Voices Of Youth

Forum: Pandemic's impact on pollution

Empty roads leading to the central business district in Singapore on April 8, 2020.
Empty roads leading to the central business district in Singapore on April 8, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

When I took a walk around my neighbourhood recently, I was enraptured by the scenery, more so than ever before the pandemic.

Why? Everything just seemed so much brighter and more colourful. The sky looked bluer, the trees looked greener and the flowers looked more vibrant. This is part of the positive impact Covid-19 has had by bringing industries to a halt and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

It was reported that people in the Indian state of Punjab said that they were able to see the Himalayas from their homes for the first time in decades due to the improvement in air quality in April.

Global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to fall by roughly 2.6 billion tonnes this year (Pandemic lockdowns cause record fall in emissions, but it is not all good news, May 1).

Travel restrictions worldwide led to reduced aviation emissions. And less traffic congestion meant that the sound of noisy car horns was replaced by the melodious sound of birds chirping.

The lockdowns around the world prompted changes in the climate that people had thought were impossible. Perhaps this will induce people to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Sara Shriram, 16

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2020, with the headline 'Pandemic's impact on pollution'. Print Edition | Subscribe