Impact of Coronovirus on Environment
Lecturer in Mathematics
Visakha Govt.Degree College(W),Visakhapatnam
In this paper both positive and negative effects of COVID-19 on the environment are been discussed. Natural ecosystems and protected species are at risk during the coronavirus crisis. In many countries, environmental protection workers at national parks and land and marine conservation zones are required to stay at home in lockdown, leaving these areas unmonitored. Their absence has resulted in a rise of illegal deforestation, fishing and wildlife hunting. Most environmental impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, such as a decline in carbon emissions and increase in medical waste, will be temporary.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.
Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1930s when an acute respiratory infection of domesticated chickens was shown to be caused by infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Arthur Schalk and M.C. Hawn described in 1931 a new respiratory infection of chickens in North Dakota. The infection of new-born chicks was characterized by gasping and listlessness. The chicks’ mortality rate was 40–90%. Fred Beaudette and Charles Hudson six years later successfully isolated and cultivated the infectious bronchitis virus which caused the disease. In the 1940s, two more animal coronaviruses, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), were isolated. It was not realized at the time that these three different viruses were related.
Human coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s. They were isolated using two different methods in the United Kingdom and the United States. E.C. Kendall, Malcom Byone, and David Tyrrell working at the Common Cold Unit of the British Medical Research Council in 1960 isolated from a boy a novel common cold virus B814. The virus was not able to be cultivated using standard techniques which had successfully cultivated rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and other known common cold viruses. In 1965, Tyrrell and Byone successfully cultivated the novel virus by serially passing it through organ culture of human embryonic trachea. The new cultivating method was introduced to the lab by Bertil Hoorn. The isolated virus when intranasally inoculated into volunteers caused a cold and was inactivated by ether which indicated it had a lipid envelope. Around the same time, Dorothy Hamre and John Procknow at the University of Chicago isolated a novel cold virus 229E from medical students, which they grew in kidney tissue culture. The novel virus 229E, like the virus strain B814, when inoculated into volunteers caused a cold and was inactivated by ether.
Effect on Environment:
The worldwide disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in numerous impacts on the environment and the climate. The severe decline in planned travel has caused many regions to experience a drop in air pollution. In China, lockdowns and other measures resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions, which one Earth systems scientist estimated may have saved at least 77,000 lives over two months. However, the outbreak has also provided cover for illegal activities such as deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and poaching in Africa, hindered environmental diplomacy efforts, and created economic fallout that is predicted to slow investment in green energy technologies.
IMPACT ON AIR QUALITY:
Amidst the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, a rare positive has been the significant global decrease in air pollution levels. Primarily, experts have measured nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the six major air pollutants (in addition to particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, ground-level ozone, and lead). NO2 has, like most other gases, natural and human sources.
In Delhi’s metropolitan area, pollution levels have dropped most dramatically; NO2 levels from March 25 (the day quarantine began) to May 2 have averaged 90 µmol/m2 compared to 162 µmol/m2 from March 1 to March 24. In 2019, NO2 levels from March 25 to May 2 were also far above this year’s levels, averaging 158 µmol/m2.
In Greater Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, a similar trend has been observed as NO2 levels from March 25 to May 2 averaged 77 µmol/m2 compared to 117 µmol/m2 from March 1 to March 24. In 2019, NO2 levels from March 25 to May 2 averaged 122 µmol/m2.
In nearly all other big Indian cities, similar drops in NO2 levels are apparent, highlighting the national scale of India’s lockdown.
IMPACT ON WILDLIFE:
Demand for fish and fish prices have both decreased due to the pandemic, and fishing fleets around the world sit mostly idle. German scientist Rainer Froese has said the fish biomass will increase due to the sharp decline in fishing, and projected that in European waters, some fish such as herring could double their biomass. As of April 2020, signs of aquatic recovery remain mostly anecdotal.
As people stayed at home due to lockdown and travel restrictions, some animals have been spotted in cities. Sea turtles were spotted laying eggs on beaches they once avoided (such as the coast of the Bay of Bengal), due to the lowered levels of human interference and light pollution.
The generation of organic and inorganic waste is indirectly accompanied by a wide range of environmental issues, such as soil erosion, deforestation, air, and water pollution ,.
The quarantine policies, established in most countries, have led consumers to increase their demand for online shopping for home delivery. Consequently, organic waste generated by households has increased. Also, food purchased online is shipped packed, so inorganic waste has also increased.
Many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of pandemics. Deforestation, which occurs mostly for agricultural purposes, is the largest cause of habitat loss worldwide. Loss of habitat forces animals to migrate and potentially contact other animals or people and share germs. Large livestock farms can also serve as a source for spillover of infections from animals to people. Less demand for animal meat and more sustainable animal husbandry could decrease emerging infectious disease risk and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
We have many reasons to take climate action to improve our health and reducing risks for infectious disease emergence is one of them.
Corona virus has impacted the environment in both positive and negative ways.Decreasing GHG concentrations during a short period is not a sustainable way to clean up our environment. Furthermore, the virus crisis brings other environmental problems that may last longer and maybe more challenging to manage if countries neglect the impact of the epidemic on the environment.
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