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Effects of COVID 19 on the Ecosystem

The coronavirus pandemic is the most disastrous disease outbreak in recent times. The pandemic altered people’s lifestyles and affected multiple sectors. One of the significantly affected areas was the environment, which saw positive and negative impacts. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic ranged from improved air quality to increased hospital waste, marking the pros and cons of Covid 19 on the ecosystem. The improved air quality was due to coronavirus control measures such as the closure of industries, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, these positive impacts were short-lived and would end once the pandemic capsized. Hence, the pandemic taught individuals the need for pollution control to enjoy quality air. The paper will suggest measures for future pandemics and limit hospital waste from personal protective equipment. In this paper, the author will discuss the effects of Covid 19 on the ecosystem, including improved air quality, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reduced water and noise pollution, and ecological restoration due to reduced tourism and detail adverse impacts, such as increased medical waste.

Although the coronavirus pandemic posed detrimental impacts and deaths, the pandemic facilitated improved air quality. According to Rume & Islam (2020), the coronavirus pandemic ensured a 50% air pollution decrease in New York compared to one year before the outbreak. The reduced air pollution positively benefits the ecosystem and explains the improved air quality during Covid 19. Fundamentally, the closure of heavy metal industries in various parts of the world, such as China, accounted for reduced air pollution. The closure of the heavy metal sector accounted for a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide production (Rume & Islam, 2020). These gases pollute the environment and pose detrimental health impacts, such as increased respiratory conditions. Hence, improved air quality was essential for the environment and the health sector as it reduced the likelihood of suffering particular chronic respiratory conditions. Furthermore, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) revealed a 30% to 60% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emission in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and other major European cities due to industries closing down during the pandemic (Rume & Islam, 2020). Hence, the coronavirus pandemic improved air quality and taught people to control environmental pollution and enjoy clean air.

As noted, many locations experienced a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during the coronavirus. Greenhouse gases are detrimental as they promote global warming and trigger climate change (El Zowalaty et al., 2020). Hence, the significant drop in greenhouse gases was essential for the environment and monitoring and controlling climate change, a core goal in modern society. According to Rume & Islam (2020), vehicles contribute to 72% of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, while air transport accounts for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions. Coronavirus control measures entailed lockdowns inhibiting air and road transport. This aspect accounts for reduced greenhouse gas production as the two transport modes significantly cause air pollution. According to Rume & Islam (2020), oil consumption reduced by 435000 barrels globally in the first quarter of 2020. Markedly, the oil sector accounts for increased greenhouse gas production due to the emission of methane and volatile organic compounds. Besides, the sector significantly emits carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, whose emissions are reduced with lowered oil use. For instance, Rume & Islam (2020) noted that COVID-19 reduced carbon dioxide emissions in China by 25%, revealing a reduction in greenhouse emissions. Therefore, coronavirus impacts the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and controlling global warming and climate change.

The coronavirus pandemic reduced water pollution, a phenomenal issue in developing countries. According to Rume & Islam (2020), several developing nations, such as Bangladesh and India, dispose of their industrial wastes in water sources. This aspect poses detrimental impacts on public health, triggering conditions such as diarrhea and cholera. During covid 19, the closure of industries reduced untreated industrial wastes disposed of water sources. For example, Rume & and Islam (2020) revealed that River Yanga and Yamuna in India recorded high levels of water purity in 2020 due to minimized disposal of industrial waste in the water bodies. Besides, the reduction of visitors in different regions accounted for low sewage and effluent disposal, minimizing water pollution. The closure of the construction and manufacturing sectors during the coronavirus explained reduced water pollution. Solid wastes from these sectors significantly pollute water sources and increase silt in water bodies (El Zowalaty et al., 2020). Therefore, coronavirus control measures such as lockdowns significantly influenced cleaning water sources.

Another positive impact of coronavirus on the ecosystem was reduced noise pollution. Human activities such as mining, construction, and transport raise sound levels, which harm the environment. Cheval et al. (2020) state that over 100,000 million European individuals are exposed to excess noise. Noise pollution adversely impacts the ecosystem by altering the environmental balance and affecting core parameters, such as wildlife. During the coronavirus, noise pollution was significantly reduced due to the inactivity of multiple sectors. Loh et al. (2021) affirmed that noise levels were reduced by 4 decibels during the pandemic, marking coronavirus impacts on noise pollution. Besides, several urban cities recorded a significant drop in noise pollution. For instance, Delhi city records a sound decrease from 55 dB to 40 dB during the day and 45 dB to 30dB during the night (Rume & Islam, 2020). This data shows a significant drop in noise levels in major cities, marking the positive impacts of coronavirus on the environment. Fundamentally, the inactivity of sectors that primarily cause pollution, such as transport and construction, accounted for a significant decrease in noise pollution.

The coronavirus pandemic promoted ecological restoration through reduced tourism. Although tourism is essential for income and exploration, it significantly accounts for environmental degradation. For instance, Loh et al. (2021) argued that tourists dispose of pollutants such as solid wastes into the environment, polluting vital ecological bodies such as oceans. Besides, tourism accounts for an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, COVID-19 reduced carbon emissions in tourist areas, such as Thailand, where over 5000 people visit daily (Cheval et al., 2020). Ecological restoration was evident during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, Rume and Islam (2020) noted the re-emergence of dolphins in Bengal Bay, which had not appeared in a decade. Thus, the coronavirus ensured ecological restoration due to limited tourism.

Despite the benefits of coronavirus to the ecosystem, the pandemic adversely impacted the environment, such as increased medical waste. As noted, coronavirus was a fatal outbreak that killed millions worldwide (El Zowalaty et al., 2020). This aspect necessitated thorough medical intervention, including non-recycling of protective gear. The healthcare sector faced the menace of controlling medical waste. For instance, Wuhan, China, recorded 240 metric tons of biohazardous waste daily during the outbreak (Rume & Islam, 2020). Such waste was detrimental to the environment, and healthcare experts had to design optimal disposal measures to prevent environmental pollution. COVID-19 control equipment is comprised primarily of plastic waste, which is non-decomposable. The waste included syringes, masks, medicine tins, and tissue papers, which degraded the environment. Therefore, the reduced recycling of medical equipment during covid 19 was detrimental to the ecology and posed dangers to human life.

Conclusively, the coronavirus pandemic posed multiple positive and adverse impacts on the ecology. The pandemic’s control measures, such as lockdowns, accounted for environmental conservation. For instance, the closure of heavy metal industries ensured improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced water pollution. Additionally, noise levels dropped during the coronavirus compared to previous years in major cities. COVID-19 further ensured ecological conservation through reduced tourism, as evidenced by the return of indigenous species.Nevertheless, the pandemic adversely impacted the environment through increased medical waste. The pandemic triggered thorough measures in the healthcare sector due to its severity, significantly reducing medical equipment recycling. Therefore, this paper has identified the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the ecosystem and suggests environmental conservation to enjoy the identified benefits.


Cheval, S., Mihai Adamescu, C., Georgiadis, T., Herrnegger, M., Piticar, A., & Legates, D. R. (2020). Observed and potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment. International journal of environmental research and public health17(11), 4140.

El Zowalaty, M. E., Young, S. G., & Järhult, J. D. (2020). Environmental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic–a lesson for the future. Infection Ecology & Epidemiology10(1), 1768023.

Loh, H. C., Looi, I., Ch’ng, A. S. H., Goh, K. W., Ming, L. C., & Ang, K. H. (2021). Positive global environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a review. GeoJournal, 1-13.

Rume, T., & Islam, S. D. U. (2020). Environmental effects of COVID-19 pandemic and potential strategies of sustainability. Heliyon6(9).


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