Positives of the pandemic


CLEAR CANALS. Beautiful gondolas like these have cut nearly all travel through the canals of Venice. As a result, water has become still and all dust has been able to settle, leaving see-through water. Hopefully, this is not just a temporary pause at pollution, but a time of reflection to better Venice’s air and water control after Coronavirus concludes and well into the future.

   Coronavirus. This word has been said so much in these past few weeks that not one person can go about their day without hearing about this tragic situation and what is coming out of it. With all this negative news swarming around us, it can be incredibly hard to maintain a positive mindset. While we should not make light of this dangerous and honestly, terrifying, situation, it is okay to try and see the bright side once in a while. 

   This virus has led to public places being shut down, stay at home orders being issued, and almost all businesses and shops getting closed. With everyone in their homes, there is so much less traffic, and the results of this are shocking. 

   According to NASA, “…nitrogen dioxide levels across eastern and central China have been 10-30% lower than normal…NO2 levels in Milan and other parts of northern Italy have fallen by about 40%.” In Venice, canals that have been known to be filled with dirt and dust have now become beautifully clear due to a decrease in water traffic. The air quality in Italy has also improved drastically. 

   Phil Martien from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco said, “This is not how we want to see air quality go down… I suspect it is just a temporary reduction. But definitely, for the elderly and people who have health issues like heart issues or breathing difficulties, clean air is especially beneficial.”

   The virus has also brought out the best in a few individuals. The amount of charity work that citizens are doing to help their neighbors and friends is inspiring. In particular, a junior at Yale, Liam Elkind and his friend, Simone Policano set great examples in the streets of New York. 

   According to the Chicago Tribune, they “…amassed 1,300 volunteers in 72 hours to deliver groceries and medicine to older New Yorkers and other vulnerable people. They call themselves Invisible Hands, and they do something else in the process — provide human contact and comfort, at a safe distance, of course.”

   These past few weeks of quarantine have also allowed families to spend quality time together. We are always so caught up with our schoolwork, jobs, and other extracurriculars, that we rarely get to just relax. Many have found ways to keep themselves busy such as doing puzzles, binge-watching Netflix, or picking up a new hobby. Regardless of what we are doing to get through this, at least we are doing it together. 

   In these dark times, we must remember to not only take care of ourselves, but also our neighbors, friends, and family. The only way to get through this is together. While you need to make sure that you stay up to date with information about the virus, it is also important to find and appreciate some of the good that is coming out of this situation.