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The environmental impact of COVID-19

6 min read

COVID-19 is the news story everyone is talking about. It has essentially halted the global economy and spread across the world infecting millions. And a lot of people can’t help but wonder, “What’s next?”

Although the effects of COVID-19 have been devastating, there are some good lessons we can learn from it.

In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between people, the environment, and COVID-19. In an effort to help with cost savings, we'll also explain how you can start the process of buying solar panels. We want to honestly look at the bad news, but we also want to look at the good news too. Because there really is some news we can all feel good about.

COVID-19-Environmental-Effects North-East Before-After-Slides source

Bad environment news—the effect COVID-19 and the environment have on people

There’s a lot we still don’t know about COVID-19. But we're learning more and more every day. One thing we’ve learned is that a person’s health is correlated with their ability to fight off the disease.

Asthmatics, the elderly, diabetics, and people with immunocompromised systems have a harder time fighting off COVID-19.

Also, we now know that there’s a connection between the air a person breathes and their ability to recover from the coronavirus.

In short, the dirtier the air is, the harder it is to breathe. The harder it is to breathe, the harder it is to fight off the respiratory-issue-causing virus. Also, dirty air contributes to other health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, breathing trouble, and diabetes. And as we already mentioned, all of these diseases put a person at additional risk.

"We found that an increase of only 1 gram per cubic meter in fine particulate matter in the air was associated with a 15% increase in the COVID-19 (sic) death rate," co-director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative Francesca Dominici, as reported by CNN.

According to experts cited in the CNN article, the US mean particulate matter level is about 8.4. Anyone who lives in an area with a particulate matter level above 13 is more at-risk if they contract COVID-19.

COVID-19-Environmental-Effects source

So if you’re in one of those at-risk groups, where you live may further compound your condition should you get infected.

But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of good news.

Good environment news—COVID-19 has had a positive impact on the environment

It’s easy to hear the earlier news and feel discouraged. And we don’t want to minimize the severity of the pandemic. It has clearly affected billions of people world-wide in one way or another, and those problems need to be managed.

Still, there is some good news in all of this.

For example, reports from major news publications have shown that health measures like social distancing are positively impacting our air.

Los Angeles, California is a city infamous for its dirty air. And it has seen a massive improvement in its air quality since the pandemic hit. When everyone stopped driving and stayed at home, LA saw a 40% drop in their particulate matter levels. And all of Southern California saw a 20% increase in its air quality too.

Pollution Differences Graph Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source 5

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So not only is the choice to stay home preventing the disease from spreading so quickly, but it’s giving the air a chance to clear itself of particulate matter. This is great news considering how that particulate matter put infected people at greater risk.

Other reports show that this phenomenon isn’t just happening in California. It’s happening all across the world too.

For example, India, home of 21 of the world’s top 30 most polluted cities, has seen a dramatic drop in air pollution. India implemented a single-day curfew that resulted in its lowest average nitrogen dioxide pollution level ever.

Additionally, scientists can now use new satellite imagery to watch China’s air pollution dissipate since the pandemic started and the stay-home orders were implemented. This is especially good news for China as its air pollution is cited as the cause of up to 1 million premature deaths every year (even without the pandemic).


Even the hole in the ozone is beginning to close.

Really.

So while COVID-19 has been devastating for so many, it has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what the world would look like if we heavily curbed our dependence on fossil fuels.

While we will continue to do our part to flatten the curve at Vivint Solar, we hope to help people like you continue to eliminate air pollution too. We want to be able to enjoy this clean air when the quarantine is over.

COVID-19-Environmental-Effects Blog-Images-Paris Source

Help make the world a better place forever

The drastic cuts in worldwide air pollution and their effect on the environment are inspiring, but they’re not currently sustainable.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Governments are creating policies that prevent people from going about their normal lives. And individuals are opting to stay at home to keep their families and themselves safe.

But this pandemic will end one day and normal life will resume once again. This is a good thing for us as individuals, as neighborhoods, as countries, and as a species. But it will come with a drawback: both air pollution and particulate matter levels will return to their previous levels.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Not entirely.

More and more companies are realizing that work-from-home policies benefit their bottom line and more and more employees are asking for these policies. A lot of experts cite a sharp decrease in carbon-run cars and work facilities as a major factor in the decrease in air pollution.

Companies and individuals are also investing heavily in work-from-home software solutions to manage the pandemic’s effect on work. And people are investing in renewable energy alternatives to avoid rocky oil prices. These are just some of the ways the pandemic is forcing us to innovate in real-time. And these trends will likely change the way we do business in the future—if we let them.

We can utilize these technologies to allow workers more flexibility, to protect ourselves against uncertain oil prices, to live greener lives, and to breathe cleaner air.

These technologies exist now, we just have to use them.

Vivint Solar wants to help you keep the air clean after quarantine

While there's only so much we can do to make your work-from-home situation easier, we can play a big role in helping you become part of a renewable energy economy. We can help you depend less and less on fossil fuels while potentially saving more and more on your electricity bill.

We can even help you power your electric car if you want.

There’s no way for any of us to replace the lives that have been lost but we know we’ll eventually make it through this pandemic together. It’s a singular event that has revealed a lot about the interconnectivity of our global human family. It has been undeniably tragic but that just underscores the importance of learning some things to help us better work together as we inhabit our shared home going forward.

We’ve seen clearly that the behavior of everyday people does make a quick and significant impact on the environment. We have options now that can allow us to avoid much of that negative impact, and Vivint Solar is here to make those options easy, accessible, and affordable.

See the positive impact you could make

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