Unintended benefits of COVID-19 lockdown as we stay safe indoors
Guwahati: No doubt that the lockdown has been hard on all of us. With the entire nation coming to a standstill, life -- as we know it -- has taken a different turn altogether. Now with the third extension of the lockdown, or lockdown 3.0 as they are calling it, the entire country has to go through another 14 days of staying at home and following the new guidelines.
However, bringing the 1.3 billion people in the country to a pause has brought some unintended benefits. Here are a few of them:
Drastic reduction of air pollution
India has 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. But due to the lockdown, there has been a rapid decrease in the pollution levels. Most of us have already seen the before/after pictures of various cities such as Delhi and Mumbai circulating on the Internet that shows a drastic change in visibility and clear skies. Because of the lockdown, aerosols levels have dropped fundamentally. Parts of India also recorded the lowest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the spring season. Air pollution is not the only thing, as there has been a significant drop in pollution levels in various rivers across India as well.
Decline in crime rates
Being locked away has caused a rapid decrease in crime rates across India. The sharpest decline can be seen in Karnataka and Delhi where the crime rates dropped to half after lockdown 1.0 was declared. Records state that there is a 44% decrease in crimes as compared to last year. However, this is not a matter of celebration as there has been a sharp rise in domestic abuse during this lockdown.
A rapid decline in road accidents
When compared to last year, during the same period, there has been approximately 77.4% reduction of road fatalities in the state of Punjab alone after the lockdown was declared. Kerala, which recorded 1,787 road accidents last year in the same period has now recorded 105 in the first phase of lockdown. The term ‘safe at home’ has found its true meaning after all.
Wild animals having a gala time
Flamingos in Mumbai, olive ridley turtles mass nesting in broad daylight in Odisha, rhino ambling into the east of Guwahati, spotted deer in the ghat roads of Tirupati, etc, are only a few examples of the wild taking their gleeful time to explore the territories that are usually occupied by humans.
Importance of sanitization
One thing that we will probably never forget after the long lockdown is the constant washing of hands. Sanitizing is now the new cool and this lockdown has reminded us about the importance of basic hygiene.