COVID-19 Impacts in Geographic perspectives
Geography as we know deals with almost every aspects around us. It is therefore inevitable that the current pandemic of COVID-19 will have a long lasting geographic impact.
These impacts can easily overlap with each other in a complicated cause and effect relation, however defined categories can be created viz.
We will discuss the Environmental and Demographic impacts of COVID-19.
Possibly the only major positive outcome of Covid-19 is felt on environment. There is a new lesson learnt by humans
“Nature can nurture itself as it has strong resilience”.
- Slashed GHGs
- Improved air quality
- Improved water quality in both lakes and river (CPCB referring Ganga water to be suitable for bathing, fishing)
makes excellent examples .The pollution levels touching lowest levels in decades. This has been due to near complete halting of industrial and transportation activities.
- Biodiversity and ecology also shows such positive imprints
As Humans remains in lockdown ,wild animal are finding ‘new’ safer adobe to venture. Glimpse of dolphins in Mahim Creek, River Ganges or Olive Ridley turtles laying eggs in Gahirmatha beach during day time is such pleasing examples.
It is however that though entire natural system seems to be healing during COVID-19 pandemic ,the impact of waste remains a concern.
As analyzed by UNCTAD, volumes of unrecyclable waste have tremendously increased which includes
- Organic waste from agriculture sector
- Local waste problem due to non functioning waste management by municipalities
- Resumption of plastic bags citing health concerns ,and above all
- Medical and waste as used masks gloves
All the demographic variables viz. Functional (fertility, mortality, migration) and Structural (population size, distribution and composition) are influenced by to COVID- 19.
212 Countries and Territories around the world have reported a total of 4,181,218 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 that originated from Wuhan, China, and a death toll of 283,877 deaths.(as on 11 May2020).
It is posing enormous health, demographic and social challenges to entire human population.
Thought the world is better equipped to fight pandemic today than it was in 1918 (influenza), it is mobility (migration due to more efficient transportation links) that makes population more vulnerable to the virus.
For many countries the initial cases development were essentially by travelers from China (as in Italy, South Korea, Japan)
Same is the case with –
- New York city the pandemic epicenter and mega city of US, here the population density further adds to the transmission rates and
- Mumbai ,the mega city of India having Asia’s largest slum Dharavi
Migration will be impacted by COVID-19 as well
- The engine of globalised economy migrant labor will stop moving,
- Forced migrants unable to move will increase their vulnerability,
- The existing Vulnerably of refugees and internally displace people will increase.
However the mobility factors has different dimensions in India
- It both mobility and density is considered in case of India Maharashtra with pandemic epicenter and Delhi .
- For the migrant workers including daily wage earners lock down is a grave scenario and social distancing a privilege
- They are forced to migrate back to their respective native places on foot making them more vulnerable.
- This apart from the risk of spreading virus to their native places
The age factor of demography is also significant with less 65 year of aged people having highest risks from the virus. In most of the worst affected European countries mortality levels have been due to the age factor.