The Environment of Coronavirus

With the world grinding to a sudden halt in March 2020, as a world we’ve had to reflect on the damage we’ve been doing to our environment and further, to ourselves. Moira Brennan discusses some of the international impacts the virus has had on the environment. 

2020 will be documented extensively in history books and documentaries in years to come. It has been a year that has brought the entire world to a standstill as people have been confined to their houses, unable to see their loved ones and continue their lives. This year will be remembered more for its tragedies rather than its triumphs.

However, perhaps one positive can be found amidst all the pain and suffering. This positive can be found in the environmental improvements that have been documented across the globe. The canals in Venice, no longer filled with gondolas, have never been clearer due to the lack of tourists eager to visit the city on stilts(Child, 2020). In Beijing, citizens were finally able to see blue skies after years of struggling with smog that plagued their city. In New York City, they saw a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide emissions because of a lack of drivers on the roads (McGrath, 2020). The world coming to a stop allowed the earth a brief moment of respite. We have seen slight improvements in the environment due to the lockdown.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

However, there is one question that now is posed to the world; what will happen after the world returns to some form of normality? Will we return to the practices that are leading to the eventual destruction of our planet? Or has this provided our society with the necessary wake-up call to realise that now is the time to save our planet?

As time has progressed, people have gradually come to the consensus that our future is going to be different to the normal life that we lived before Coronavirus. There could be a significant decrease in travelling as people are encouraged to avoid it. This could lead to significant decrease in carbon emissions being put into the environment. The same scenario could occur with regards to car emissions. If people continue to work from home and no longer need to commute, it will lead to less vehicles on the road. All of these consequences of the pandemic could slow the destruction of the planet.

A pessimist would insist that despite the pandemic, we will return to our old patterns of living. Once some form of a vaccination is discovered, people will return to their old habits and the destruction of our planet will continue to spiral. However, optimism prevails even in the direst of situations. 

With the world grinding to a sudden halt in March 2020, as a world we’ve had to reflect on the damage we’ve been doing to our environment and further, to ourselves. Moira Brennan discusses some of the international impacts the virus has had on the environment.
2020 will be documented extensively in history books and documentaries in years to come. It has been a year that has brought the entire world to a standstill as people have been confined to their houses, unable to see their loved ones and continue their lives. This year will be remembered more for its tragedies rather than its triumphs.
However, perhaps one positive can be found amidst all the pain and suffering. This positive can be found in the environmental improvements that have been documented across the globe. The canals in Venice, no longer filled with gondolas, have never been clearer due to the lack of tourists eager to visit the city on stilts(Child, 2020). In Beijing, citizens were finally able to see blue skies after years of struggling with smog that plagued their city. In New York City, they saw a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide emissions because of a lack of drivers on the roads (McGrath, 2020). The world coming to a stop allowed the earth a brief moment of respite. We have seen slight improvements in the environment due to the lockdown.

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash


However, there is one question that now is posed to the world; what will happen after the world returns to some form of normality? Will we return to the practices that are leading to the eventual destruction of our planet? Or has this provided our society with the necessary wake-up call to realise that now is the time to save our planet?
As time has progressed, people have gradually come to the consensus that our future is going to be different to the normal life that we lived before Coronavirus. There could be a significant decrease in travelling as people are encouraged to avoid it. This could lead to significant decrease in carbon emissions being put into the environment. The same scenario could occur with regards to car emissions. If people continue to work from home and no longer need to commute, it will lead to less vehicles on the road. All of these consequences of the pandemic could slow the destruction of the planet.
A pessimist would insist that despite the pandemic, we will return to our old patterns of living. Once some form of a vaccination is discovered, people will return to their old habits and the destruction of our planet will continue to spiral. However, optimism prevails even in the direst of situations.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. These words from Nelson Mandela can aptly describe the situation that our world faces. We strive to overcome the pandemic and return to our normal lives. Perhaps the past year can open people’s eyes to the dire state of our climate, and they will be motivated to act. Only time shall tell