Global Pandemic: A Boon For Environment And Planet Myth Or Reality

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) which was started in Wuhan (China) is now spread all over the world. It made the lives of human being worst but proved to be a boon for the environment and our planet . Lockdown due to COVID-19 had bad impact on social and economic conditions but it had a positive impact on the natural environment.

The total shutdown of everything such as public transports, educational institutions, manufacturing units etc. led to a decrease in air pollution , noise pollution, water pollution etc. According to the data released by NASA and ESA, the pollution in some of epicentres had reduced to 30%. India , the second most populated nation, has also seen a drop in the pollution level. The Central Pollution Control Board of India’s Environment Ministry has shown a 71% decrease in the level of Nitrogen dioxide.

Air pollution-

COVID-19 has a bad effect on the economy but it helped in improving the air quality. Before lockdown, every country was facing the problem of low air quality which was due to urbanisation, industrialization and population growth. But when the country went into lockdown, everything was closed. Among these, less transportation led to the highest increase in the quality of air. The road and transportation came to halt as people were not allowed to go out of their homes. Airplanes use fossil fuels which releases harmful gases which pollutes the air but due to its minimal use during lockdown , the quality of air increased.

Lockdown has also a good impact on ozone layer as due to less CFCs, the ozone layer depleted less. This was resulted due to shutdown of industries and less vehicles on the road, water and in the sky.

Noise Pollution-

Not only air pollution but noise pollution also decreased due to lockdown during COVID-19. People living in urban areas reported that now they can hear birdsongs more louder than earlier and this is due to less traffic noise. Before lockdown, in the month of February, the standard of noise(day time) was 55 decibels, commercial is 65 decibels, silent is 50 and industrial zone is 75 decibels. In the month of March there was a quite decrease in average noise pollution level which ranged between 0.38 decibels and a maximum of 6.8 decibels as compared to February. There was also a huge reduction in the month of August due to complete lockdown.

Water Pollution-

Due to lockdown, the quality of water in river, sea, ocean, ponds etc. increased. As no festival was being celebrated and no one was allowed to go outside of their homes, the less waste materials were thrown into the water bodies and which decreased the water pollution. The water quality of river Ganga is also improved a lot. On 4th April 2020, at Varanasi Nagwa Nala, the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) values were noticed to be increased to 6.8 milligram/liters, while on 6th March 2020  3.8mg/l, this showed an extraordinary improvement of 79% in DO value.