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After there was a spike in covid cases which did not stop till Wuhan the epicentre of coronavirus it spread to China and ultimately this virus took over the world infecting people in more than 210 countries in the world. When the 1st wave of covid saw thousands of deaths in many countries, dozens of laboratories became battlegrounds in the race for inventing a vaccine. 


As we all know the story of how coronavirus took over the world we were forced to slow down to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases there were reports and news of how air quality has improved and how nature was slowly reviving. But unfortunately, none of this had a significant level of impact on decreasing the levels of CO2 emissions on a global and a long term scale. 

The way the governments in different parts of the world are trying to tackle this pandemic and the decades of inaction to solve the global crisis of climate change tells us what is going on in reality. Many governments that failed to take action on the crisis of climate change have tried to respond rationally to the coronavirus. A threat to our lives was met with active measures by the governments by announcing lockdowns or curfew in the country.

The main cause of environmental degradation is of course the people themselves. As people had to follow social lockdown there was less air pollution which improved the air quality, even the water pollution to some extent came under control as many factories were shut down during the pandemic. As also there was a complete travel ban being imposed for interstate and cross border travelling there was no air traffic and no emissions. 


Though the effects of the pandemic are real as one gets sick if infected by covid and in extreme cases lose their lives and thus the governments are taking it quite seriously. On the other hand, climate change is also affecting our lives too but in this case, neither the people nor the governments are taking it seriously as it too will affect people not so soon but like a slow poison. If there would be more media coverage around the climate crisis just like the pandemic maybe the governments and the general public would take this as serious as the coronavirus pandemic is taken. 

Despite death tolls and health issues, environmental problems are not so often covered by the media. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that around 4.6 million people die prematurely due to respiratory problems directly linked to air pollution. People having respiratory problems or diseases are at a higher risk of having coronavirus complications.

A study conducted by scientists at Stanford University reveals that in China alone during the 1st wave of covid pandemic the lockdown could have saved almost 77,000 lives by curbing carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles and factories. In fact, in countries like China, Iran and Italy satellite images showed a steep decline in air pollution due to imposing lockdown.

It is said that the pandemic has proven that there is a certain link between our economy and the environment. As this pandemic has impacted the economy of many countries it is bound to happen that governments of many countries are going to relax the environmental standards in order to increase production. 

As reported after 1st wave of the covid pandemic the lockdown rules were lifted in China and the Chinese Government decided to relax environmental standards to speed up production. In such cases, air pollution is bound to increase which was controlled at one point in time as factories and companies try to cope up with the lost time by increasing production. When governments try to relax the environmental standards to keep the economies afloat they try to boost production even at the cost of the environment.  


Treating lakhs of covid patients require a lot of medical care and it takes a toll on the environment as people are advised to wear masks, gloves, etc. Across the globe an estimated 129 billion masks and 64 billion disposable gloves are used every month. This has environmental side-effects as it takes a toll on our planet due to the piling of plastic waste. 

It is reported that United Nations has warned that the rising levels of one time used items like disposable masks, gloves or PPE Kit can lead to future problems. As when plastic waste piles up environment pay the price. It was estimated by the United Nations (U.N) that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fishes. 

Further, reports suggested that as oil prices crashed during the pandemic manufacturing plastic became cheaper. Nearly 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide every year and around 8 million tons end up in oceans, rivers and lakes that threaten marine life and the ecosystem. Disposable plastic items are used whether cutlery, masks or gloves instead of reusable items due to coronavirus. As a fact, it takes 1000 years for plastic to decompose. Even when they break down into smaller compounds they are still hazardous. 


Around the world, it seems the wildlife is thriving when humans are practising social lockdown. From India to England, animals are surrounding the streets and shores as the new normal. While humans are in quarantine, animals are certainly not. In India, during the lockdown in the State of Odisha over, 70,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles were seen nestling on the empty shores of Rushikuliya. Experts say that lockdown has impacted in a way that damage by humans to the turtles or their eggs is reduced. Even in Brazil,  97 Hawksbill sea turtles hatched on a deserted beach in the Paulista City of Pernambuco State. Leatherback turtles are surfacing in numbers on the coast of Florida. 

Marine experts hope that a fallen demand for seafood and as restaurants are shut down during pandemic it will allow certain areas to recover from enormous fishing. Also in North Wales, normally the shy mountain goats recently were spotted roaming the streets freely. In Nira, Japan deers have been spotted roaming around empty subway stations. 


Initially, it was thought that lockdown during the pandemic would be good as air traffic, industrial pollution, etc. would be stopped. But later it proved that the pandemic had negative effects on the environment as the world is succumbing to a sea of plastic waste. It is not just to clean the environment but a battle to preserve lives. 


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