The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a new normal in people's lives globally. While it continues its deadly path, there have been dramatic changes as to how people live, eat and work.
It's easy to brood over its negative impacts in one's life, but for every low, there's a high and it wouldn't be wrong to say that even the current scenario has a silver lining to it.
The COVID-19 global disruption has brought about several environmental and climatic changes. Due to movement restriction and a slowdown of economic and social activities, the air quality has significantly improved in many cities along with a reduction in water pollution in different parts of the world.
Besides air quality, noise pollution has significantly reduced in numerous cities. Doctors say noise pollution has negative effects on physiological health, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, sleep shortness and many more.
As per a report, around 360 million people globally are prone to hearing losses due to noise pollution.
Additionally, the tourism sector, which contributes massively to the economy, has been hit hard due to the pandemic. As the world went into lockdown, tourists have greatly reduced resulting in nature getting ample amount of time to 'reboot' and heal, something which was probably needed.
Marshall Burke, an environmental economist at Standford University once said, "A pandemic is a terrible way to improve environmental health" – an undeniable truth.
With the world shutting down due to the deadly contagion, people have no other choice but to isolate themselves in their homes. While some just stare at the void – empty streets from their windows, others have taken up various activities which they probably couldn't have done if the virus wasn't around.
For example, a section of people have started farming in their own backyard and produce their own crops for consumption. Some have taken their hobbies seriously and improve in the process – be it music or cooking, and some just taking a much needed break from work and focus on their respective families.
As life slowed down, human behaviour as well as interactions with one another have changed, may or may not for the good – depending on person to person. Yes, we miss going outdoors on vacations every now and then without any worry, but, don't we also dread those pending workload at our office desks?
Speaking on hygiene, it is no longer just a good habit. People are now conscious about their health and hence keep themselves clean and hygienic. We humans are social animals and are engineered to emote and connect with fellow beings. That won't change, but the pandemic sure did teach us how to do it hygienically.
However, domestic violence has significantly increased since the world went into COVID-19 induced lockdown. The fact that some get frustrated staying indoors all day cannot be denied. There are many helplines in India that a person can reach if he/she feels threatened – one being the 'SHEROES' app for women.
No wonder, COVID-19 is a major market disruptor, but, it has also led to unprecedented levels of innovation. Hence, many businesses had to adapt themselves with the new normal.
The pandemic has forced businesses to undergo rapid digitalisation and offer their services online. With this, some of them can evolve their business model and change or grow in the process.
Undoubtedly, all these positive impacts come at a price – price of mass deaths, plummeting economy, sickness, and depression. As heartbreaking it can be, the positive impacts should not overlooked, else, all of this becomes meaningless.
The crisis will end, just like the previous pandemics, but it will be up to us if we continue with the positive changes that we have incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We can always do better as human beings.