Earth is the only planet on which life exists as far as we know. There are many theories which state the formation of our planet earth and there are proofs that state, that the earth is almost 5 billion years old.

Human race has evolved from finding fire to designing firewalls and tend to grow and evolve as we speak. Earth has provided the human race with all the basic needs as well as its natural beauty which includes water bodies, mountain ranges, islands, animals, etc., possibly one could not ask for anything more. Humans have discovered a lot of things across many centuries and tend to discover more in the near future. As humans are constantly evolving, they are becoming more and more competitive as well.

In today’s world each and every person living on earth is trying to survive for the basic needs and for this survival, people have overexploited our mother earth. People have built factories, skyscrapers, roads, dams, vehicles which pollute the environment extremely. According to the United Nations, we dump 2.12 billion of waste every year which leads to land, water and sea pollution which affects the ecosystem. Toxic pollution affects more than 200 million people worldwide, according to a non-profit environmental organization. In some of the world's worst polluted places, babies are born with birth defects, children have lost 30 to 40 IQ points, and life expectancy may be as low as 45 years because of cancers and other diseases.

Due to Increase in the sophistication of technology it enables natural resources to be extracted quickly and efficiently resulting in overexploitation. There are many species which are on a verge of extinction due to overexploitation and human’s life is at risk as well.

Consequences of exploitation of resources:

  • Deforestation
  • Desertification
  • Extinction of species
  • Forced migration
  • Soil erosion
  • Oil depletion
  • Ozone depletion
  • Greenhouse gas increase
  • Extreme energy
  • Water gasification


2020 is definitely going to be one of the years that would be remembered. The main reason behind this is Coronavirus outbreak (COVID -19). Corona viruses are zoonotic. This means they first develop in animals before being transmitted to humans. Once the virus develops in people, corona viruses can be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. Older adults and people with certain health conditions have a higher risk for severe complications if they contract the virus.

Its origins have been traced to a food market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. From there, it’s reached countries as distant as the United States and the Philippines. The virus (officially named SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for millions of infections globally, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. The United States is the country most affected.

Due to this wide spread of Corona virus outbreak lockdown was implemented in various places to control the outspread of the virus. Even after taking all the precautions and measures the spread of the virus has not yet stopped and death toll is still on a rise as we speak. Corona virus has impacted the life of human beings in various ways. It has made human kind to enter into a new technical or digitalization phase. Following the outbreak of the corona virus, many countries had adopted lockdown procedures that stopped people from moving out and for shops and other establishments to close down.

After the lockdown was put in place in many countries and as there was lesser travelling done by people, whether it be by their own cars, or by trains and flights. NO₂ pollution in some cities fell by as much as 60% compared to the same period in 2019. NASA revealed that NO₂ pollution over New York and other major metropolitan areas in north-eastern USA was 30% lower in March 2020, compared to the monthly average from 2015 to 2019. Even industries were closed down and not allowed to function. This in turn led to the pollution in the air dropping significantly.

Source: NASA
The average concentration of NO₂ over northeastern US in March of 2015-19 (top) and the average concentration measured in March 2020 (bottom).
Source: Reuters

The top picture shows the India Gate war memorial on October 17, 2019, months before the nationwide lockdown. The bottom picture shows the memorial after air pollution levels began to drop during the lockdown in New Delhi on April 8.

Articles and reports in dailies and other electronic media reveal the improvement in the quality of number of rivers of India including Ganga, Sutlej and Yamuna etc. The primary cause is lack of industrial effluents entering the rivers due to lockdown situation under this pandemic situation. The DO levels of river Ganga as per reports has gone above 8 ppm. Also in areas like Venice, the water became so clear that the fish could be seen and there was better water flow. No doubt, because of the lesser human footfall even the oceans are recovering and marine life is thriving.

It is believed that the virus originated from the wet market in Whuhan, China. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society is urging governments to ban live animal markets, and stop illegal trafficking and poaching of wild animals. There has been a massive impact on wildlife as human have stopped intervening which has resulted in privacy for zoo animals as well. In Ocean Park in Hong Kong, it is thought that Ying Ying, one of the resident pandas, may be pregnant after 10 years of attempts at natural mating. Also in India, there's been a massive spike in the number of baby Olive Ridley sea turtles, as beaches lie empty of humans. It's thought that around 60 million eggs have been deposited on Indian beaches this year. Animals that usually stay away from urban areas now have space to roam. In northern India, a herd of deer was caught on camera walking the streets of Haridwar during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

As in the past humans have overexploited our mother Earth, during this lockdown our environment has improved in various aspects and I think this is a way in which we are being taught that there is still time and we should look after and take care of our mother earth. Imagine we practice this lockdown for a longer period of time then the positive impact on Earth would be huge and our future generations would also enjoy the benefits of the precautions that we take today. I fear that once this pandemic comes to an end people will start travelling again or go back to doing what they have been doing, all the positive impact will also disappear.