COVID-19 has surprising environmental impacts


Features Editor

The Covid-19 outbreak has negatively impacted millions of people worldwide. Quarantine orders have been put in place requiring people to stay inside for their own well-being, but these restrictions have left an impact on the world’s environment.
According to Italian press officials, Italy was put into a lockdown on March 10, 2020 to April 3, 2020. Since then, the once murky almost brown waterways of Venice have cleared. The office of the mayor of Venice stated that, “the water appears clearer now due to restricted travel in the waterways. The sediment has all settled to the bottom.”
Nitrogen Dioxide pollution over Northern Italy decreased during their time in lockdown. The European Space Agency uses a satellite to continuously monitor the pollution in the atmosphere. Claus Zehner elaborated, “the past few weeks the satellite has shown a significant decline in emissions.” He also spoke for the company about the low emissions correspondence with the lockdown, “although there could be slight variations in the data due to cloud cover and changing weather [they] are very confident that the reduction in emissions that [they] can see, coincides with the lockdown in Italy causing less traffic and industrial activities.”
Similar to Italy, China was put into a four-week quarantine which led to emissions falling. According to charting done by Lauri Myllyvitra, a carbon tracker, China’s carbon emission fell by 25 percent over the time period that the lockdown was in place. Myllyvitra wrote commentary along with the chart stating that, “the carbon emission fall [was] due to the closing of industrial factories and other closings in China.”
Coal consumption in China has also decreased. Factories and industries were shut down during quarantine and a Rhodium group analyzed consumption rates. According to the analysis, “Coal consumption by the six largest power plants in China has fallen over 40%.”
While America hasn’t been in quarantine for very long, citizens are already seeing signs of environmental impact. People in California and Salt Lake City Utah have reported an increase of animal activity to police. According to Jordan Wildish, a project director at Earth Economics, a nonprofit out of Tacoma, Washington, “every city is seeing major reductions in air pollution.”
 Many predictions have been made about how this will impact America after quarantine. Wildish predicts that with the coming weeks of quarantine, “organizations will see that less emissions and pollution lead to a better lifestyle.” Lina Goetz, an Ag student at North Harford High School states that she, “thinks less car travel will help improve the air quality.” Adding to that she continued by saying that the lack of people in public will lead to, “less plastic pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay.”