How COVID-19 Impacted the Environment

Elizabeth Watson

An unplanned pandemic could’ve been the saving grace the environment needed, but was it?
According to National Geographic, “In early April, with shutdowns widespread, daily global
carbon emissions were down by 17 percent compared to last year. But as of June 11, new data
shows that they are only about 5 percent lower than at the same point in 2019, even though normal activity has not yet fully restarted.” Elliot, 15, of Doylestown said, “Corona definitely helped the environment… temporarily. People were off the roads and not traveling reducing carbon emissions but is going back to the same as it was before the pandemic.” Others would agree with this temporary positive effect on the environment. Caroline, 15, of Doylestown said, “It helped because less people were going out, decreasing pollution from transportation. It’s giving the earth some time to heal and mend from people’s damages.”
“Despite this, I think although it may seem like the earth is getting better, it can worsen in the
long run. After Corona starts to get better, it can eventually harm the earth, as the benefits are
temporary. People will need to make up for lost time, which could worsen the earth as a result,”
Caroline concluded. According to Science Direct, In other parts of the world, such as Europe, air pollution has dramatically reduced since governments ordered citizens to stay at home to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Main industries as well as other regular activities have ground to a halt. This leads to the question, if COVID-19 is positively impacting the environment in other countries, how is it impacting the US?
According to Science Daily, “The first comprehensive study of the pandemic shows
consumption losses amount to more than $3.8 trillion, triggering full-time equivalent job losses
of 147 million and the biggest-ever drop in greenhouse gas emissions.” How will we keep this sustainability going during a pandemic?
Erin, 21, of Florida University said, “Something that I saw about how it has affected the environment was the used masks are being thrown into the ocean and that it’s been affecting sea life, so they said once you’re done using your masks to cut off the strings.”
Other solutions have been proposed on how to continue this momentum of progress against
climate change. “Overall, we just needed to do better listening to rules and regulations and prepare more,” said Elliot. “I think we need to start focusing on climate change and what we can do to help the earth more. I feel like a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the severity of what’s happening to the earth and I think if people started paying more attention to what’s going on we could slowly start
progressing and hopefully help mend the earth,” said Caroline.