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Covid-19 & Climate Change: They All Affect Human Society By City Tech Blogger Shuaixiang Feng

The Covid-19 pandemic has been around for nearly 2 years and still ongoing. People have to wear masks when stepping outside, however, in my opinion, wearing masks should be up to your own  personalization. Additionally, people have to wear masks when taking public transportation which is understandable but have to wear masks when driving in a car too. At the same time, the pandemic has benefitted people in terms of saving time and working remotely. Remote jobs have allowed employed workers to spend more time at home with their family because of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Despite people’s personal opinion on the pandemic, people’s lifestyle  has changed negatively due to reoccurring problems of weather and climate change.

The strict guidelines created by the pandemic is wearing a mask in public. Recently, the New York mayor Eric Adams spoke to remove the indoor mask mandate for public schools because the majority of the population were vaccinated in February. However, bars, restaurants, and clubs still require people  to wear a mask even if they are vaccinated because the virus can spread from person to person.  Each person has to use at least one mask per day. The effect is the increase in garbage which is typically used for burning energy. The most common type of energy system used in the United States is the mass-burn system, where unprocessed garbage is burned in an incinerator which consists of a boiler and a generator for producing electricity. Waste-to-energy plants reduce 2,000 pounds of garbage to ash weighing from about 300 pounds to 600 pounds, while reducing the volume of waste by about 87% [1]. The benefit of the mass burn system is saving space and producing electricity but still creating air pollution and greenhouse gas emission. This can be a problem for the climate change crisis.

The pandemic has affected forms of public transportation because people prefer to drive rather than taking the bus or train.  Personally, I observed how the pandemic affected transportation from the beginning of the pandemic in New York. Only a few people would take the subway or bus. People don’t want to take the risk of spreading a virus so they prefer to drive to work.  From 2020 to 2021, the number of cars sold have risen drastically [2]. People don’t want to wear a mask in public and shouldn’t feel scared about spreading the Coronavirus. The problem is that while vehicles are driving on the road, the pollution of those vehicles are pushing the climate change crisis.

As we know, relationship is not a one-way angel.  When the pandemic impacts climate change, it become a cycle where the environment and people are affected. Additionally, the effect of the rising sea levels and ice melting have increased. According to the article, “Melting Ice Raised Sea Levels More Than Previously Thought” Berwyn states that “Scientists have underestimated 20th century sea level rise caused by various melting ice caps and glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere by between 5 and 28 percent.” [3]. Hundreds of millions of people implicate with the increased melting speed.  Scientists should worry about potential bacteria and organisms on the microscopic level that may  impact the world’s biological system and future pandemics.

From my personal experience with the Covid-19 pandemic, the government wants people to be isolated and keep the social distance. People wish that working can be back in the office because they need money but the remote jobs have benefitted those who don’t need to travel. People and government can get what they want. Climate change is similar to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the world is seeking balance between climate change and human life.

 

Reference

[1]“U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” Waste-to-Energy (MSW) in Depth – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biomass/waste-to-energy-in-depth.php.

[2] Naughton, Nora. “The Pandemic Has Pushed Car Buying Online. It’s Expected to Stick.” Wall Street Journal – Online Edition, 22 June 2020, p. N.PAG. EBSCOhost, https://search-ebscohost-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=143873285&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

[3] Berwyn, Bob. “Melting Ice Raised Sea Levels More than Previously Thought, Study Says.” Inside Climate News, 30 Nov. 2020, https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27102016/melting-ice-glaciers-sea-level-rise-underestimated-study-greenland/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw0umSBhDrARIsAH7FCocpzdbZEyQEr7VgkFSLD6z3A9NYrHbqzCZyGA6FiWwU5BZ7iQ9mrB4aApGQEALw_wcB.

Image: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=7779

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One Response

  1. Interesting article, Shuaixiang Feng. I did not know we burn fossil fuels to get electricity. I agree this does save space and creates air pollutants, but what should we do when we can’t recycle everything or the items can naturally decompose (bio degradable)? I also agree with your last statement that ” Climate change is similar to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the world is seeking balance between climate change and human life.” It really resonated with me and I am also trying to find balance after the pandemic.

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