“Just like the idiom that goes “every cloud has a silver lining”, the pandemic COVID-19 has brought with it some healing time for the earth. Now that everyone is made to stay home to stop the spread of the virus, it has directly caused lesser emission of greenhouse gases that has been polluting the earth continuously every single day, as shown through the following before and after satellite images.”
Coronavirus restrictions demanded that everyone in Italy stay home, with a three-month prison sentence or a fine of 206 euros ($230) imposed on those who violate the rules. So, obviously, there is a lesser number of vehicles on the streets, and factories have been shut down. The result is the drastic decrease in the nitrogen dioxide levels in the Northern Italian sky over a one month period. The levels highlighted in dark orange indicate the amount of pollution that Italy suffered, and it is evident that it has decreased, as the images taken from February 14,2020 to March 8, 2020 show.
The case is the same with China, which records the highest population, and is a leader in global manufacturing. Being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, the daily lifestyle of China was disrupted, forcing people to stay indoors and leading to the shutting down of large-scale factories.
The evident decrease in the air pollution in China was first seen in Wuhan, where the virus first affected people. This situation led to keep the city under quarantine for over a month. The US Space Agency issued satellite images of the dramatic decrease in the Chinese air pollution.
As of now, China has recorded over 80,000 cases and over 3000 deaths, while Italy has recorded over 24,000 cases and over 1800 deaths.
Image Credit: Twitter by Santiago Gasso