The world marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday albeit mostly from the positions of lockdown due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The annual day is marked on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection – a topic which carries much weight this time around as the Earth seems to be in a state of recuperation, cleansed of much of human activities, with COVID-19 giving the ecology a fair balance.
The stay-at-home has been a blessing in disguise for the trees, air and oceans around the world including Oman. Raveendran, a volunteer of Oman and Clean Beaches said, “Of course there has been a positive change in the beaches and the overall environment due to the stay-at-home idea because of the virus. Beaches are cleaner and there are no trash left behind by people. The marine animals, I am sure are a happier lot too with no more plastics being thrown into the ocean. We must protect mother Earth, so in turn we lead a healthy life.”
He added, “Though I applaud the day, however for me every day is as important for Earth and environment. We must treat every day as Earth Day and reduce pollution.”
Masood al Riyami, an environment lover who has been cleaning the beaches in Qantab for the last few decades said, “I have been collecting cans and plastics from the 10km stretch of beach for the last few years. Every day I collect as much as over 9kg of waste. Now since people are at home, I see no campers and fishermen. And thus there is no waste at all. The water is cleaner and so is the sand.”
He added that the virus indeed is a blessing for the environment. “The sound pollution has also ceased and I see the birds and animals wandering comfortably on the roads. The confinement has led to a massive drop in emissions across and I am sure there is a reduction in climate change that has been man-made,” Riyami said.