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Morancie: Positive effects of coronavirus

By Mitra Morancie
On April 29, 2020

Without disregarding or straying away from the casualties, death and displacement that coronavirus has placed on mankind, there are some “silver lining” moments in this COVID-19 pandemic. 

From the drop-in air and traffic pollution to the siting of or the frequenting of wild animals in places to the decrease in crime in many major cities.

Like a scene taken from the M. Night Shyamalan movie The Happening, mother nature has a way of realigning itself, in a twisted but beautiful version of Yin and Yang. 

When COVID-19 spread across the world, mandatory lockdowns were placed in all countries as a means of slowing down the spread of the virus. 

In a turn of events these lockdowns have led to a sufficient drop in pollution. 

It has been decades, now that hard core environmentalist have rallied and spoke up about how we need to take drastic steps in protecting the environment, and although through recent years the fight for the environment has taken a positive turn with people becoming more aware of the dangers of pollution, it still did not make a dent in solving the problem. 

Along came corona. Stiff lockdown procedures have enabled the cut in air and traffic pollution world-wide according to news outlets like CNN who have reported that tourist attractions like Venice which is in Italy have now had clear water in their canals from the decrease in boat traffic. Asia has been for years one of the major continents contributing to air pollution, and since being one of the first places in lockdown, smog has dramatically decreased. 

In China, the origin of the virus, according to an assistant professor at Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science Marshall Burke, said that due to the cut in pollution between 50,000 and 75,000 lives have been saved from dying prematurely from air pollution. 

According the coveted space station NASA, their satellite data has shown a 30 percent drop in air pollution over Northeast U.S. 

It is no surprise that wildlife has now been spending leisure time, as human traffic has decreased, animals who usually keep their distance are not peeking through as towns and cities are somewhat deserted. 

In South Africa, the Kruger National park, employees have seen lions laying on the road, this is unusual as under normal circumstances the road would have traffic from tourists trying to get a glimpse of these same lions. In the seaside town of Llandudno in Wales, a herd of goats who are usually weary of humans, were seen trotting into the town looking for food. In the United States wild Coyotes have been spotted in San-Francisco. 

In Brazil, which is usually a popular beach destination, since there has been a tone-down in human activity at the beaches hundreds of critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles have hatched due to be undisturbed. 

Apart from the nature aspect of Coronavirus, the lack of human to human interaction has led to a decrease in crime. 

In the usual hot spot city of Miami, since the lockdown, CBS news reports that Miami had experienced several weeks without a murder for the first time since 1957. 

In a study by USA today, 19 out of 20 police agencies have recorded a lower number of criminal incidents since March 15. 

Although, this virus has ripped havoc to the world, there are a few positive aspects that it has given back, (not to sound cynical) and although the negatives of this virus seems to outweigh the positive(and it does) it is reassuring that an inkling of good can come from so much bad.  

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