Aftermath of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 gave rise to 6.23 million deaths worldwide. COVID-19 had not only shaped our daily lives but also drastically influenced the environment. Due to social distancing policies such as lockdowns and restrictions on travel, a decrease in air pollution has positively impacted the environment. On the contrary, the usage of PPE, also referred to as personal protective gear, negatively impacted the environment. 

COVID-19 brought restrictions on economic and transportation activity. Limitations to such activities caused severe damage to the financial status of many, yet they led to an unprecedented reduction in air pollution. Paradoxically, the more people that suffer, the less air pollution the earth has to endure. As reported by PNAS, experts contend that there was a decline in nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide is formed by the burning of fossil fuels and diesel, which causes chronic lung disease in humans due to long-term exposure.

During the pandemic, people were addicted to using disposable products such as masks, self-covid test kits, and medical products from a fear of being infected with COVID-19. According to a new World Health Organization(WHO) report, “87,000 tonnes of PPE … 140 million test kits, with a potential to generate 2,600 tonnes of non-infectious waste, 731,000 liters of chemical waste, over 8 billion doses of vaccine, 144,000 tonnes of additional waste in the form of syringes, needles, and safety boxes have been shipped globally.” All the chemicals and products ended up in waste which harmed the biosphere. Poor waste management accelerated global warming and climate change. 

At a governmental, business, and individual level, everyone should keep seeking solutions on methods to resolve the future catastrophes.

By. Soohyun Nam

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“Tonnes of Covid-19 Health Care Waste Expose Urgent Need to Improve Waste Management Systems.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, -urgent-need-to-improve-waste-management-systems. 

Venter, Zander S. “SNHS Spotlight: Covid-19 Has Caused a Decrease in Global Air Pollution.” IHA Accents, 10 Mar. 2021, bal-air-pollution/. 

“Waste: A Problem or a Resource?” European Environment Agency, 5 Nov. 2021,,gas%20linked%20to %20climate%20change.