This pandemic changed many things around us, from working habits to sleeping habits. But many other things also change through this pandemic. This pandemic spread across the world at lightning speed. There are some researches that indicate that there is a direct link to this outbreak of diseases and the destruction of nature at a large scale.
Role of humans for this pandemic
There is much analysis that proves that animal-borne diseases and illnesses frequently spread due to the accelerating destruction of nature. When we interfere with nature through global wildlife trades and human activities, the repercussions are precarious. When the impact extends to the deeper tropical area of nature, it results in increased human exposure to wild animals and the diseases they may carry. When human activities rise in wild habitats, animals are forced to different or small habitat areas, which affects these animals. They get stressed and ill, and if they come in contact with any person or domestic animal, they cause the transmission of diseases from wildlife to humans. So, ultimately is safe to say that we are accountable for this pandemic. But during this pandemic, many of the human activities paused, which resulted in the recovery of nature, and nature started healing itself.
Healing of nature
Like the human body heals by itself, nature also healed itself in the pandemic. It also changed the weather patterns and the ecosystem so that after sunset, we were able to witness and hear the sounds that we haven’t heard in years, such as chirping crickets, screeching owls, and the most important things, the squabbling squirrels that hang out in nearby trees.
Well, the pandemic destroyed many things, but in some way, it helped to revive nature. The world is quiet these days due to the pandemic caused in the entire world as these days governments in the entire world have imposed lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Naturalists across India, struck at home, are reporting the wildlife that is far away from the urban cities but nowadays, some of the exciting videos of wild animals walking down urban streets that we have seen on Facebook and Instagram.
Some of the effects can also be perceived in the air. One of the newspapers reports that the air is so clean that you can see the snow-capped Himalayas from the city Jalandhar, hundreds of kilometers far away, something not seen in decades. Delhi’s air quality was much better in March due to COVID -19 pandemic, which was the best around the five years for that month. Due to less and sometimes very few vehicles passing on the road, the pollution level has dipped down to a greater extent. We are able to see a crystal clear blue sky which used to be a bit grayish due to high levels of pollutants in the air.
Direct Affect On Wildlife
Illegal activities such as deforestation and killing, and smuggling of animals and their body parts have reduced in the past few months.
The ozone layer is found in the upper atmosphere called the stratosphere between 10 and 50km from the earth. The ozone layer acts as a natural sunscreen and plays a very important role by absorbing the harmful UV rays from the sun. Some of the ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorine, bromine break the ozone layer in the stratosphere. By banning the chlorine-containing synthetic compounds, the rate of depletion has decreased.
As per the scientific data of 2018, the stratosphere recovered at the rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. After the lockdown began on 22 March, particulate matter pollution decreased by an average of 35%, and NO2 decreased by an average of 60%. And by this, our earth has been healing by day today as we can say mother nature has started healing itself.
Pandemic also helps the water quality as the research on water quality assessment of Yamuna river and Ganga river and the factor of controlling the ionic chemistry of water were studied by a number of researches in and around the world. The water quality of all the major rivers of India has been drastically improved.
This drastic positive change had occurred when we humans started to live with basic necessities and kept aside all the other activities and facilities. The less usage of natural resources helped nature to replenish itself. This positive sign will have a long-lasting effect on the environment. Though covid caused huge destruction of life and economy, a positive outcome is the healing of nature during this pandemic. I hope we all learn from this pandemic and work together to grow parallel with nature.