During Tenby Schools Setia Eco Park Eco Week in May, we ran an essay competition for all students on the topic of “Impact of Lockdown on Our Planet”. The committee received plenty of amazing essays, but could only pick 3 best essays.
Here, we share with you one of the winning essay by our Year 9 student, Kyeongryn. Read the full essay below.
It has been two months since Malaysia started the Movement Control Order alongside many other countries that imposed lockdown. For the majority of people, the lockdown is an uncomfortable and suffocating experience, but the environment seems to say the opposite as it has started ‘breathing’ again. Despite several problems it brought, it is indisputable that the lockdown was an opportunity for the environment to transform in many positive ways.
During the lockdown, most of the industries across the globe stopped operating. As a result, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by the world decreased substantially; the daily greenhouse gas emission even dropped by 17% in early April. Naturally, air pollution reduced, and it brought a lot of unexpected yet pleasant news to the world. Last month in April, thanks to the mitigation of air pollution, the Himalayan mountain range became visible to citizens in India for the first time in a few decades. NASA released a satellite picture of China in March 2020 that showed a dramatic decline of nitrogen dioxide level in China compared to that of 2019. Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, even stated that “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event.” Additionally, popular tourist destinations around the world, including Venice, experienced a noticeable enhancement in their air quality due to less traffic and minimum movement of residents and tourists.
Lockdown did not just influence the air quality around the world. As a consequence of less pollution and restricted human activities, nature started refreshing itself in some places. Sea turtles were spotted in the Bay of Bengal, where they did not visit for a long time. Iconic animals of other cities were also sighted after the number of travellers dwindled. For example, a wild puma appeared in Santiago, Chile, and a coyote was seen in Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Considering that these animals usually never emerged in these places [Santiago, Golden Gate Bridge] when they were full of tourists, it is apparent that the lockdown has positively affected the environment by allowing animals to move freely in space that humans occupied.
The current situation made many parts of the global society suffer, but also showed hope in areas, especially the environment. Looking at some parts of nature thriving without human presence, we as humans should look back on the impactful actions that we wielded without considering the consequences and strive to look for ways to minimise the effect of destruction that we caused to planet Earth. We have seen multiple occasions where the world came together to overcome a common obstacle that is hindering our future. Like our previous success, I hope that in the near future, humans will achieve both the cessation of COVID-19 and the protection of the Earth.
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 Rob, P. (2020). People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in ‘decades,’ as the lockdown eases air pollution. | CNN Travel. [online] Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/himalayas-visible-lockdown-india-scli-intl/index.html
 Earthobservatory.nasa.gov. (2020). Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China. | NASA Earth Observatory. [online] Available at:
 Anagha, S. (2020). As Italy quarantines over coronavirus, misleading reports of swans and dolphins in Venice canals go viral. | The Hill. [online[ Available at: https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/environment/488286-italys-coronavirus-lockdown-shows-what-nature
 Euronews.com. (2020). While you stay home, animals roam free in our towns and cities. | Living. [online] Available at: https://www.euronews.com/living/2020/04/25/while-you-stay-home-animals-roam-free-in-our-towns-and-cities