How Has Coronavirus Affected the Environment?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of changes to the world and has challenged the notions we perceived to be true. During the first massive lockdown, there were a lot of articles and general information going around that argued that the pandemic was nature’s way of healing. While the source of the virus has been traced to wild animals, the pandemic is not nature’s way of healing. If anything it is causing the same amount of environmental impact if not more environmental impact. To properly analyze how the coronavirus has affected the environment we have to look at it from both sides of the coin. We will be discussing the environmental advantages and the environmental disadvantages of the coronavirus pandemic.


  1. Land – The pandemic forced many businesses to work from home or opt for more digital spaces which mean there are fewer cars on the road, however, the virus has made people very wary of public transportation which means they are more likely to opt for a private means of transportation.
  1. Air – Airlines are adhering to social distancing rules however there are still flights, the problem is that they are carrying significantly fewer people but still having the same environmental impact they would have if they were to fly a full plane. This goes against the sustainability alternative for climate change.
  1. Sea – With the attention placed solely on Covid-19 and an unprecedented increase in online transactions, shipping companies have more business than ever. There may be fewer humans outdoors however the impact remains the same.

Environmental Advantages of the Coronavirus Pandemic

  1. The virus did force more people to stay at home for safety reasons which mean there are significantly fewer flights, significantly fewer cars on the streets, and less pollution on the streets.
  1. The daily global emissions were down by 17 percent in April 2029 due to the mass lockdown rules. This is the lowest it has been in quite a while.
  1. The air got cleaner due to fewer vehicles and planes.

Environmental Disadvantages of the Coronavirus Pandemic

  1. The solution the pandemic provided was unfortunately rather temporary therefore it held no significant appeal.
  1. As things return to normal, cars will return to the streets, flights will be back in the air and the usual level of pollution will revert to its state.
  1. The “nature is healing” trope is dangerous because it has given people a false sense of security. Global emissions are back up and there has been so substantial change.
  1. Finally, in a bid to revive economies, more governments are permitting fossil fuel companies to dig and take over lands and areas that should be protected. Production has also increased because factories are trying to gain back the profit they lost as a result of the pandemic.

The pandemic did provide cleaner air for a few days however, nature cannot heal within a month. We will need long term sustainable plans to properly tackle climate change. For more information on the relationship between the environment and the pandemic click here