June 2020, Christine Muller
Lessons from the pandemic
During this pandemic, we all have had to adjust our activities in many ways. Tourism virtually came to a halt, and people who are able to work from home communicate via the internet. While there are some downsides to that, there are also benefits, including fewer car accidents and cleaner air, which is very beneficial for people’s health. Air pollution has been linked to heart disease, asthma, and other chronic diseases.
According to the State of Global Air 2019 Report, ”more than 90% of people worldwide live in areas exceeding the WHO Guideline for healthy air. Air pollution is among the highest 5 risk factors for population health globally, shortening life on average by 20 months around the globe.” Worldwide, about 3 million people are dying because of air pollution each year. The reduced traffic has improved many people’s health and well-being.
But today, people are walking more outdoors, which can improve both physical and mental health. In addition, carbon emissions, which drive global warming, are quite a bit lower. Let’s consider also abandoning unnecessary travel in the future for the health of people and planet.