Opinion: Environmental gains should be maintained

Perhaps the only positive effect of coronavirus closures has been an improvement in Earth's environment.

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Perhaps the only positive effect of coronavirus closures has been an improvement in Earth's environment.

Lena Barakat, Sports Editor

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of society, from bringing on hundreds of thousands of deaths and economic suffering through much less dire concerns, like how many friends people can see and the amount of toilet paper people can buy. 

As strange as it seems to say, there has been one positive effect of the shutdowns brought on by the epidemic: an exponential impact on our environment.

As per the government’s request, many shops, playgrounds, schools, and general public areas have been completely or partly shut down. As a consequence, fewer people have been using buses, cars, or almost any mode of transportation. This has led to a significant decrease in air pollution. 

On a similar note, many flights have been canceled and various countries have closed their borders entirely, which has limited travel. Since airplanes emit almost 11 percent of worldwide planet-warming pollution, this has been all the more helpful for improving our air quality. 

Due to the extensive number of businesses closing and losing customers, factories have been forced to limit or stop production altogether. This change has remarkably lowered pollutants in the ecosystem and has decreased global warming rates, and it has led to a decrease in the need for plastics. 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus, prices in beef have drastically increased. People are less likely to purchase beef products with the new price increase, which has a covert environmental impact. The production of beef releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Those same gasses are being reduced by the sudden decrease in beef consumption.

The newfound free time brought on by coronavirus closures also has led to more obvious, proactive environmental changes. Many people are using their spare time to plant trees and tend to gardens, which gives us cleaner air. 

One big question remains, though: Will people learn from these changes and uphold care for the environment after the pandemic has ended? Or will we go back to our old ways and continue to damage our planet?