With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly every day, we have gone into a tizzy. The Indian government has decided on extending the lockdown, this time with more freedom to move about carrying out our daily businesses. The government has also announced a huge financial package aimed at tackling the situation. The pandemic seems to have done maximum possible damage to the world at large, but as is always the case of being two sides to every coin, the other side of the pandemic depicts a silver lining. You can’t deny the fact that it has brought in some good to us, which may become more significant in the time to come. Take a look at some points that we think has improved amid these distressing days:
Quality Time With Loved Ones
The fact that multitudes are left locked up all alone, with no kith or kin beside them should be reason enough for the ones who are sailing through the lockdown with loved ones. Haven’t we always complained about how busy our lives are that we hardly spare time for our family? Well, now is the time to make up for all the lost moments with your family.
Nature Is Breathing
Enough, photos are circulating on social media, showing just how nature has reclaimed its space. The sky is a brighter hue of blue, and the horizons painted with vast stretches of mountains. Our water bodies are cleaner, and there have been drastic drops in the levels of pollution.
According to research conducted by IQAir in ten major cities around the world, seven of them have witnessed a drastic fall in pollution level post the lockdown. New Delhi, the city that almost always tops the chart as far as pollution levels are concerned. But three weeks into the lockdown, But three weeks into the lockdown, there was a 60% reduction in PM2.5 levels compared to last year. Not just that, air quality in the whole country has improved so much that the Himalayas are visible from certain states of the country.
There’s a significant reduction in aerosol emission, a form of pollutant emitted from motor vehicles and factories. Aerosols have extreme effects on human health, and the fact that its discharge is down to a reasonable extent serves as a silver lining in the dark cloud. The citizens are now breathing good quality air after almost an eternity.
Furthermore, it’s not just the air quality that has been making remarkable improvements since the lockdown. All the pollution that had seeped into the water bodies have also been receding since lockdown.
Following international news, we have already seen how the canal waters in Italy got much cleaner and even witnessed swans swimming about. Even the dolphins made a comeback to the Italian shores. Interestingly, such visuals also came up in Mumbai when a bunch of dolphins were playing on the Mumbai Coastline.
The Times of India reports “The river Ganga’s water quality has improved with the increase in dissolved oxygen(DO) and reduced nitrate concentration.” Similar changes were witnessed in the water quality of Ganga’s tributaries and also the Yamuna. One of the possible reasons for this positive change is the drop in industrial effluents and pollutants that once frequented the water bodies before the lockdown.
Living The Hygienic Way
Washing hands and keeping our surroundings clean have become habits that have become essential for survival, and it will be so for a long time. In a way, Swach Bharat Abhiyan has now become a call for life. Follow it or Die!
Since we are all locked up at home, we go out less often. Since we go out less often, we consume less- be it packaged food or clothes or even money. And travel plans are nothing but zero. Thanks to all that, our carbon footprint has reduced drastically. And we’re confident that there is less plastic being dumped into the environment daily as opposed to the post-pandemic times. Maybe, it’s time to think and change our way of living!
Getting A Taste Of Our Own Medicine
The tables have finally turned. Animals are roaming around freely on the streets, while we are inside the four walls of our home. The alienation is finally getting to our nerves after spending a lifetime inside our home. In some ways, we have realised how locked up animals in the zoo feel like. It could be a lesson for humanity at large and would help us adapt more sensitive ways to treat animals.
A Time To Think And Breathe
We’re finally able to take a break from our overtly busy lives and work on ourselves, our relationships and health- both physical and mental.
We have seen enough of ‘we are the virus’ statements on social media. And we get tempted to buy that statement as nature slowly reclaims its space. But that statement also shows our sheer ignorance and our gullible nature of playing the blame game. Humans have undoubtedly caused much havoc on this planet. What we need is realisation and more so, on the parts of the capitalists. The big companies who feed off our desire to buy more, own more. We need to rethink our lifestyles, cut down our consumption levels. It will automatically reduce pollution and other undesired consequences as the cycle of demand, production and consumption break, to only a small extent, of course. But every drop in an ocean counts and so does every little effort to make the world a better place.
Apart from nature and personal aspects, the digital world has also experienced great changes. There has been changes that are not going in vain or vanishing soon enough:
From Barter System To Google Pay
The human civilisation has come a long way as far as the exchange of money is concerned. And the fear of contracting the virus has led us to adapt online transactions as a precautionary measure. The change could lead to a more hassle-free way of going about our daily business. For example, you no longer have to accept silly toffees for change from your nearby grocery store.
Better Digital Infrastructure
The lockdown has pushed and encouraged people to switch to online interactions to carry out their work. It has paved the way to the development of a much better and reliable digital infrastructure.
Work from home has become a standard norm. Even the aged employees, who were reluctant to adapt to the digital workspace had to give in. More Digital Platforms have come up to make the digital experience even better and secured. And this change in the work culture seems irreversible to some extent.
Not just work, students and teachers also seem quite into the digital way of learning with this lockdown in the picture. India was trying to implement the digital model of learning for a long time now. And this lockdown is nothing but a boost to this effort. Hopefully, it’s a success that stays with us!
Having learned all these, more important is the fact that we need to work towards a balanced lifestyle, where we live and let live. We need to reconnect with nature and respect its boundaries and move towards a life where we learn to coexist with nature and the animals. Maybe, it’s the right time to get back to a place where there is harmony and peace. Sounds like a fairytale, but it’s possible, nature has made way for us, the question is, are we going to take it?