Covid 19 Pandemic- Emerging impacts on human life, biodiversity and nature

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, it is known as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV. In February 2020, ICTV announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for this new virus (WHO, 2020).

Covid 19 pandemic is spreading across the globe like a wildfire from one spark- one virus is enough to spread in to human. Without precautions, we can’t stop it because vaccines are not available currently. Globally, a lot of researches are progressing for drug discovery. One of the major challenges in drug discovery is the mutation of virus in to different strains in different regions/countries. It may be lead to confusions in researchers to find the suitable drugs within a short time.

Impacts on humans

This is a type of situation like once in a century.  It is an unexpected disease and its sudden outbreak in one place and spreading to different places made complications for human life.  It badly affects the human life in different ways; people may die or isolate, families dispersed in different places, social distancing, relationships in struggle, communications disrupted, lose of employments, economy slow down, salary stopped or reduced, food crisis. All systems in human society affected by this pandemic. It affected all level or groups in society; rich and poor, elders and kids without any difference. Thousands of people were died in different parts of the world. All these made stressful situations on people and lot of people are in fear. The anxiety about their future leads to stress and mental  abnormalities.

Impact of this pandemic on human life is a major threat for health and socio-economic development of humans society. It affected some nations very badly. Such impacts will not solve easily or soon.  It will affect the global economy and quality of life. In nearby future, millions of people may fall in to food crisis and poverty. The farming and food production reduced due to this pandemic and lock down.  Already thousands of life wiped away due to COVID-19 and continuing its victory on earth. It destructed dreams and happiness of lot of families globally.

Coronavirus is zoonoses (ie: they can transmit diseases from animals to humans). According to UNEP frontiers Report (2016), they comprise the 60% of all infectious diseases in humans and 75% of emerging infectious diseases. It indicated that humans should keep them away from wild animals. They need to protect the wildlife habitats and forests for animals. Don’t abusing or kill animals for human pleasure or recreation.  Biodiversity conservation is important for wellbeing of all species on earth because lives of all organisms are interconnected. Humans need to think about the survival of their next generations on earth. All organisms are interwoven like a web. Breaking of any link may affect other organisms.

Impacts on biodiversity

According to different media and news, wild animals and aquatic organisms were roaming around lonely places, roads and cities in lockdown period. Lockdown is continuing in different countries, it is a great chance for migration of animals and other living organisms for socializing, breeding and searching food.  A small percentage of conservationists, forest service other guards of national parks are doing their jobs now also. They are vulnerable to this disease. A large percentage of people are not doing works in some regions due to the Covid-19 and associated lockdown. Researchers are in trouble without field work and data analysis for their works. Most of the ecological and environmental assessment studies are based on seasonal or monthly field sampling. Social distancing is a barrier against such works. The unavailability or lagging of funding will affect the researchers and conservationists for their work as well as life. All these affect the biodiversity and conservation activities ongoing globally. Anyone doesn’t know when this situation will turn to normal life on earth.

Image of Civet roaming on a road in Kerala.

Civet roaming on a road in Kerala,India (Source: news18.com)

 

Impacts on aquatic ecosystems

Covid 19 pandemic may affect aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. The throwing of wastes, masks, gloves and hand wash/sanitizing agents may reach in to aquatic ecosystems. These all will affect the aquatic flora and fauna in a negative ways and lead to water pollution. It needs a scientific way of waste disposal of such sanitary items to stop the water pollution. The blue economy may slow down due to the reduced fishing and travel activities. The lockdown may beneficial to illegal fishing activities in ocean. Such activities may affect marine biodiversity and it may be leads to destruction of habitats.

“Our solutions are in nature”- UN International Biodiversity Day 22nd May- Theme – 2020

The human life is interconnected with all other life on earth. It needs a balance to move along with all in nature. Humans need to understand these facts and ready to avoid greed and selfishness. Without humans, the earth is more prosperous with other living forms, green plants, clean air and land with abundant freshwater resources. So that fauna and flora can survive here. Human beings must think about their unnecessary involvements in nature. It will be good to stop such unwanted play with nature. Power of nature is stronger than human prediction. They must stop wildlife trafficking, selling and eating habits; deforestation, abusing animals for fun or recreation. People need to learn sustainable life style and living with nature. It will be helpful for mental and physical strength and health for all. Nature is a good doctor, teacher, and engineer. Humans can learn a lot from nature.  Every home and community needs vegetable gardens for feeding family. Avoid unnecessary gatherings and parties to save money and life.  Following the instructions and rules from health departments and Govt. to avoid infection and spreading diseases to others. Stay safe at home/ keep social distancing with necessary precautions to save us and others life. This need to continue up to the successful discovery of drugs or any vaccine against Coronavirus. Precautions are the only way to avoid getting infection.

These all are remembering us the anthropogenic impacts on environment and its negative results on human life and nature. Unwanted human activities on earth may return to humans in unexpected way against humans as pandemics and natural disasters. Climate changes and global warming may triggers emergence of new diseases in the world. Human beings must need to be vigilant about chance of such situations in future. Humans can’t control such situations without medicines or vaccines. The only solution for avoid such crisis is “save nature and biodiversity” for us and our future generations on earth. If it is not ” humans can’t survive on planet earth, it will be challenge for human race’. Remember this proverb “As you sow so you reap” when unwanted play with nature.

References:

WHO, 2020. Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools. UNISEF. 12pp

https://www.euronews.com/living/2020/04/25/while-you-stay-home-animals-roam-free-in-our-towns-and-cities

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/apr/22/animals-roaming-streets-coronavirus-lockdown-photos

Dr.Geetha Plackal

Research and Communication in LTEconomy website; Long Term Economy India Chair, Director of Operations India,Green Sahara Project; Social Media Manager, GiftWomenLink Foundation.

Dr.Geetha Plackal has 4 posts and counting. See all posts by Dr.Geetha Plackal

Dr.Geetha Plackal

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