World Environment Day was on June 5, 2020 and the current theme was "Time for Nature". The aim to celebrate this day is to make a long lasting bond with nature. We shall be highly indebted to nature for our survival (i.e. the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink). The corona virus pandemic is time to acknowledge all the ways we are dependent on nature and to fight against species loss and environmental degradation. Current scenario of pandemic is rejuvenating, replenishing and healing the environment giving rebirth to blue skies as pollution have dwindled to a very large extent. The wounds inflicted on nature by unabated human activity appear to be healing. The shutdown of industrial activities, commercial business and vehicular movement have resulted in a colossal drop in the pollutants across the globe. This is giving us fresh air to breath amid pandemic.
In the thick of all gloom and doom there is a silver lining our planet seems to have rejuvenated itself. According to the World Air Quality Index, countries like the United States, Spain, Italy, China, France, Mexico, India and the UK there is gigantic drop in the level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) levels. The decline in carbon foot print is indeed a sign of joy for the environment and the future generation. According to statistics of world health organization about 3 million people die each year from ailments caused by air pollution and more than 80 % of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed safe limits.
Well this pandemic is an eye opener; so far we have been so cruel to nature. In fact I think Corona virus is Earth's vaccine and we human beings are the virus. These tough and excruciating times hopefully will lead us to the road of recovery. Certainly there is twilight at the end of darkest night. Nature is rejuvenating, recharging its drained energy. Hope this health crisis will be over soon.
Gowhar Rashid is a PhD Researcher, Clinical Biochemistry, SKIMS, Srinagar