The Environmental Impacts Of The Coronavirus
Greenhouse gases dramatically decreased
The environmental impacts of the Coronavirus have been seen globally over the past 4 months. Last year, when the Coronavirus was released into circulation originating from Wuhan China, we have witnessed incredible disruptions in our current way of life. This has resulted in widespread environmental and economic change for the foreseeable future. Most importantly, not all is bad news!
Let us look at the noticeable changes, worldwide lockdowns, businesses with doors boarded up, states and territories borders are closed, roads and freeways that are normally packed with traffic – empty! Sounds like something from a movie. With this being said there has been a decrease by up to 75% in the use of motor vehicles and a whopping 60% decrease in the use of airplanes.
Now as these have a devastating effect on the world’s economy, the atmosphere is getting its well-deserved break with emission levels dropping all around the world. Chinas emissions were down by 25% in just the first few months, with New York down by an incredible 50%.
Unfortunately where there is a positive there is generally a negative. Apart from the obvious, millions of people out of work, a crippling economy and thousands of sick families, the recent virus has caused a rapid increase in the use of unrecyclable waste. These products are ranging from disposable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and medical equipment used to fight the contagion. So many of these products are sadly ending up amongst our wildlife and oceans. There has been reports of hundreds of face marks washing up on remote beaches off the coast of Hong Kong which has strong potential to damage and pollute marine ecosystems.
As lockdowns loom retail food outlets have been forced to move into takeaway meals. This is causing a dramatic increase in the use of single use plastics and packaging. Excess plastic coupled with waste recycle centers closing their doors in fear of harboring the virus is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.
One of the most important things on this planet is our ecosystem, making it possible for us to live and breathe with all other interconnected organisms. Some would say this virus is the planets way of taking a break from the constant stresses of human inhabitants and replenishing our ecosystem even if it may be for a short time.
Unfortunately, protected species and our ecosystem are at risk! Not at risk from the virus itself but from the illegal trades involved in deforestation and trading of protected marine life. These illegal trades are generally heavily policed by the environmental protection agency. Since the coronavirus has swept across the world, the agency has been forced to neglect national parks, marine conservation parks and more with fears that these trades will dramatically increase.
Over the years our native wildlife has suffered at the hands of mankind with billions of animals killed every year on the roads, yes that’s right I said billions!
Australia has one of the lowest estimated rates of roadkill with 10 million animals sacrificed to our roads annually. In a study conducted by ‘Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Ecoloeia’ Brazil has been estimated to have an unbelievable 1.3 million animals killed, daily! That’s 475 million a year in Brazil alone. Its incredible to think that over the course of just a few months a 75% decrease in motor vehicle use has saved millions of our native wildlife animals.
Well there you have it, while we are all experiencing the devastating effects of Coronavirus there is still good in the world. When this is all over if we all do our part to protect this beautiful land we call home, it will be here for generations to come with an abundance thriving ecosystems.