Air crisis, if not contained for long, could spiral into a long-term problem…
In the initial days after lockdown; social media was flooded with pictures of clear blue skies, sparkling clear water bodies and many endangered species returning to their habitats.
Several cities witnessed a drop in air pollution; a refreshing change in the history of gray clouds that had always hovered over metropolitan areas.
Alas! The truth couldn’t be farther from the reality.
As the lockdown eased, citizens went back to work, factories reopened and restrictions relieved…the air quality levels fell dramatically. Underneath masks, people struggled to breathe. The condition of asthmatic patients, senior citizens and the already affected by Covid-19 worsened drastically.
We have seen an all-time soar in the emerging cases and premature deaths. And why is that? One reason that shines as the underlying factor is the increasing pollution level.
It is estimated that poor air quality levels aside from harming the ecosystem also indirectly increases the exposure of respiratory diseases like Covid-19. Currently Delhi and Kolkata stand as 2 and 3 in line of the air quality and pollution ranking with air quality indexes of 285 and 207, sometimes rising as high as 600. The range for moderate or healthy air quality is 51-100…let that sink in!
If we still continue to turn a blind eye to the current predicament, we will be voluntarily letting our children’s future go up in smoke. We will let our wants- wants of driving a swanky car home, going on a shopping spree every 2 weeks and still working in factories that dispose chemical waste in landfills take over our needs. Our need to breathe clean, fresh air and leave a healthy ecosystem for our children.
Acknowledging our mistake and doing something about it, will help. But this can’t take a decade, this can’t take a year, this can’t even take a month… because we’re all running on a very steep timeline.
In some ways each and every one of us can make a big difference, by carpooling whenever possible, conserving energy at home, at work, almost everywhere. Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products always.
Let’s all not only hope, but ensure our children will breathe fresh air. Let’s all do our part!