The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by practically every nation across the globe. It has disrupted our daily lives in ways that were once unimaginable. The health risks associated with the virus have forced governments across the world to make difficult decisions.
Much of the world is now living in strict lockdown conditions. It’s a difficult time economically and socially, that has caused fear, anxiety, and grief for many.
However, there may be one positive outcome from the current crisis. A few recent studies have shown that the widespread implementation of social distancing has had an impact on the state of the global climate.
It’s estimated by the World Health Organization that 3 million people die every year from air pollution-related illnesses. Because the world is staying at home, air pollution levels have dropped significantly. In the UK, NO2 pollution levels have fallen by as much as 60%. In the USA, pollution levels are down by 30%.
We’ve also seen some incredible images taken from space shuttles that illustrate the real impact of social distancing measures, with the concentration of NO2 over large cities seeming to have all but vanished.
The current lockdown conditions have taught us as individuals and businesses that it is possible to move at a slower pace. While we will always need some level of international travel and businesses will always have large office buildings, the coronavirus pandemic might just lead to a significant shift in the way we live. Now that we’ve experienced life at this slow pace, we may be able to sacrifice some of the modern “luxuries” of the past and live in a more cohesive way with the natural world.
On Earth Day this year, April 22, we can take comfort in the knowledge that we are all currently experiencing a way of life that benefits the health of the planet. If we work together to embrace this slower pace after the lockdown is lifted, we may just be able to tackle the global climate crisis we face. Show your support for the global effort this Earth Day with one of our new Global Citizen hats.