COVID-19 has engulfed almost every nation of the world. It’s quite evident that humanity is facing its biggest threat after the Second World War. Factories, offices, travel & transport have been partially shut down globally and entire nations have implemented partial lockdown as a containment measure. Although, such steps will have drastic economic consequences but there is something positive coming out of this. Pollution levels across the globe are significantly lower, much less traffic on the roads, and wild animals are roaming freely as humans in the cities, in fact birds and other species all over the planet have come out in packs to reclaim the territory.
The impact of Coronavirus on animals and birds is quite bittersweet. On one hand, Governments are considering to completely ban wet markets, live animal markets and illegal trafficking of animals to prevent the occurrence of other zoonotic diseases like COVID-19, while, on the other hand, a new case of COVID-19 was found when a tiger was diagnosed with novel Coronavirus in a New York zoo. Owing to this, zoos in India are on a high alert. Moreover, the Indian poultry industry faces a major crunch as the demand for chicken and meat consumption has stopped. The wholesale price has descended by 70% and every day, this industry is losing 1500-2000 Crore rupees.
On the positive side, a herd of deers was found rambling in Haridwar city and rare birds like Grey Hornbills and Red-throated flycatchers were also reportedly seen in Delhi. A giant flock of birds was also seen whirling in the sky of Ahmedabad. And there are many more examples.
Coronavirus: A Curse For Humans, Boon For The Environment
Lockdown is proving to be a good fortune for the environment. The world is witnessing a very positive improvement in air and water quality. Delhi, the capital city of India, which is considered as the most polluted city in the world has now clear air. Levels of pollutants like PM2.5 and NO2, which are hazardous, have reduced by 50%. The Air Quality Index of Delhi which normally remains at 150 on average, was recorded at 75, lately. Similar improvements in air quality have been observed in other metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad to name a few. Moreover, the water of River Yamuna was also found to be cleaner after officials of the Delhi Jal Board conducted tests on various samples of river water collected from different places in Delhi and neighboring areas. The pandemic is proving to be a boon for the environment as mother nature is healing at a swift pace.
A close observation of these facts clearly concludes that human activities majorly affect the environment, flora & fauna. Instead of blindly focusing on development, humans must responsibly work on “sustainable development”. Once we have won our war against COVID-19, the Government must work on investing in cleaner and environment-friendly ways of boosting the economy.