While the entire world is gearing for a lockdown, with no signs of respite, 2020 has begun with a grim look in the first quarter. Apparently, the previous year had some genuine parting gift for this year in the form of novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. The virus has caused a pandemic across the globe, spreading in an accelerated pace leaving countries like China, Italy, Spain, etc. in a lurch both socially and economically.
The affected people are being quarantined and the search for a remedy is underway. However, the death toll, as of today, has crossed the 10k mark and nearly two hundred thousand cases have been tested positive. Nearly 182+ countries have reported the detection of the pandemic and are slowly gearing to implement precautionary measures, social habits and medical protocols.
But this blog is not just another information page for the COVID-19. The media is rife with useful information as well as rumors for the same but we are here to look at something more astonishing that is a direct result of this pandemic.
A quick overview about COVID-19
Before we begin with our bizarre yet amazing revelations, here is a bit about COVID-19.
- Coronavirus or COVID-19 gets its name because the virus has spike-looking protrusions that resemble the corona of the sun.
- ‘CO’ stands for Corona, ‘VI’ stands for Virus, ‘D’ stands for Disease and 19 is the year 2019; making the acronym complete as COVID-19. It is an unofficial name and the correct reference is “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” or SARS-CoV2. The word novel is added before the name because the current coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
- COVID-19 was first reported to the Chinese WHO Country Office from Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China in 2019. The disease is termed as zoonotic – a disease that begins in animals and is transmitted from animals to people.
- The virus produces tiny respiratory droplets in people infected when they breathe, talk, cough or sneeze. This enables them to travel through the air.
- Wearing masks, washing hands, face and feet after returning home is one way to contain the spread. Maintaining good immunity can help to fight any infections of the virus; Intake of Vitamin C has shown good results in improving immunity. Minimize socializing, hand contacts like handshakes and other forms of PDA, avoid social gathering and remain inside your homes to enable hygienic environments until the vaccines are discovered.
Now, moving on to the strange news we have for you. We will begin with the highlights and then go on to explain the seemingly “positive” impact of COVID-19. Here we go:
The outbreak of COVID-19 has halted production in many countries. The aftermath: people are stuck, slowing down and economy is going downhill. However, this has reduced transportation, spewing gases into the air and also reduced dusty winds. The initial reports of this were shown by an image of China from space by NASA earlier this month. The picture showed that there was a decrease in nitrogen dioxide over China.
Carbon dioxide had also decreased as transportation and other industrial activities had come to a standstill. Even air traffic reduced by 60 percent compared to last year. All this has allowed a “cleaner, much safer” environment. And this report is only about China; the rest of the world is on a brink of lockdown. If things are moving at such a pace, the air quality will be much better once, the COVID-19 pandemic dies down and humans are capable of resuming their daily life as usual.
This satellite image shows a sharp reduction in air pollutants.
Data source: Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) on ESA’s Sentinel-5 satellite
Image credit: Josh Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory
The drastic slowdown in human activities across the globe over the last couple of months have made people see what the Earth could possibly look like when it smiles. People from around the globe have flooded social media with breathtaking and heartwarming images of natural life on Earth, who finally seemed to have breathed a sigh of relief.
Here is another picture that shows clear water in the river of Venice and fishes swimming in it.
Image Credit: Twitter
And this one from Italy where swans have come back because there are no boats on Venice’s canals.
Image Credit: Twitter
Though it may sound ‘insensitive’ to read this (hence the emphasis on ‘bizarre’), it is not a far-fetched statement. Nature has immense capabilities to revive itself and bouncing back like a champ is one of them. It must be understood by now that we depend on nature and the amount of harm we inflict on nature just for our development. Without nature, we cannot survive.
However, this pandemic maybe a wake-up call for us. Maybe, now we can allow Mother Earth to have her share of revival and eventually bring us into a state of harmony. We can do this by reducing deforestation and finding alternate means of energy. Trees produce oxygen, which is essentially free, but will cost a lot if you needed it in a cylinder. Think it won’t happen to you? Ask a COVID-19 patient; maybe he can shed some wisdom.
The Casual attitude
Human nature has an inherent flaw – we are defensive when it comes to our selfish needs. Maybe it is evolutionary but it often times undermines the needs of others and eventually end up creating an imbalance in the ecosystem. Opulent living does not necessarily mean that you are successful, especially if creates problems to the nature in name of solving some minor inconvenience.
Italy is one such example, in this pandemic state as appeals of minimum socializing and less PDAs are being voiced by many infected patients on social media. They too were casual and assumed that this is just another novel ‘thing’ that would come to pass and everything will be fine and dainty. This only happens when a message is directed to a group and each member thinks that the person beside him/her is responsible for implementing it.
COVID-19 is a learning experience, a true wake-up call. It is a glimpse of things to come or rather things to avoid if we can muster up our courage and restore nature to its nearest original form.
Stay calm and do not react impulsively; rely on common sense and ensure that you stay indoors with your family. Wash your hands, feet, face regularly with soap, and maintain hygiene. Prevent wasting water while keeping yourself clean. Use eco-friendly materials and remember to follow medical protocols laid down by the health administrations.
In the wake of numerous people experiencing discomfort today, let us come together and lay down a strong foundation for the generation of tomorrow. Here is a chance to alter the outcome. Being responsible and leading by example will go a long way and it begins with small baby steps. With the world looking towards a great turmoil ahead, we join our hands in prayer and appeal to the higher power for healing of the earth and mankind as a whole.