If you have endured the COVID-19 pandemic like anyone else, you’ll be counting the cost of all of the lost opportunity. It’s just a simple fact that COVID-19 has forced us to miss out on so many opportunities we would have otherwise loved to have taken on. However, whilst the majority of the world has been grounded in their opportunity and their ambition, some of us are beginning to see the small positives of the pandemic. One positive, for example, has been the relative health of the world.
Without mass human interaction with the environment, various parts of the world are looking as healthy as they have been in a long, long time. Indeed, one of the major benefits – if you can call it that – is the reduced number of planes in the sky and cars on the road. Public transport has also been cut down to an absolute minimum. This has had the beneficial change of making the world a little bit healthier. How?
The main reason stems from the fact that so many pollutants are being closed down. Things like offices, factories, and rush hour traffic have not been anywhere near as common or as prevalent. This has played a role in reducing carbon emissions drastically, making the emissions significantly lower than they were pre-pandemic.
We’ve seen various examples of this, from rivers looking fresher to city canals looking clearer than they have been in well over a century. Even in places like China, where carbon emissions and pollution are a huge problem, there’s been a massive reduction. Indeed, carbon emissions in China rare believed to have dropped by 25% – that’s around half of what the UK is capable of putting out on an annual basis itself.
Is This A Good Thing?
Make no mistake – the pandemic has ravaged human life. Jobs are gone, opportunity is shrunk, and the chance to enjoy key moments with others have been reduced to a fraction of what we were all used to. This is a bad thing – it has set the world up with a massive debt bill to try and pay for, and no real means of doing so. It is going to harm the world for a long, long time to come.
However, hopefully it has shown us that the impact we have on the world is something that we can actively combat and adjust. Even places like Venice, which is famed for its beauty but infamous for its pollution and its smell, has become an even more gorgeous place to spend time.
It is arguably as unpolluted as it has been for a century or more, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Those odours that linger in the air are far less prevalent, while the water looks fresher than it has for years. This shows us that, yes, we have a major impact on the environment that we reside within.
Of course, as normality resumes, it is unlikely that humanity will keep up this new-found approach to reversing the damage caused by decades of exuberance and excess.