With the initial mandatory lockdowns and quarantining in most countries at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Earth was seeming to heal itself. Dust bowls in California were disappearing, water canals in Venice are clear, and the pause in the oil industry helped to decrease the levels of CO2 entering the atmosphere. The lockdowns prevented people from going out, therefore reducing the number of transport methods being used. This decreased the normal amount of CO2 that is usually produced. The decrease in CO2 alone allowed the world to somewhat heal itself.
However, as the world starts to go back to normal and government-mandated quarantines are no longer in place, there has again been a notable increase in the visible effects of climate change. Wildfires have started to ignite in California and Colorado, which is credited to climate change. CO2 emissions and wildfires aren’t the only culprits, though.
There has also been a spike in plastic pollution. Non-reusable gloves and masks have been some of the main sources of this, along with plastic takeout bags and packaging. While it pays off to be cautious and use single-use materials to reduce the chance of spreading the Coronavirus, it can cause major harm to the environment.
Although there was hope at the beginning of the pandemic that the environment was getting better, it doesn’t seem to be heading that way any time soon. Scientists say that the effects COVID-19 had on the environment will not help in the long run and the issue of climate change is still at large.