by The Welthi Bureau | 29-03-2020
Covid-19 is very much a disease of the moment putting the entire world under lockdown, except Antarctica, and spelling doom to the economies of various countries. Definitely, coronavirus has hit the people hard by confining them to their homes and depriving them of the freedom to move and fly freely.
In a matter of a few weeks, the whole world has changed. Public spaces, entertainment hubs and beaches have become empty.
It appears that Covid-19 has pressed a reset button on a lot of things. People have begun appreciating old values and simple things in life.
The restriction on movement has apparently helped the world see reduced pollution and emission of carbon gases. With vehicles off the roads, the air in many cities has become much cleaner. Water bodies too have become cleaner with human intervention reducing drastically.
Many have said that they are hearing to more chirping of birds around them with the honking of vehicles and buzzing of motors coming to a halt due to the lockdown orders. With the humans cooped up in their homes, various animals have started reclaiming their space from where they were driven away in the name of development.
In Andhra Pradesh, the abode of Lord Balaji atop the Seshachalam hill ranges in Tirumala, which bustles with lakhs of pilgrims on any given day, is now being visited by wild bears and deers. Following the lockdown and its strict implementation, the foot path to the shrine is now empty and wild animals from the nearby forest are sneaking out in groups and moving freely on the roads.
There were reports of a civet being sighted on the main road near Kurnool after the lockdown orders were passed. Birds like sparrows, which went missing following the urbanisation due to industrialisation, have also come back to their habitats.
People in Odisha also reported of turtles arriving at Rushikulya beach. They were the famed Olive Ridley turtles, an endangered species, whose existence was threatened due to development of the coast.
In the Mexican Carribean region, endangered animals including jaguars, great curassow birds, crocodiles and leatherback turtles were spotted in urban areas and even in the hotels of Cancun and River Maya.
In Italy, while the healthcare workers and doctors are grappling with the coronavirus outbreak, dolphins are slowly coming back to the coast with the cruise ships staying anchored at the shores.
Swans are also reported to be entering Italy’s canals with the tourists retreating due to the fear of coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, there were videos on social media of Egyptian geese walking in the Tel Aviv airport in Israel with the aeroplanes being grounded due to travel restrictions following the outbreak of Covid-19.
In Singapore, otters were found moving freely on roads and empty public spaces.
Similarly, a puma was found roaming on the empty streets of the Chilean capital of Santiago amid the curfew imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
If the quarantine continues for a long period, recovery of the environment can be expected as there is no burning of fossil fuels by vehicles and aeroplanes.
All these instances should help humans understand that Planet Earth has to shared with other animals and that we should learn the art of co-existence. So far, we have encroached into the habitats of animals and forced them to vacate the space for our existence.
Now, with coronavirus spreading rampantly across the world, humans have been forced to shut themselves in their homes emptying all the common and public spaces. The lockdown has definitely provided some relief to the fauna which has begun reclaiming their space.
People should remember that the planet should be shared not just with other animals but even other human beings. The public should take all precautions to avoid contracting the deadly virus and also avoid putting others’ life at stake by passing on Covid-19 to them.
Even after lifting the lockdown, let us not forget that the planet is not all ours but also of some other creatures which cannot talk, protest and convey their feelings and concerns. The policy to be remembered is LIVE AND LET LIVE.
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