Lockdown and atmospheric environment
Less NO2 and carbon emission improved air quality
In the lockdown period due to restricted domestic activities, there are less industrial activities and less vehicle movement; the air pollution significantly decreases and environment have resumed some extend. Main sources of carbon emissions are the consumption of fossil fuels by industries, thermal power stations, air transports and vehicle traffic. Since industrial sectors, vehicular traffic was shut down in the lock down period; level of carbon concentration goes down. A study estimated the COVID-19 pandemic could reduce up to 7% global emission if the lock down extended till end of the year.
The important air pollutant, NO2 is usually emitted into the atmosphere from refining of petroleum and metals; welding, commercial manufacturing of nitric acid and N-based products including food processing industries. The combustion of fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil by factories, vehicles and even domestic purpose are responsible for NO2 pollution. As lockdown measures are implemented in European countries mainly Italy, Spain, France, Germany etc., variation in data owing to changing weather conditions. The satellite images, in Fig. 1, show NO2 concentrations from 13 March until 13 April 2020, compared to the March–April averaged concentrations from 2019. As the result of the strictly nation-wise lockdown measures imposed across Europe, the populated cities in like Madrid, Rome, Milan are showing decreases by ~ 45% concentration of NO2 in atmosphere, while Paris show remarkable drop by 54% (ESA—Copernicus—European Space Agency 2020). Significantly reduction in the concentration of green house gases including CO2 and NO2 in the atmosphere is reported (Wang and Su 2020).
New satellite image in Fig. 2, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite showing the significant reduction in the NO2 concentrations of India, where Mumbai and Delhi observed the drop of NO2 concentration by 40–50% due to nation-wise quarantine. Figure 3a identifies the major polluted location like thermal power stations in terms of higher NO2 concentration, measuring the concentrations ≥ 200 μ mole/m2. A shadow of NO2 emissions from maritime traffic can be traced by the faint line over the Indian Ocean (Fig. 3b). International shipping track appears as straight marine lines owing to cargo ships following the same route (ESA—Copernicus—European Space Agency 2020).
Less particulate matter improved the visibility
The lockdown is an opportunity to environment for the improvement in air quality. The change in concentrations of seven air pollutants including particular matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx, NO and NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) of different populated urban areas in India have analysed and reported (Science the wire 2020). Among all the pollutant PM2.5 reduced significantly in the most of the regions. Around 43% decreased of PM2.5 indicates the decrease in carbon emission from limited traffic and 31% decreases of PM10 indicated the minimum re-sediment of dust particles caused by restricted works during lockdown period compared to the previous year (Sharma et al. 2020). USA and other countries are also experiencing the same trend from their normal level of (PM2.5 and PM10) particulate matter shown in Table 1. As a result, the visibility at different cities becomes far better than the previous year (Saadat et al. 2020).
Less industrial effluent discharge improved the water quality
The clarity of the water has improved considerably and seaweed can be visualized in clear waters in Venice as a result of the restriction of motorboat traffic in the lockdown period in Italy. Due to pause in industrial effluent discharge into the canals of Venice, the schooling of fish in its water and swans floating around enjoying with unusual urban peace and quiet which was very unlike in normal city life (Mack 2020). The lockdown meant appears to clean water of India's holiest and polluted rivers, The Ganges (Times of India 2020a). The improvement in surface water quality in Vembanad Lake, India has reported and showing SPM concentration decreased by 15.9% on average compared with previous year (Yunus et al. 2020).
Less river activities formed deserted bank
During the lockdown period, all types of river transport means of boats, motor boats, steamer etc. are restricted. A certain portion of people in East Asia economically depends upon fishing in river. In the lockdown period such as river activities significantly stopped, resulting settlement in river are observed in river basin. Figure 4 shows a rare natural phenomenon of the deserted bank of the ‘Sangam’, the confluence of the rivers ‘Ganga’ and ‘Yamuna’, seen during lockdown in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh (India Today 2020).
Less human activities improved the noise quality
The sound from air craft, industries, vehicles, local loudspeakers, crowed market places etc. are the cause of several mental and physical problems like dementia, deafness, headache, stroke even heart attack. Buzzing the vehicle horns is one of the biggest problems in city life, sometime it exceeds 100 db; the lockdown for COVID-19 has fall down the noise pollution. The reliable news agency, ‘The times of India’ reported the lower noise level (~ 30–40 db) in residential area and (~ 50db) in the crowed metro station area (Times of India 2020b). Ocean Networks Canada found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships and fishing motor boat and the drop in underwater noise pollution that is the healthy message for whales and other water lives (The Guardian 2020a).
In this section, we found the degree of atmospheric pollution declined immediately due to restricted human activities in industry, transportation and domestic purpose. The concentration of major air-pollutant NO2 reduced upto 45 to 54% in European countries. It assumed reduction in carbon emission by 7% at end of this year. The pollution from oxides of nitrogen and carbon including their derivatives reduces the green house effect of atmosphere. The level of particulate matters like PM2.5 and PM10 significantly decrease 43% and 31%, respectively, in the lower atmosphere of the different regions of globe. Suspended particulate matter dropped down up to 15.9% that indicates improvement in surface water quality.
The uniqueness of this article is to discuss on the development of a deserted banks at confluence of the rivers ‘Ganga’ and ‘Yamuna’ in India in river basin. Noise pollution remarkably dropped below 60 db even in crowded cities. It also specially explained the effect noise in birds and butterfly life. From above observations, it may summarized that the atmospheric environment has resumed some extent in all respect by means of such global-wide lockdown aiming to control COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this article is to assess the degree of devastation of environment, we doing in the process of normal global civilization.
Lockdown and animal life
COVID-19 infection in Wildlife
Not only the human being, animals are infected by the COVID-19 having symptoms with dry cough, loss of appetite. A tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo found confirm infected by Covid-19 and it supposed to have contracted the virus from a asymptomatic caretaker (Economic Times 2020a). An article in a nature research journal reported that the cats can be infected with COVID-19 and can transmit to other cats, but dogs are not susceptible to the infection. Harbin Veterinary Research Institute also reported that the chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to infect the virus (Nature news 2020). Though it is unknown whether felines can transmit the virus to people, the pet owners have to not panic.
The animal health will likely be impacted by COVID-19 through the immediate consequences of lockdown. In the short term, some of the veterinary activities regarding preventative vaccination against pre-existing diseases would be suppressed during the lockdown (Gortázar and de la Fuente 2020). In addition with this, the indirect effects such as increased wildlife-livestock contacts, no population control or extended on-farm stays of stock will trigger the incidence of transmissible animal pre-diseases like African swine fever (ASF) (O’Neill et al. 2020). The long-term consequences of COVID-19 on animal health will be related to economic crisis on farmer livelihoods and veterinary service capacities.
Effect on wildlife behaviour
The COVID-19 lockdown offers a scope for experiment in animal behaviour. Unexpected reduction in human activity and sudden silence in locality surprised the animals and push to uncommon behaviour. For evidence, a puma walked along a street in Santiago, Chile; the herd of deer in Nara, Japan and raft of ducks crossing the road in Paris observed. (The Telegraph 2020; The guardian 2020b). Animals that normally hide in the shadows of our localities have suddenly come into the light, looking for food and roaming. A racoon found frolicking near residential area in broad daylight in Central Park, New York on 16 April 2020. Mountain goats roamed on the busy streets of Llandudno, Wales, UK on 31 March. The goats normally surf on the rocky Great Orme, but come down to the lonely streets with no people and tourists. Another such evidences found like a herd of fallow deer grazed on the lawns near housing estate in Harold Hill London on 4 April; peahens seen at MN Marg during lockdown in New Delhi; a leopard spotted on Hyderabad road during lock down shown in Fig. 5. (The Telegraph 2020; The guardian 2020b). The facts like the use of human dominated zones by wildlife are uncommon; let see what will change when lockdown removed. It may be seemed the ‘unexpected vacation’ for them during lockdown, when people are at home.
Effect on aquatic life behaviour
COVID-19 lockdown moves forward the healthy water environment and aquatic life. A rare sighting of Eagle rays watering at Dubai Marina while very few people were at port (CNN 2020). As beaches closed in lock down situation, turtles found nesting in peace at Florida (CNN 2020). Times of India reported on 25th April 2020, that after nearly three decades, a south Asian river dolphin which is known as ‘Ganges Dolphin’ was back at Kolkata, India (Times of India 2020c). All the evidences are somehow related to the instant change in ecosystem of the forestry and water.
Effect on birds’ life behaviour
There are huge negative impacts of noise pollution on birds’ life. So the silence lockdown appears to have peaceful living of birds. Typical changes in behaviour of partial migratory birds are observed and staying in sanctuaries a bit longer. The birds species like open bill stork, painted stork, grey heron, spoonbill, spot-billed pelican and ibis generally leave here by March. But in this year, they have extended their staying that may due to less human activity and less noise pollution in lockdown period (The Hindu 2020). The birds and butterflies have surged significantly across the country. Resident birds are breeding much more than before due to less human activity, no noise and air pollution (India New England 2020).
Effect on pets behaviour
Pets also have some routine activities. In the lockdown period, the restriction affects their normal behaviour pattern. Sometimes they become ferocious and behaved abnormal. Though the common pets like dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to be infected; pet owners having no scope to move out them. The cats are suspected to carry and spread the virus, and special care need for such species (Nature news 2020).
Food security of animals
Generally local street dogs, cats, monkeys, crows and free birds depend upon the foods of tourist and domestic persons. During lockdown, they are in crisis of food, sometimes fighting with each other in the process. Afterward Govt. and few NGOs are arranging the ‘natural restaurants’ for animals. The roaming of the wild animals at residential area may be due to the shorted in the food. Such that, the deer in Nara Park, Japan are usually fed by visitors, but at lockdown period, that food dried up. It may be that they have left the park and taken to the streets of the city to look for food.
Lockdown and ecosystem
The worldwide animal market, where thousands of species are bought and sold every year, is a serious threat to biodiversity (DW 2020). As the COVID-19 outbreak was start from Hunan seafood market, China has temporarily ban on wildlife treading (Chakrabarty and Maity 2020). As it supposed transferable disease originated from animals, different countries also permanently ban wildlife tread; that will be good for wildlife health and restoring the sustainable eco-system.
An environmental NGO group, Ocean Asia surveyed in Hong Kong, found a good numbers of mask along with other disposal at high tied line of seashore (Saadat et al. 2020). If the biomedical garbage are not discarded according to the medical protocol it may lead infection even death of animals and water lives by mistakenly eat these as food (Hellewell et al. 2020) and ecosystem of both land and water may be affected. So restructuring of policies in regarding medical wastes management of COVID-19 needed immediately.
Handling of COVID-19 dead body is another new environmental issue. The number of death in COVID-19 till date is around 0.948 million; it increases by every hours. Dead bodys are needed to be mass buried rather than handed over to their family for ritual.
Lockdown and human life style
The secondary effect of COVID-19 lockdown must be the global socio-economic condition. It changes the life style of every level of nation irrespective of race, religion, politics and economic condition. Unfortunately affected COVID-19 patient or recovered persons feeling unusual behaviour from neighbours (Messner 2020). Sudden changes in life style like use masks, washing hand with soap, use of sanitizer, use of gloves are very unlikely. Daily routine observed to changes most of city-dwelling people. Most are engaged in online-based entertainment etc. Sometimes they are misguided by the myths and fake news waving round. Social relationship between teacher-student, doctor patient, house owners-tenant, boss-subordinates, factory owner-worker even have been affected some extent. Corporate sectors run on ‘work from home’ style; education system is going to be shifted to online basis; for children lockdown is nothing but imprisonment.
The unpredictable consequences of public health and misinformation about COVID-19 often impacts individuals’ mental health including depression, anxiety, traumatic stress etc. The sadness, fear, anger, worry, annoyance, frustration, helplessness, loneliness and nervousness etc. are the common features of psychological problems suffering by major portion of people experienced during this pandemic situation. Economic fallout and joblessness triggered the mental health crisis that even lead to self-harm and suicidal behaviour (CNBC 2020; The Economic Times 2020b; Ahorsu et al. 2020; Banerjee 2020).
Most of the doctors and medical staff are engaged in COVID-19 treatment in emergency basis instead of other clinical service affected. In this circumstance, medical doctors, nurses and clinical pathologists nationwide moved in to provide medical treatment, assistances and relief. Citizens' voluntary codes of conduct, community consciousness, participated in volunteer services, financial donation in relief fund are noticed.
Most religious groups also refrained from large-scale gatherings by conducting online worship services and delaying Buddha's Day celebration. The “good landlord movement” that temporarily lowers rent by 20–30% spreads across in Korea (Shaw et al. 2020).
Role of citizen
According to WHO, hygienic measure and social distancing would be the key role to cope the adverse situation of COVID-19. Consciousness, social responsibility, individual role and united effort may protect human being, animal being and environment. Restriction in social gathering, producing minimum hazards and modest noise offer green environment. Health issue of COVID-19 infection in animals and protection including the food chain of the street animals be caring. The unlike behaviour of animals is positive indication of self-sustaining ecology; we would be lucky to keep up it. People should be more concern about the environmental health even after the COVID-19 pandemic over.
The discussion deals the effect of sustained environment, resulting from long lockdown on the natural creatures including wild animal, aquatic lives, birds, pet animals and even human lifestyle. There are many evidence of peaceful movement of wild animals and aquatic lives at the human domain places. Significant behavioural changes of birds, butterfly, pets and street animals are discussed. The discussion on the correlation between atmospheric change with the behavioural changes of natural creature is the uniqueness of this study compared to others. The consequences of lockdown in human life style and its effect on ecosystem and role of citizen relating to COVID-19 lockdown also discussed. These observations indicate the interference of human activities on lives of natural creatures. The impact of human confinement in lockdown on sustainable atmospheric environment and its effect on lifestyle of natural creatures in their respective ecosystem discussed here identifies the scope of critical analysis on atmospheric environmental and life style of natural creatures in no man’s land.