As we all aware, the coronavirus epidemic arose in China continues to affect the world. The coronavirus, which is found in most countries of the world, has almost stopped the life. Countries around the world are using various methods to prevent it. Many states have restrictions on leaving home. In many parts of the world, people staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus have switched to online jobs and education. Most workplaces were closed due to the virus, and factories or plants either shut down or reduced production to a minimum. The unplanned shutdown of production facilities worldwide due to the coronavirus can be considered as an opportunity for nature to recover. As people do not leave the homes, the use of transportation has decreased, and the devastating human impact on the environment has shown itself.
China, the starting point of the virus, has taken severe measures from the very first days. The city of Wuhan was quarantined entirely. Entry and exit to the city were banned. These measures have been applied in other Chinese cities along with Wuhan. All these measures manifested themselves in nature. China is the world's leading polluter. The suspension of life for a while ın China, which has large industrial enterprises, has revealed significant differences in the environment. China alone accounted for 30% of harmful CO2 emissions. Following the virus, NASA images showed a drop in nitrogen dioxide levels in China. According to NASA, the air began to clear around Wuhan, China. Since the end of February, this trend has spread throughout the country. In China, the world's largest coal producer and consumer, stopping coal production is also thought to play a significant role in air cleanliness. Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at the Goddard Space Flight Center, said it was the first time he had witnessed such a sharp drop in nitrogen dioxide levels over a large area after an incident. The fact that nitrogen dioxide is excreted by transport, power plants and industrial facilities, and that all these plants have been closed after the coronavirus, is proof that air purity is directly related to the virus.
To fight the coronavirus, companies have asked employees to work from home. Thus, the use of plastic has also decreased. Now people do not use disposable plastics and shop less, which led to the reduction of waste. Anywise all this contributes to the health of the environment.
The unexpected impact of the coronavirus on the environment has also been manifested in Venice, Italy. The decrease in the number of tourists due to the virus caused the water in the city's famous canals to purify. Thus, the use of water pollutants, such as motorboats, has sharply decreased. City residents said they were impressed by the cleanliness of the water and witnessed the canals being so clean for the first time. In some videos and photos, it is even possible to see fish swimming at the bottom.
In the United States, where the virus spreads the fastest, there are more than 678,000 people infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19). People in the country, which has become the leader due to the cases, also started to stay at home. It is an undeniable fact that these measures have a positive impact on the American environment. In particular, the air in New York, which has become the center of the virus, is immaculate. Researchers have found that New York has a 5% to 10% reduction in air pollutants such as carbon dioxide. As the use of transport has significantly decreased, in some parts of the region, this decrease was 35%. Colombian professor Róisín Commane in her interview with the BBC, told that New York had a very high number of carbon monoxide over the past year. According to the professor, the cleanliness of the air in New York has reached the highest level.
India is one of the places where nature benefits from the coronavirus. Along the coast of India's Odisha state, endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have come ashore for the first time in a long time to dig their nests and lay their eggs during the day. According to locals, they witnessed it for the first time in seven years.
It is also the case in Brazil. Tourist beaches in Brazil are empty due to the virus. Taking advantage of this calm, Hawksbill sea turtles also went ashore to dig their nests and lay their eggs after a long hiatus.
Reasonably, no one will deny that humanity has had a catastrophic effect on nature. Obviously, in our previous daily lives, we did not think about how to treat the environment, and we did not realize it. Since we are locked in the home, we have time to think about our behavior against nature and to distinguish between right and wrong. Now, we are aware how we waste water while taking a shower, or electricity when we turn laptops, computers, and televisions repeatedly, how nature is exploited for this energy, how we unintentionally pollute the environment by throwing waste to the ground and sea, and how we destroy living things without thinking about the consequences of our actions. Meanwhile, we can eliminate all these mistakes by understanding the results of our actions. Undoubtedly, this period can be considered as a chance for nature to heal and recover. What we need to do is not to forget the mistakes we have made so far, and be conscious of our behavior in our future lives.
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