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For the past three months, the world witnessed unprecedented activities and occurrences. With a third of the world in complete lockdown, the global environment got the much-needed break from the intensive human interference with the natural cycle of the Earth. The World Environment Day, this June, will be unique since people around the world have not experienced fresh air, clean water, and nature in its raw form for decades that last up to half a century.
Coronavirus or COVID-19, that has spread across more than 190 countries in the world affecting over six million people in just three months is something that the population of the present century was not prepared for. The pandemic has shut over half the population of the world inside their house this year since February. People across the world were brought face to face with a freshening spring and now with a lovely summer where we all got to know what true nature – air, water, and earth is like.
Since the global shutdown that commenced across the world in February this year, the air quality around the world has improved drastically and the level of pollution has been cut by as much as 60% with factories and traffic having been brought to a standstill. The water in rivers and lakes is clearer due to the lack of ships and boats, and sightings of unique animals and mountain ranges are reported which has not happened in decades.
With human interference in nature reduced drastically, Earth has started showing signs of being healed. But like most things in life, even these changes are temporary and the situation will worsen once the lockdown is lifted. With a number of positive news in terms of air quality and more coming due to global shutdown, it is left to be seen what the environmental effect of COVID-19 will be due to an increase in the production of bio-medical wastes. Single-use plastic has been utilized more to deliver food to people as they stay at home to prevent the spread of disease. Most of which is and will not be recycled due to the fear of virus propagation. Even with the approaching World Environment Day, incidences of illegal deforestation, poaching, and fishing have also presented themselves in nature conservation zones the surveillance around which were shut due to the fast-spreading disease.
The few positives news with regards to our environment during the global lockdown which was seen before World Environment Day are all set to be eclipsed by the negatives when the world goes back to being as it was before the lockdown. Besides the inevitable rise in global air pollution, overexploitation of natural resources to balance the economy and increase employment will also be witnessed when the pandemic is over.
It is just a matter of time that humans being as selfish as they are, return things the way they were before the pandemic hit the world.
The world did not need a pandemic for people to realize the benefits of being responsible for nature. The environment around the world has been degrading at an alarming rate for the past decade and still, no effective means have been implemented to conserve and reverse the effects of extensive exploitation of resources for the benefit of humans.