India imposed a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus. The world’s largest effort to contain COVID-19 became a stay-at-home order for 1.3 billion people.
The goal of this effort was to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but it had an unintended outcome. All of the markets, shops, and factories shut down with the order to suspend everything. That meant pollution levels dropped dramatically in every city, especially for the harmful PM2.5 that contributes to thousands of deaths each year.
India has 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. NO2 levels dropped dramatically after the announcement of the lockdown.
Why Are the Lower Pollution Levels Important?
You can still have the energy to get through your day, but it will not be the same outcome when compared to a lifestyle with the correct nutritional content.
When you breathe nitrogen dioxide in high quantities while putting the particulate matter into your lungs, then your quality of life goes down. This pollution can even lower your life expectancy with consistent exposure to it.
After India announced the lockdown, some cities saw a 70% drop in NO2 levels. Residents are saying that they haven’t seen skies that look so blue in the country’s cities for more than a decade.
The reduces pollution levels are the silver lining in an era when people are called to sacrifice a lot for their neighbors.
Nationwide Curfews Also Have a Positive Impact
What makes the lockdown of India unique is that 1.3 billion people are also subject to an enforced curfew. This order came out on March 22, 2020. It would result in the lowest one-day traffic pollution levels on record for the city of Delhi.
PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants experienced steep drops because of the lockdown efforts. More records continue to be set as the 21-day order stays in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Although the coronavirus has an adverse impact on health, India also has one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world. It was immediately apparent that protecting everyone had to be a priority. Now the government can take the lessons learned from this effort to encourage better health for everyone moving forward – including new investments for a cleaner future.