“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

Pollution to Sky-Rocket as Lockdowns Loosen

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Sarah Clifford discusses what lessons can be learned about improving air quality as life resumes in the new normal.

Photo by Sergio Rodriguez

Covid-19 has changed many people’s lives more than any pandemic in living memory. Extreme measures were put in place, restricting travel and limiting contact as much as possible to control the deadly virus. Industries were shut down, planes grounded and only those in essential positions continued to work. 

One of the effects of this was that pollution levels dropped dramatically. In China, major pollutants dropped by as much as 40% compared to the previous year. However, as countries ease lockdown and restart their economies, it is to be expected that pollution will rise again – but by how much?

What is Covid-19?

The World Health Organisation was first notified about a Viral Pneumonia being contracted at a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019, which would later be named Covid-19.The virus has affected 216 countries, causing almost 600,000 confirmed deaths and over 13 million cases.  

The significant threat of the disease to a large proportion of the population initially prompted countries around the world to introduce drastic limitations on people’s activities and movements, which in turn led to a drop in emissions.