सोमवार, बैशाख ३, २०८१ Monday 15th of April 2024

Positive Effects of Lockdown

  • Ganesh B. Dhami
  • प्रकाशित मिति : सोमवार, जेष्ठ २६, २०७७


Positive Effects of Lockdown

(Mt Everest (arrow) hidden behind Mt Kang Nachugo and Mt Chobutse from Chobar in Kathmandu on 10 May. Photo: Abhushan Gautam)

As the Covid-19 outbreak ravages human lives, half of the world’s population is hunkered down indoors because of the lockdown. People are no longer out and about in the same way. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel corona virus outbreak as the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020. Though, the corona virus outbreak has been proved to be the threat to public health, the natural world has started thriving positively with the onset of lockdown, as the humans stay at home. The earth is slowly healing while the wild animals have started roaming empty streets and nature is reclaiming the deserted urban areas. The ozone layer above the North Pole is healing slowly. The current change in the environment and reduction in pollution level has come at a steep price. Due to travel restrictions, vulnerable workers have been compelled to walk on foot hundreds of kilometers to reach their homes located in their villages in Nepal and India. Much of the world economy has been idled. Factories have been shut down. Hotels have been converted into quarantines. Aviation industries have had the massive impacts since 96% of global destinations have introduced travel restrictions and travel has come to a halt. At least half the planes in the world are grounded. The roads are emptier and quieter than before due to fewer vehicles.

“Positive Effects of Lockdown: Bluer Skies, Fresher Air, Pristine Waters and Lesser Crimes”

If there is something positive to take from this terrible crisis, it could be the reduction in pollution level and flourishing of the natural world. According to WHO, 3 million people are estimated to die from ailments caused by air pollution every year. Industrial smoke, vehicular emissions, burning of trash and crop residue, and construction and road dust are the major contributors of the air pollution. Air quality level in the major cities of the world has drastically improved due to the reduction of the emission of the greenhouse gases from the industries and vehicles after the lockdown. Mountain skylines and stars – once obliterated by thick smog – have become visible in many countries. The breathtaking photos of the Himalaya taken by Bahushan Gautam from Chobhar, Kathmandu on May 10, clearly show that Mt. Everest, which is 200 km away from Kathmandu is visible after many years. Similarly, other mountains are also visible in those photos. There has been a sharp drop in the number of patients suffering from respiratory illness according to the hospital admissions in the last couple of months in Kathmandu. Journalist, Chanda Kishore claimed that Langtang region could be seen from Sarlahi district due to clear visibility and bluer sky. People in Siliguri, India say, Kanchanjunga is visible from there whereas, people in Punjab, India say they can see the snow peaks of the Himalayas, a view that for decades has been blocked by air pollution. Less than six months ago, air quality level was too unbearable for breathing in New Delhi where schools were shut, flights were diverted, and people were asked to wear masks, avoid polluted areas and keep doors and windows closed. Now, the air quality is at “satisfactory” level according to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). Smoggy Los Angeles has the cleanest air of any major city on the Earth now.

Ganesh B. Dhami

Marines, canals and rivers have pristine and cleaner water than before. The stoppage of industrial pollutants and waste has had a positive effect on water quality of the Ganges and the Yamuna River in India. The absence of industrial effluents and reduced human activities has improved water quality of those rivers. Satellite images released by the European Space Agency show a change in Venice’s canals from 2019 to 2020. Clear waters have returned to the Venice canals. The lockdown has drastically reduced movement on the waterways resulting in sedimentation of the particles on the bottom. The residents were sharing the photos of fish, seaweed and swans on the waterways in March. The tourist-free beaches of Thailand have lured numerous rare turtles to breed. Dolphins have come to the shore in Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait as the corona virus silences the transcontinental waterway.

Crime rate has decreased though some kinds of crime have increased. Criminologists say that the closure of the pubs and bars has significantly reduced alcohol-triggered conflicts, violence and crimes. The bad thing is that staying at home means there is more of a chance for domestic and family violence to occur. Unfortunately, cases of violence against women have increased during the lockdown in Nepal. According to the data collected by The Women Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) through its hotlines, there were 176 cases of violence against women and girls in Nepal between March 24 and May 1, 2020.
Let’s hope, the end of this lockdown will not be the end of the healing and flourishing nature.

(Writer is an English lecturer at Phalaharibaba Multiple Campus, Kapilvastu Nepal)

प्रतिक्रिया दिनुहोस्

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हाम्रो बारेमा

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– स्वास्थ्य पत्र डट कम
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