Infect Ecol Epidemiol 10 (1) 1768023 [2020-05-25; online 2020-05-25]
The environment is an integral component of human and animal health. COVID-19 is a global health challenge in the twenty-first century. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and its spread to regional countries and nowadays affecting more than 210 countries worldwide represents the first pandemic in history to be caused by a coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has huge impacts on most aspects of human activities, as well as on the economy and health care systems. Lock-downs, quarantines and border closures in the wake of the pandemic have led to reductions in air pollution through decreased travel and production. These positive environmental effects are likely mostly temporary, but may serve as an example that changes in our way of life can have prompt positive effects for the environment and demonstrate the usefulness of travel-reducing measures such as teleconferencing. Thus, acknowledging that COVID-19 is first and foremost a global disaster, the pandemic may inspire to future behavioral changes with positive environmental effects.