One thing that we can all agree on is our frustration with staying indoors during this time. We are missing our freedom to travel and we are all anxious about what the future might hold. But with that uncertainty, there’s one thing we know. The Earth is taking this moment to breathe, and throughout this crazy time, amazing things are happening. Air pollution is decreasing, water is clearing up, and wildlife is thriving. There’s no way we can go back to our old habits now – we have been handed a second chance, and it is now our duty to adhere to it.
The world has been concerned about climate change for some time now. We will reach a point when the state of the Earth is irreversible but now, due to the coronavirus and the quarantine imposed in most countries of the world, the contamination has dropped dramatically.
Orbital instruments designed to monitor air quality recorded a substantial drop in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution since January. NO2 is a harmful substance emitted by gas-powered vehicles, power plants, and other machines that burn fossil fuels. China’s air has been cleaned faster than ever in history. “It is the first time I have seen such a dramatic abandonment over such a wide area for a particular event,” said Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Center.
As people began to protect themselves from the pandemic by locking themselves up in houses, the animals listened to their instincts and returned to their land, now free of humans. Social media exploded with impressive photos and videos of a cougar walking through the streets of Santiago de Chile; several wild boars in Rome; dolphins jumping in the port of Cagliari in Italy and in the bay of Cartagena; a female opossum with four young on its back in Neiva and even a fox in a green area of the Santa Bárbara neighborhood in Bogotá.
Germán Corzo, a biologist and senior researcher at the Humboldt Institute, says that many species move to other places as their territory changes. But if they find an empty city, they see is as a valid option because there is no resistance. He also offers us this idea, “If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we move towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally. “
As the virus continues to spread worldwide and governments continue to take steps to combat it, these surprises could appear anywhere in the world. But what will happen when all this is over? Will we learn something from this epidemic? Will we continue to pollute the world again, or will the government take new measures? The answer is: we do not know, but we do know that this crisis is serious and, in some places, it is scary. At least we can get something positive out of this tragedy.