chill out on weekends, go out for movies, or travel wherever we want but not at the cost of our own lives. This is a novel epidemic and right now the best thing to do is to stay home and stay safe. Follow all the methods like washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing, use a mask where required, and only step out if necessary.