World environment day – a yearly celebration that is carried out to celebrate our achievements as humans towards the environment and this year -2020 is a celebration that is unique in every way possible.
For people all over the world, this year has been especially trying as we fight the epidemic - COVID-19 - that has surged through the earth like a wildfire killing thousands with statistics recording a daunting above 400K deaths till now, and counting.
This year, it is not humans who are celebrating; rather, it is the environment that is celebrating the lockdown of humans. The earth is breathing and showing us that it has had enough of our actions. And, that is what COVID-19 is all about. It has acted as a magnifier for humans to start reevaluating their actions that have affected their only home.
Positives behind the lockdown and you would be surprised at the daunting effect humans have and how staying locked up has been positive.
· Carbon emissions have gone down dramatically. As a result, temperatures are affected, and we are breathing. It is time to #take action.
· Wildlife is emerging as the threats they face from humans has receded.
· #Earth is literally taking a break.
· Whales and dolphins have been seen openly – no people to put them off. Not only them, but deer, monkeys, and so much more.
Food, water, and plants we eat are all from nature, and yet we destroy nature. Biodiversity is the solution to many if not all our problems.
“The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. An estimate states that, globally, about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from diseases instigated by coronaviruses. Almost 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic - transmitted to people by animals.” As stated by, United Nations.
Although zoonotic diseases are shared by animals and people, keeping nature and species diversity intact, protects us from pandemics. In some cases, high host species diversity can reduce disease risk -this is called the dilution effect. Removing some of these hosts creates a monoculture in animals who are then likely to be the ones who transmit the diseases. Human activity affects zoonosis, and conserving nature in all its forms is the only path.