Is COVID-19 Helping the Environment?



Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, less people have been driving, leading to a cleaner atmosphere.

Grace Peters, Writer

With the world in self isolation, we are seeing a lot of changes to the world around us. The atmosphere is cleaner, there are wild animals wandering the abandoned cities, and the canals in Venice are clear. But is COVID-19 really helping? In truth, these things are only temporary. 

Since the outbreak began, we have seen a decrease in nitrogen dioxide around the world. In China, the air quality is so bad that 1.1 million people die prematurely due to the pollution. But, since people have begun self quarantining, we have seen the levels of nitrogen dioxide drop 20 to 30 percent.

The decrease is likely due to less factories functioning and less cars being out on the roads. But as the virus became less of a threat, the country became more lenient and more places reopened. Because of this, the pollution levels have begun to rise again.

But on streets around the world, instead of finding cars, you may just find wild animals. In Wales, mountain goats wander freely, while in Spain, wild boars are being spotted outside. While this may seem like a positive for these animals finally taking back the land that was once theirs, it is not completely positive. Some wild animals, such as ducks, rely on food from humans and are not getting the food they need.

Finally, there is the clean canals of Venice. It turns out that although they look clean, this is not the case at all.

“The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom. It is because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface,” the Venice mayor’s office said.

It turns out that in truth, the canals are not any cleaner than they were before. Alleged dolphin sightings in Italy have also been disproven, this time by National Geographic. In truth, the dolphin videos were taken hundreds of miles away from Venice off the coast of Sardinia.

Although the world may seem like it is improving, the truth is, it is likely only temporary. When people finally leave their homes, things will probably go right back to the way they were.

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