While we’re all secretly or openly “panicking” about the current situation, in terms of health as well as economic decline and whatnot, Earth is finally rejoicing at the possibility of being able to finally breathe as the air gets cleaner and the overall atmosphere is calmer.

Surprisingly, there’s a fairly direct relation between how rapidly the Coronavirus is spreading and the decrease of air-polluting nitrogen dioxide levels.

aerial view of high-rise buildings covered with smoke

Since most countries have been literally “forcing” their people to stay home, due to undertaking safety measures such as lockdowns and nightly curfews -all until further notice, fossil and fuel consumption levels declined.

It took the planet merely a few weeks of being on a “break” from smog, for us to be able to see significant improvement in the global air pollution situation – which got even worse right before the COVID-19 outbreak.

 Coronavirus was initiated in Wuhan, China. The virus started spreading vigorously from December 2019, which was when the Chinese government pledged quarantine on its people.

This decision led to a significant drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions in China.

NASA Images: China’s air pollution decrease due to Coronavirus safety measures

The next country to be significantly impacted by the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Italy, which is where the number of cases + deaths considerably surpassed China’s rate.

Italians were also put under immediate lockdown as an act of emergency with the intent to tone down the fast spreading of the virus.

Being an industrial hub, Italy has been majorly devastated due to the considerable drop in economic activity resulting from the quarantine.

From January 1st to March 11th, however, the drop in nitrogen dioxide emission shows that despite anything, the lockdown had a positive impact on the environment across Europe.

NASA Images: Italy’s air pollution decrease due to Coronavirus safety measures

The surprising benefits of the Coronavirus on the health of the planet go beyond cleaner air.

The lockdown meant yet another drop: boat traffic drop.

Despite how dramatic this can look for the economic world, the Earth doesn’t seem to be negatively affected by such a decision, leading to another unintended benefit which is having clearer ocean waters – even if temporarily.

In Venice, the polluted water canals got a lot clearer in the past few weeks to the point that the ground underneath the water became visible. All this is due to a few weeks of the absence of boat traffic.

Venice’s clearer canal water as visitors are away due to Coronavirus

Yet, purer air and clearer waters seem to be not the only chances occurring due to “humans lockdown” for safety measures.

It seems like the Ozone layer has been gradually, yet considerably recovering as well.

The Ozone layer is a shield protecting the Earth from UltraViolet sun rays, which can cause damage to people. This shield has been drastically thinning since the 1970s reaching its worst stage in the 1990s.

Since the 2000s though, the Ozone layer seems to have been gradually reconstructing itself, increasing by 1 to 3 percent per decade.

Thus, the considerable decrease in air pollution producing Ozone-depleting chemicals seems to be encouraging to the self-repairing earth shield.

Aren’t these all really exciting news that we should all be very thankful for? 

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