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Coronavirus has had a global impact, with over 2 million cases and approximately 150,000 deaths across 213 countries (WHO, 2020). Counter-measures led to travel restrictions, social-distancing rules and the demise of the World’s economy, which stopped “24 million people from escaping poverty” (Gopinath, 2020) (Vaswani, 2020). Amidst one of the world’s greatest crises, are there any silver linings?

 

(WedStockReview, undated).

The Community Impact

“Urban space has always been a place for the community”, which is essential to help bring “people from many different backgrounds and cultures” together and establish a sense of place (Giddings, 2007, p.1973).

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen community spirt enhanced all over the world, from schemes such as “telephone befriending service”, “a socially distanced cup of tea” and the Italians’ sing-a-longs from their balconies (Hope, 2020) (Murray and Pidd, 2020) (Newsround, 2020). Help has been specifically put in place for those in need, with communities shopping for the vulnerable and supermarkets creating time “slots reserved for the elderly” (Hope, 2020).

Vast amounts of support have also been generated for health care workers. In the UK, we have seen weekly “clapping for the NHS”, plus several fundraising schemes from “the Great British Campout for NHS staff”, to a 99-year-old veteran raising almost £27 million by “walking 100 lengths of his garden” (ITV, 2020) (JustGiving, 2020).

 

(NetClipArt, undated).

The Environmental Impact

Having faced major climate disasters already this year, for instance the devastating Australia forest fires, it is evident that climate change is an essential issue to address. The UN have stated emissions need to fall “by an average of 7.6 per cent a year” to limit “the rise in average global temperatures” (Cockburn, 2020).

(Hook and Wisniewska, 2020).

Due to the majority of people now staying at home, drastically reducing car and air travel, the levels of air pollutants have fallen by “almost 50%” (Newsround, 2020). As a result, EU “daily emissions have fallen 58[%]”, Venice’s “famous canals have never been cleaner” and carbon emissions fell “18% in China” (Hook and Wisniewska, 2020) (Hope, 2020) (The Guardian, 2020).

However, the pandemic also poses a risk to tackling this issue in the long run as it overshadows environmental concerns, having already seen climate talks and new policies postponed (Hook and Wisniewska, 2020). There is also the potential for emission levels to shoot back up in the aftermath, as seen after the 2007-2008 global financial crisis (Cockburn, 2020).

 

In the return to everyday life we must draw on these positives and hope that new environmentally beneficial habits, such as home-working and reduced trips, continue in our daily routines.


References:

Cockburn, H. (2020). Coronavirus could trigger biggest fall in global carbon dioxide since Second World War, scientists day. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/coronavirus-air-pollution-carbon-dioxide-impact-environment-climate-crisis-a9446031.html. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2020). Captain Tom Moore completes 100-lap challenge for NHS as donations top £17 million. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/15/second-world-war-veteran-thanks-generous-public-raising-75million/. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

Giddings, B. (2007). The Role of Urban Design in Developing Communities. Available at: https://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB5109.pdf. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

Gopinath, G. (2020). The Great Lockdown: Worst Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression. Available at: https://blogs.imf.org/2020/04/14/the-great-lockdown-worst-economic-downturn-since-the-great-depression/. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

Hook, L. and Wisniewska, A. (2020) How corona virus stalled climate change momentum. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/052923d2-78c2-11ea-af44-daa3def9ae03. Accessed on: 19/04/20.

Hope, R. (2020). Coronavirus: Nine good things to come out of COVID-19 pandemic. Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-nine-good-things-to-come-out-of-covid-19-pandemic-11959667. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

ITV. (2020). Five stories that show coronavirus hasn’t broken community spirit. Available at: https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-05/coronavirus-positive-stories-uk-community/. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

JustGiving. (2020). Captain Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS. Available at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

Mandate. (2020). Mandate trade union welcomes co-operative approach from vast majority of retail employers on protecting workers’ health and safety. Available at: https://mandate.ie/2020/03/mandate-trade-union-welcomes-co-operative-approach-from-vast-majority-of-retail-employers-on-protecting-workers-health-and-safety/. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

Murray, J. and Pidd, H. (2020). Coronavirus: looking for good news- community cuppas and the Stockport Spiderman. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/31/coronavirus-looking-for-good-news-and-hope-in-a-time-of-crisis. Accessed on: 20/04/20.

NetClipArt. (undated). Global Warming Clipart at Getdrawing – Global Warming Earth Cartoon. Available at: https://www.netclipart.com/isee/bbbxom_global-warming-clipart-at-getdrawings-global-warming-earth/. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

Newsround. (2020). Coronavirus: The positives stories to emerge. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51958714. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

The Guardian. (2020). The Guardian view on the climate and coronavirus: global warming. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/12/the-guardian-view-on-the-climate-and-coronavirus-global-warnings#maincontent. Accessed on: 19/04/20.

WebStockReview. (undated). Community clipart cartoon. Available at: https://webstockreview.net/pict/getfirst. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

World Health Organisation [WHO]. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. Available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. Accessed on 18/04/20.

Vaswani, K. (2020). Coronavirus: Millions will be left in poverty, World Bank warns. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52103666. Accessed on: 18/04/20.

One response to “Have any positives come out the global pandemic of Covid-19?”

  1. Thank you Kate for identifying the positives of quarantine. Even I, myself have dabbled on thinking about positive experiences and the things I’ve done at home during lockdown. For the past couple of weeks, when we turned on the telly, the news about corona virus and cases has been dominating through all the channels. However, it is important to take a look on the positives regardless of scale on what we accomplished as a society. One great example, is fostering our community. There has been cases with small gestures on helping the vulnerable adults. Police officers from Aldershot aided a distressed woman who went outside her house to look for food as she had not eaten for days (Boyd, 2020). Police officers collaborated with external stakeholders that she is looked after during the lockdown and making sure she has water and enough food for days. This is an excellent example of using social connections of taking care of the vulnerable and elderly in the time of need. The council of Aldershot has been working closely with the group of volunteers called Aldershot Response to Coronavirus (ARC). This group comprises with 1000 residential volunteers and their main aim is to help collect shopping, prescriptions and post letters particularly who are vulnerable adults (Buxton, 2020).

    Unicef posted guidelines on caring for the elderly during the pandemic which shares similar values with ARC particularly on social distancing, running errands and stay connected with people (Sundararajan, 2020). In this respect, it highlights that people would like to give back to support our NHS to eases the burden that they are currently facing. Moreover, it helps to cope up with the sad news in the media everyday regarding the increasing number of deaths and cases. Lastly, it is establishing through communal collaboration with others to work towards similar goals and common purpose.

    Boyd, A., 2020. [online] Available at: < https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/hampshire-news/aldershot-police-help-distressed-woman-18137037> [Accessed 22 May 2020].

    Buxton, L., 2020. More Than 1,000 People Offer Help To Those Self-Isolating In Aldershot. [online] Eagle Radio. Available at: < https://www.eagleradio.co.uk/news/local-news/3063525/more-than-1000-people-offer-help-to-those-self-isolating-in-aldershot/> [Accessed 22 May 2020].

    Sundararajan, G., 2020. Caring For The Elderly During The COVID-19 Pandemic. [online] Unicef.org. Available at: < https://www.unicef.org/india/stories/caring-elderly-during-covid-19-pandemic> [Accessed 22 May 2020].

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