All around the world, for the first time in decades, air pollution is dropping thanks to fewer cars being on the road and factories shut down as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. And this needs to be prioritized more than ever because the virus attacks the respiratory system. However, in reality, the EPA is not enforcing companies to adhere to environmental standards.
According to a Harvard study, exposure to polluted air can significantly increase the death rate of the virus. Exposure to just 1 μg/m3 of PM2.5 and below can increase the death rate of the novel coronavirus by 15%. Thus, by cleaning the air, we can further mitigate the risk the virus poses to humanity.
The Economic Disruption Saved Lives
One thing is clear, the overnight shutdown of economies around the world has saved lives. For one thing, people are not going to spread the virus through normal interactions with each other. Secondly, it is keeping cars off the road, planes out of the sky, and factories shut down.
While governments want to get their economies kicking again, it is far more beneficial for them to stay closed. At this point, it helps improve the survival rate.
Zero-Emission Technology Is The Future
As governments around the world try to fight the damage from the disruption in the economy, many experts are realizing we’re in a catch 22 situation. On one hand, hospitals need funds to properly combat the virus. And people need money to survive while out of work.
However, on the other hand, we are continuing to pollute the air, which is part of the problem. Companies and governments more than ever need to invest in zero-emission technology. This will help lower the death rate of COVID-19. And, it will also protect us from future respiratory diseases.
Even more important, it protects the 7 million people that die each year as a result of air pollution.