The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus or COVID-19 has caused unnecessary panic for some and sorrow for those who lost a friend or a loved one.
It’s something that’s not to be taken lightly and a really negative way to start off the year. Although undoubtedly destructive, the current pandemic can be looked at with a silver lining or a positive aspect though it may have come from a negative occurrence.
If you’re looking to balance the downpour of bad news you’ve been reading the past days, then here are four effects of coronavirus that we can consider as positives.
It cut down emissions
Because of the implementation of lockdowns and quarantines in different countries, industries and factories have begun shutting down.
According to a study by specialist outlet Carbon Brief, carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions in China have dropped by around 25 percent. Adding to that are airlines cutting flights worldwide and oil demand declining, so it’s expected that emissions will eventually be pushed down further.
This means there is now less pollution released into the air that harms the environment — bringing us to our next point.
It improved air quality significantly
One major unexpected benefit of the outbreak is the improvement of air quality in places that suffer from heavy impurities just a few months ago.
In addition to the report by Carbon Brief, NASA has also released an image showing the decrease in nitrogen dioxide or NO2 over China due to factories shutting down operations.
Marshall Burke, a researcher at Stanford University, writes in a blog post that this economic disruption resulted in better air quality and has more or less saved twenty times more lives in China than coronavirus has killed.
In areas that are on lockdown, different forms of transportation have been halted and cities are now being able to enjoy a breath of cleaner air. In fact, not only air quality has improved. The canals in Venice have even been reported to be a lot cleaner now due to the absence of tourists in Italy.
It pushed people for a healthier lifestyle
We know that having a healthy body helps fight off the virus. This is why some people now are mindful of their habits or lifestyle than ever before. They exercise, eat immunity-boosting food, and stay away from groups to lessen the chance of getting sick, among others.
For other areas that still haven’t implemented a lockdown, the majority of commuters have ditched trains and buses to go for plain old bicycles instead.
New York Times reports that people have opted to wipe away the dust on their bikes or rent from the city’s bike-share program and started riding them to work to avoid squeezing with other people in public transportations. They also believe it helps their mental health amid the pandemic.
Because of this worldwide issue, we also were awakened with the importance of a basic task like regularly washing of hands.
It unified people
By having a common enemy, humanity has formed an alliance with each other to strengthen and overcome the ongoing sickness. We’re not just talking about frontline workers (who are definitely worth our respect and admiration especially in times like these) but even entities from different industries.
You have the gaming community lending computing power to aid the research against coronavirus, social media giants fighting misinformation or fake news, a family-owned company supplying masks and filters to hospitals, and even a local civilian with a license in chemistry concocting her own ethyl alcohol just to give away for free.
We also saw other people who, despite being confined in their own homes, didn’t let it stop them from helping others. One fitness instructor even led a workout session from a rooftop for his neighbors.
Indeed, small acts of kindness like these lift each other’s morale and show the good side of humans.
Again, these are trying times for people all over the world and we can see the gravity of the situation just as soon as we go online. But, we can also choose to look at the positive side of things while remaining vigilant rather than continuously bombarding ourselves with negative news and negative thoughts.
Maybe thinking of your own silver lining amid this catastrophe will also help balance all the negativity. For some, the coronavirus pushed them to go for a healthier lifestyle and just bike to work, while others got to enjoy more family time while under lockdown.
How about you? What is your silver lining from all these?