The Unknown Upside of COVID-19

by Anna Fazioli                                                                                    Although there are extreme negative effects from COVID-19, there is one positive impact that is important to recognize in this time of sadness and loss; the environment has improved a great amount. There are numerous cases where the improvements have been noticeable and greatly appreciated. 

One example is the city of Venice, where, instead of busy streets, canals snake throughout the city. On a normal day, these canals are filled with boats, and the water is filthy and murky. During Italy’s time in self-isolation, the canals have become noticeably cleaner.

The canals before COVID-19 were brown and full of junk. Due to the traffic in the canals, sediment from the bottom of the canals rises to the surface. Citizens could barely see a couple of feet down, whereas now they can even see the bottom in many parts of the canals. As a result of the quarantine, swans, fish, and other wildlife have returned to the canals.

A spokesperson for the Venice mayoral office said, “The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom.” Citizens of Italy have been astonished by this sudden change since the canals have not been this clean for a very long time. 

Another positive change for our environment has been a decrease in air pollution. The amount of pollution has gone down drastically due to the fact that the majority of air pollution is caused by public transportation, which is not as common during our period of self-isolation.

  Aristos Georgiou, a writer for said, “It seems that the pandemic is already leading to huge reductions in air pollution in those regions that have been significantly affected by COVID-19—such as China and Italy—as industry, aviation and other forms of transport grind to a halt.” 

Although it is easy to focus on the negative effects of COVID-19, understanding the positive effects of our situation is vital in order to stay hopeful during this time.


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