The human race is taking a blow as the coronavirus forces people across the globe into isolation while others have to be quarantined as the virus spreads. For animals and the environment the story is different altogether, however, as habitats thrive and awareness is raised against the illegal animal trade.
While the coronavirus is turning the world upside down, there are a few ways it is also benefiting the Earth.
Awareness of illegal animal trade
Although for many the illegal animal trade has been a huge issue over the years, for the first time ever, the coronavirus pandemic has brought the plight of trafficked animals to the forefront, making the world realise that it is a public health issue.
China has long been associated with a vast selection of illegal animal products from rhino horn to Cape pangolins, bats, wolf pups and more. While the illegal and legal animal trade in Asian countries and around the world had a reputation for being inhumane before 2019, many had not even considered the health issues related.
Since the initial spread of the coronavirus it was revealed that pangolins, bats and other creatures sold in an illegal market in Wuhan could be the source of the virus that is wreaking havoc across the globe, leading to a temporary ban on related animal markets and closing down the sector for the time being altogether.
More animals are being saved from the terrible fate they would have met less than a year ago and one of the world’s most animal-trade focused markets has drawn to a close.
Reducing pollution & overcrowding
As more people are staying indoors to flatten the curve, less litter, overcrowding and pollution is taking place.
For the first time in decades the water in Venice has run clear and fish as well as dolphins have been seen frolicking in the canals and other parts of Italy.
The usual high influx of traffic on the canals leads to the sediment in the waters being disturbed, causing a constant murky water state. With less people around, the sea creatures are also feeling more at home in their natural environment, taking to the canals in peace.
Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us pic.twitter.com/RzqOq8ftCj
— Gianluca De Santis (@b8taFPS) March 17, 2020
With all the humans in quarantine,
Dolphins have returned to the canals of Venice.
— Tom Hall ☘ (@TomHall) March 19, 2020
Venice’s Canal Water Looks Clearer As Corona Virus Keeps Visitors Away pic.twitter.com/57ySlwQ54C
— Tiwul™ (@CapshaBanting) March 19, 2020
Earlier this year [February, 2020] NASA released a map showing how air pollution had significantly reduced in areas where the coronavirus had broken out.
Self-isolation, quarantines and the shut down of local transportation systems have led to lower levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide, especially in China.
In New York air pollution dropped by 28% from February to March and air pollution dropped by as much as 40% in San Fransisco over the same period.
Popular destinations visited by millions of tourists each year are empty. Less littering, overcrowding, negative affects on animals and the environment of these areas is also being recorded.
While the world fights to stay afloat and more cases of coronavirus flood in, many people are seeing the environmental benefits of the pandemic as a silver lining.