The outbreak and spread of Covid-19 has affected everything including one pretty big thing, the ENVIRONMENT. Our World!
COVID-19 restrictions mean that many of us are still confined to our houses and have had limited accessibility to the outside world. Around the world airports, roads and cities have closed down, but what impact has this had? In this blog I want to talk about what benefits this has had in relation to Mother Earth.
THE ENCHANTED GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS
When I look back at my photos from my travels last year, one of the most surreal places I visited was the Galápagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are located 1000km off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean. The reason for its uniqueness is that the islands are so remote and protected by several government agencies. It costs $120 dollars just to take one step onto the Galápagos Islands.
This makes it such a magical place because the wildlife is so protected. The animals are not afraid and cohabitate with humans in such a natural and special way. It’s not strange to see dozens of sea lions roaming the streets and iguanas feeling right at home on the beach. The islands are very much owned by the animals, as it would have been before humans discovered them.
As a result of lockdown these rare phenomenons that we see in the Galápagos Islands are actually being seen in multiple places around the world.
ANIMALS ARE TAKING OVER AND RETURNING TO STREETS
It’s no lie that when humans are out in their normal daily routine, animals are hiding, afraid of the noise and people in the large cities. However, with lockdown taking place billions of people are inside, and lots of us have started to see animals roaming uncharted territory in spite of the tragedy of coronavirus. I love this picture of these goats galloping in the streets just to find some food in Wales.
LOVE OF MUMBAI’S STREET FOOD AND NOW BLUER SKIES
One of my all time favourite cities in the world is without a doubt Mumbai. I love Mumbai because it’s such a fast paced city – similar to that of London. I love the fact that there is so much culture and history. Everywhere you walk the streets are colourful and don’t get me started on the street food – it’s so moorish and cheap. You can eat 4 plates of food for around £1 from the street vendors.
Street food: Bhel Puri 50rps (55p
One huge drawback of Mumbai though and for the 18.5 million that live there – the air pollution is horrendous. And it’s not just Mumbai – Greenpeace says that 22/30 of the world’s most polluted cities are in India.
When India imposed a nationwide lockdown at the start of April, it was designed to stop an imminent spread of COVID-19. But grinding 1.3billion people to a halt also allowed a temporary remedy to another pressing health issue – suffocating pollution levels.
So what has lockdown meant for the biggest democratic country in the world?
Well due to lockdown it means that all the factories, markets, shops and places or worship are closed. Added to the fact that most construction projects have all grinded to a halt and public transport is closed – the Prime Minister Modi has asked all citizens to stay at home and practise social distancing.
The positive effects this is having on the air pollution is staggering as people are finally seeing blue skies again in the cities where pollution was at its highest.
And it is not just India by the way – The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in air quality all around the world. New York has seen a drop of 5-10% carbon dioxide in the air. China, the biggest global manufacturing country in the world saw emissions fall 25% at the start of the year. Lockdowns have resulted in factories and roads shutting, thus reducing emissions. While lockdown may be difficult for many and – do remember there is a silver lining in terms of this awful crisis that we can step outside and breathe cleaner air.
ENJOYING AND APPRECIATING MY OWN ENVIRONMENT
I’ve honestly stopped counting what day of lockdown and self isolation we are now. I think it must be day 732. During lockdown though it has been nice to go for long walks and appreciate all the little parks and open spaces that there is London. I seriously did take it for granted before we entered self isolation. While lockdown may have its challenges its been nice to appreciate seeing more of Mother Nature. I’ve noticed so many more robins and butterflies in my gardens. With restrictions beginning to easen there is going to be more garden parties and gatherings. Next time you’re with friends or family try and see what animals you spot in your surroundings.
BUT the big question though is that these dips we are seeing now have a long term effect on the environment and climate change?
Written by David James D’Souza