[228] Hope after Corona – Love is in the Air

Love is in the air, or is it merely the air we love. Air is such an elementary part of our lives that we had taken it for granted, until Corona took it away of millions of people, while showing billions of others its real value.

The absence of traffic, trade, and transport due to the lockdowns, unveiled the Himalaya for the first in 30 years; it turned horizons in cities into a clear line of well-defined buildings and statues rather than a blurry line of smog. All in less than two weeks.

It is not only about the vision; air pollution is a matter of life and dead.

About 3 million people die annually from the consequences of air pollution, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). The situation is badly in low-income countries, but as well globally in cities, where more than 80% of people are exposed to air pollution levels above safe limits.

The lockdown measures, and the slowdown in transportation, industry and trade, followed by Corona, caused a significant drop in air pollution.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which causes asthma among other diseases, globally dropped by 40% late January and early February 2020, compared to the same period last year. Two weeks after the lockdown started in the UK, NO2 in cities fell even by 60% compared to the same period last year. No wonder since NO2 is released by burning fossil fuels for transportation and power plants,

All these effects turned up in less than two weeks time, showing a yes we can attitude if we would only will.

Back to the Future

The lockdowns had put people’s health first, and as a side-effect it had put the citizens before its cars. With the exchange for motorised transportation in active forms such as walking and cycling, and long and pleasure distances into short and necessary ones, emissions dropped significantly. This drop down was topped up by the slowdown in trade, industry, and with that in electricity production.

The lockdown provided us a precious vision of the future.

A future, when fossil fuels will no longer power our energy plants, nor our heating and cooling systems or transportation means. When emissions drop significantly, not only could we mitigate climate change, but as well can we safe our lives.

Not only is NO2 causing asthma, other particular matter is released as well when burning fossil fuel. PM10 and PM2.5 are the most known ones, they are as fine that they have a diameter of less than 10 microns or 2.5 microns respectively. But their small size is inversely proportional the damage it causes in our bodies. PM10 goes deep into the lungs where it causes bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory diseases. PM2.5, is even as small that it can penetrate the lungs and forces its way into our veins, causing heart failure and cancers all over our body.

Back Yard or Jungle

Paris’ Mayor Anne Hildago even developed a city plan called ‘Paris of 15 minutes’. When Corona is gone, air pollution should not return is her credo. If the city would be organised as such that all people could find all their needs and wants within 15 minutes of transportation within the city, they could walk and cycle rather than having to take any kind of motorised transportation, unless shared one. As such not only traffic congestion would be reduced, but as well air pollution. Improvement of social cohesion and road safety will be nice side effects of the reorganised city.

The need was there before Corona, but wasn’t heard. The need became urgent and the only option during the lockdown, so finally it was acted upon. The need will still be there after Corona, but it might be over shouted by other interests. Therefore, we must remind its echo when we pick up urban life after Corona.

After Corona, the City should become the back yard of the citizen, not the dangerous jungle it was before.

Love is in the Air

Active transport instead of motorised transport is one way to get the love back in the air. More greenery to purify the air and connect us with nature is another crucial one on which I write more tomorrow.

Now Corona has taken the breath away of some, while giving it back to others, let’s not stop valuing our most essential element of life, let’s keep this ‘yes we can’ attitude, if only we would will.

This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

  1. How this too shall pass
  2. how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
  3. how you can contribute to this battle, 
  4. how gratitude lights up the dark,  
  5. how united we will stand strong
  6. on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis 
  7. how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands, 
  8. how being calm can get us through the storm.
  9. about Love in Times of Corona
  10. how to discover your own talents 
  11. why we need stories to hold on to 
  12. how you can be creative and innovative.
  13. how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
  14. how to listen to the sound of silence. 
  15. How breath taking Corona really is.
  16. discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us, 
  17. about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
  18. about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
  19. about the position of nature in this entire story
  20. about nature bouncing back
  21. about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
  22. about the game to play
  23. about star gazing in dark times
  24. About looking for Meaning
  25. About how Music Connects
  26. about what Easter and Corona have in Common
  27. About the Shark and the Turtle
  28. About the Irony of Distance
  29. Why to Hold on
  30. Fake News
  31. about The Big Unknown we live at
  32. about Feeling Alive
  33. About turning obstacles into opportunities
  34. about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life 
  35. About where we should go from here?
  36. About coping with incertitude
  37. About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
  38. about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
  39. How one country could rule them all
  40. About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic 
  41. about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
  42. about when the poppy flowers
  43. about what’s in a number
  44. masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
  45. What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
  46. how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
  47. why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
  48. How Spring can happen in Autumn
  49. How to unlock the lockdown
  50. Why education matters
  51. How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
  52. The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
  53. the remarkable rewards of health
  54. The queeste for global health care 
  55. Health Heroes
  56. Pains and Gains 
  57. Solidarity 3.0
  58. Work-Life Balance
  59. Home sweet home
  60. Real Connections
  61. Leadership 3.0
  62. gratitude 3.0
  63. Respect 3.0
  64. Humanity 3.0
  65. Change Management
  66. Economic Catharsis
  67. To consume or not to consume?
  68. Travel the world, travel your heart
  69. Barrels of Life
  70. People, no Number Management
  71. Back to the Office?
  72. Those jobs …
  73. Economic Growth or Green Growth
  74. Global trade, global fate
  75. Act local, think global
  76. A changed climate for Climate Change

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark time.

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