It would be hard to stomach that if there could be any bright side of a lockdown when there is tragically large number of human lives lost due to the outbreak of covid19, global economy being projected by “World Economic Outlook” to fall to -3% in 2020 making it the worst recession since the great depression and far more worse than the global financial crisis. Considering this one can only tilt towards pessimism but then there is always other side to the things.
With few weeks living in this lockdown one need not wait for reports of environmental organisations for the happenings in the environment, we just can feel and see the changes happening around us. Only when we look up to the sky, it looks more blue, also recently you must also have seen in the news that the populace of few polluted places are getting new surprises by looking at the things which were already there in existence but excess of anthropogenic activities laid the curtain in between them.
For example residents of Jalandhar got surprised when they woke up to see Himachal Pradesh’s Dhauladhar mountains in the first week of April. Likewise, residents of Saharanpur who grew up to listening stories of Himalayas could see the beautiful snow capped himalayan mountains for the first time in 30 years through naked eyes. Not only are these scenes pleasing to eyes but also an indicator of the healthy environment. Well, these things might not surprise us here but it is surely a blessing in disguise for the people living in the plains.
Going by the reports of WHO, it estimated around 7 million people die every year from exposure to polluted air that itself is like pandemic occurring every year but just because these reports don’t make the rounds and diseases are not contagious, people don’t pay heed to it.
Rising rate of deaths by covid19 or by any other disease are both a cause of concern. While conscious efforts are being made by the world through formulation of policies and organisations to decrease carbon footprint and millions and billions of money are being spent to curb it but no major change could be seen on the ground and organisations can be seen only extending their goal achieving deadlines.
And now that the humans are failing to take care of this divinely gifted earth it looks like nature has started rejuvenating by itself where animals and birds have been given to have gala time and humans are told to stay away or else get punished in the form the disease.
Positive climatic implications is not the only aspect of this lockdown, crime rate can be seen plunging down by nearly half across the world and the crime reportedly prevailing at this time is domestic violence, and that too is because people used to invest very less time with their families and even the little time they spent together had no face to face interactions but heads bent over any gadget.
Lockdown has also lessened the burden on the shoulders of Governments and NGOs who were trying hard to nurse addicts back into healthy productive life as now addicts are getting instinctively detoxicated during this time as homes have become de-addiction centres for them. There could be no better time than this to shun these activities once for all.
Lastly, I must say that no lockdown is good in a larger sense but when the nature calls for that, there must be some hidden mercy in it, as every hardship has a silver lining.
Aqib Javed Katoch is a resident of Ramban, Jammu