How Coronavirus is Affecting Our Planet: The Good and Bad Side Effects

Get well soon, planet Earth.

The Coronavirus pandemic is setting us all into an alarmed mode that most of us certainly feel uncomfortable with. Everyone wants to stay safe and stocked, but how can they do that without buying too many groceries and cleaning products to the point where they feel that they have locked themselves in a house where no virus could enter? Unfortunately, this panic mode everyone is phased into is causing many shortages and is threatening a subsequent global crisis after the Coronavirus outbreak is over. While the world is overwhelmed with the spread of a pandemic, it fails to notice these 3 global crisis:

1) A threat to food security:

Ever since the Coronavirus has been announced as a global public health condition, people have been panic-buying groceries in fear of a sudden lock-down. The shelves in all supermarkets all around the world are empty. While many countries have not yet announced that there’s a problem in food security, it’s still a matter of importance. If people continue to stock so many items unnecessarily, it will soon worry the government and we will have yet another issue to deal with. Not only that, but the empty shelves do not come in favor to the older people who financially cannot stock up so much food. Low-income seniors are in serious danger of malnutrition and hunger. Therefore, it’s important to note that storing food and goods will only negatively affect the economy of the country and the health of people. In other words, please be considerate – we’re all in this together.

2) A threat to water shortage:

They say washing your hands for 20 seconds is important to ensure its cleanliness – but that does not mean to keep the water running for 20 seconds as well. Please remember to close the tap as long as you are not using it, let’s not worsen one global crisis in order to save another one.

3) Drug shortage:

The FDA has mentioned that it’s keenly aware that the outbreak could affect the medical product supply chain. According to WHO, China accounts for the largest share of the global active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) market by volume. And ever since the outbreak of Coronavirus had started, China’s role has decreased significantly.

But just like how everything has good and bad sides (yes, even viruses), the coronavirus spread also has a few bright sides:

1) A dramatic drop in air pollution:

Just on the morning of the 17th of March, NASA released an image that shows a drastic decrease in NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) between January and the first of February, all over the Chinese countries. This is due to the restrictions that many countries have taken to prevent and minimize the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. A map of China shows how after all factories have closed and all travelling postponed, the air has cleaned and blue skies have surfaced.

Italy, too!

2) Decreased CO2 emissions:

You might have not known this, but China is responsible for almost 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions annually. But from February 3 to March 1, CO2 emissions decreased by at least 25%, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Area (CREA). I think it’s a time to be glad to be able to breathe fresh, clean air, even if it’s going to be temporary.

However, everyone is concerned that after the pandemic passes, China will try to bring back its economy by doubling the emissions, and not caring about the environment.

3) Considerate shops:

Now for our own country, and due to the extreme panic-buying the citizens have gone into, Oscar Grand Stores have announced that they will dedicate an hour for seniors only, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., so they could do their grocery shopping safely and at ease. Hopefully, many supermarkets could take the same action.

4) Egyptians giving shelters to each other all over the world:

After the announcement of suspended flights, many Egyptians abroad have opened up their homes for others who are stuck with cancelled flights. It shows how people could actually help one another so selflessly and lovingly. This is the kind of person everyone should be during crisis.

So, that’s about it. This is the current status of our dear Planet Earth. This is to remind you that we do not live alone on this earth – it’s a worldwide home, and without it, we are damaged goods. This is a call-out for you to take care of your environment – let’s start with ourselves, and I promise you, the world is going to follow your steps. Small progress is still progress.

May our Planet Earth get better soon.