Because of COVID-19, people have been told to stay inside their homes for as long as they can. As a result, there has been a slight decrease in the amount of emissions being released. When fossil fuels burn, they emit ninety-eight percent of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, which further contribute to global warming. “’In terms of direct, physical impacts, yes we’re seeing a slowdown in some emissions…’, says Andrea Dutton, a climate scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ’But of course, what really matters is cumulative emissions. If it’s short lived, it’s not really touching the tip of the iceberg…’” (Gardiner, 2020). Years of pollution will not be eliminated by a couple months decline in emissions, so we must take into account the damage we are doing to the earth and take action before it is too late.
Although there has been a slight halt in carbon emissions, the amount of deaths caused by the pandemic are causing funerals and hospitals to not have enough capacity for casualties. There have also been many supply shortages for certain items such as disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, all of which are repercussions of the people in panic. People being forced to stay inside is an indirect, temporary solution to a directly permanent problem that is climate change. With that in mind, there is more that needs to be done. These situations have challenged everyone and it is a startling time. With the approach of summer, people are ignoring the rules of social distancing and wearing masks because they want to go out. I understand that people want to enjoy the weather and engage in outdoor activities, but they must understand that we are still not in a safe zone yet. “’Both the pandemic and the climate crisis are problems of exponential growth against a limited capacity to cope’, said Elizabeth Sawin, co-director of Climate Interactive, a think tank…” (Qilai, 2020). The virus has affected people very quickly with almost 270,000 deaths, while the climate crisis has been getting exponentially worse. One day, we will reach the breaking point.
I am one of the few people considered essential to be able to work. I work in a supermarket as a cashier, and I always wear mask and gloves. I am grateful that I can still work, because unfortunately, so many people have not been able to work. The government has been slowly lifting the lockdown, ensuring that many stores and places of work are opened again. Testing kits for the virus are becoming more and more available each day, but it can difficult to find a place that are giving the tests. At the start of the pandemic gaining awareness, the middle-class and lower-class citizens were not able to get testing. Rich people such as actors, basketball players, musicians, ad more were able to get tested. The outcome of this was public outrage, because this clearly shows the bias of who should be tested and treated first.
We truly do not know when all of this will deescalate. It will take some time for a vaccine to come out, and even when the vaccine does come out people still need to be extremely cautious. This pandemic has brought on so many changes to the daily life of people that has never happened before, such as students having school online. So many people have tragically lost family members and friends throughout this crisis too. Hopefully a vaccine comes out quickly that way the distribution process is not delayed.
Gallucci, Maria. “The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Curbing China’s CO2 Emissionsk.” IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News, 31 Mar. 2020, spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/environment/coronavirus-outbreak-curbing-china-co2-emissions.
Gardiner, Beth, et al. “Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change.” Yale E360, 23 Mar. 2020, e360.yale.edu/features/coronavirus-holds-key-lessons-on-how-to-fight-climate-change.
Shen, Qilai. “Carbon Emissions Are Falling Sharply Due to Coronavirus. But Not for Long.” National Geographic, 3 Apr. 2020, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/coronavirus-causing-carbon-emissions-to-fall-but-not-for-long/#close.